The 19th century mansion house turned hotel that sits within the tranquil woodland area of Jesmond Dene is renowned for offering one of the most luxurious dining experiences in Newcastle. Its afternoon teas are often hailed as the best in the region and the hotel’s wedding facilities are second to none. Whatever the occasion, a visit to Jesmond Dene House always feels more than a little bit special.
James and I felt very lucky when the invitation came through to sample the new a la carte menu in the award winning restaurant. We’d been promising ourselves a return visit ever since we enjoyed an amazing taster menu there last year (you can read about that visit in this review).
Before I reveal details of the delicious food we experienced, my first bit of advice would be stop waiting for a special occasion to treat yourself to a visit to Jesmond Dene House, just book it, life is too short! It doesn’t have to cost you a fortune either, the daytime menu offers simple dishes like sandwiches and fish & chips for around the same price as a city centre chain and the Sunday lunch prices are on a par with most other high end restaurants but the setting is truly unique.
As our car pulled in to the impressive grounds of Jesmond Dene House we honestly felt like we’d escaped to a country manor, even though we were just minutes from our home in Newcastle!
Our meal began with delightfully presented starters, the photos don’t do justice to the beautiful colours that burst from the plates. I chose the Pea & Garden Herb Soup which was a tactful move on my part as I thought it was a good idea to go for something light in preparation for my hearty main course. The soup also contained two of my favourite ingredients, feta and pine nuts, the flavour combinations worked perfectly and I devoured every spoonful with satisfaction.
James’ choice was a starter with more rich and intense flavours than mine, the instagram worthy Braised Pigs Cheeks with Homemade Black Pudding and Pickled Plums. We were impressed that the black pudding was made in house and with the delicate presentation of the dish, our meal had got off to a great start!
It took a while for us to decide upon our mains, the choice was varied and tempting with dishes like Mutton Naravin and Lobster Salad catching our eyes! After much deliberation, I found the temptation of a Rib Eye Steak too hard to resist. I chose hand-cut chips for my side and Bone Marrow Sauce to accompany the steak. I did wonder if my eyes had been bigger than my belly but the meat was delicious and I polished off the whole lot including every mouthwatering chop! The sauce was a particular highlight as it was quite different to my usual choice of peppercorn, very rich but absolutely delicious.
The Whole Lemon Sole was James’ choice for main course and it was served with lemon, pink pepper butter, aura potatoes and hispy cabbage. I’d never heard of hispy cabbage but it turns out it’s a chef’s fave because it’s so light and versatile. James thoroughly enjoyed the fish, he said it had been cooked perfectly and the pink pepper was something he would try using at home.
Let’s be honest, dessert was not needed but despite my full belly I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try one of the unique creations from Jesmond Dene House. James wasn’t as greedy as me and he only ordered sorbet, despite me urging him to go for something more interesting (I know, he’s crazy right?)
I succumbed to the Rhubarb Cheesecake with shortbread and vanilla ice cream, and as I should have expected, it was like no cheesecake I’d ever had before, just look how pretty!
As we made our way back to the car back, I couldn’t help but notice the plethora of awards lining the corridor, all well deserved in my opinion!
Have you enjoyed a dining experience at Jesmond Dene House, or maybe stayed in one of the boutique hotel rooms? I’d love to hear what you thought.
Our meal was complimentary, our views are our own.