Sunday lunch for our family is a real treat, we love a good roast and are always looking for new places to try out. When we were invited to go to Jesmond Dene House for lunch we jumped at the chance. I have never visited the hotel before even though I live only about 10 minutes from it. Have often passed it on the way to Jesmond Dene park and looked longingly at it, it is a beautiful place. It has a rich history and has played host to many famous people throughout time including Rudyard Kipling and Arthur Conan Doyle, finally opening as a hotel in 2005.
Sunday was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and it was a perfect day for enjoying some delicious food. Finding the hotel was absolutely no problem, even if you are not familiar with the area it is signposted off Matthew Bank and is 2 minutes away from the turn off. The location is perfect, you do feel like you are in the countryside but are infact approximately 10 minutes drive from Newcastle city centre. Ample parking is provided and as soon as the children saw the building, they decided it was a princesses castle and could not wait to get inside to explore.
Friendly staff greeted us on reception and pointed us in the right direction. First thing that we spotted was the dogs dotted around the place, the children instantly fell in love with them them and Luca insisted on naming them all!
We went through to the restaurant and were immediately shown to our table which was in the conservatory with a view right out into the beautiful garden,
The hotel was buzzing with activity, I noticed all types of people there, there were families enjoying Sunday lunch, there were a few tables of ladies tucking into delightful afternoon tea's (I have made a note to return to try that with my friends, we love afternoon tea). Outside on the terrace there were people having a chilled Sunday afternoon drink and to my delight I noticed quite a few dogs, that is always a major plus point in my book.
The waiting staff were really good, very attentive, offering us water for the table straight away and taking further drinks orders.
The menu was mouth watering, I am afraid I am not all that adventurous when it comes to food, I know what I like and I tend to stick to it. I ordered the Wild Mushroom soup whilst my mother ordered the Smoked Salmon Terrine. We ordered the children's food, they had decided on chicken nuggets with home made chips and beans and our waiter asked if we would like this served with our starters, a nice touch I thought.
I have to say, there was a bit of a wait for our food, we were told it was to do with the chicken nuggets. It wasn't a problem, as we were seated right next to the door to the garden, the children occupied themselves by playing outside and I was happy as I could see them easily from our table. We had a little explore looking at the beautiful flowers and the kids ran about chasing each other. It was lovely and relaxing and there were no disapproving looks from other diners which was nice!
We were provided with lovely warm bread for the table, the children and mam chose ciabatta whilst I went for a sun dried tomato roll, they were all delicious.
Our food arrived and as promised the children's main courses came with our starters. The soup was absolutely delicious, full of flavour and just the right amount so I didn't feel too full for my main. The salmon was delightful also, tasted very fresh and again just the right size,
|Smoked Salmon Terrine|
|Wild Mushroom soup|
|Chicken nuggets with home made chips|
Our mains arrived a short time after the starter plates were cleared, we had both plumped for the Aberdeen Angus Roast Beef Sirloin and our waiter had asked how we wanted the beef cooked.
The gravy was a St Mary's Ale gravy served in a separate pot but our waiter pointed out that if we needed more we just had to ask, it was scrumptious, I love gravy and this one was absolutely delightful. The yorkshire pudding was perfect, (my favourite part of a roast would you believe!) and I have sampled many in my time, it had a lovely flavour and I did not want it to end. Beef was cooked to perfection, in fact everything on our plates was delicious, very fresh and full of flavour, I could not fault it.
|Chocolate Brownie with Vanilla ice cream|
|Strawberry Cheesecake with Pimms Sorbet|
Dessert time, the kids favourite part of the meal, if they see a brownie on a menu that is it, decision made! So to their delight, there it was complete with vanilla ice cream, Now I really struggled with my decision here but went for the strawberry cheesecake and I was really pleased. It was lovely, very light and flavoursome and the Pimms sorbet was a perfect contrast. Throughout the meal, the staff were wonderful with the children and our waiter made them a deal, if they finished their desserts they could have a cookie and he was true to his word, at the end of the meal he presented them with two lovely chocolate cookies to take home.
We spent a delightful few hours at Jesmond Dene House, it has a very relaxing feel, not at all stuffy, you can dress up or casual, however you feel. I loved the atmosphere of the place and it is such a beautiful building, even the trip to the toilets was exciting as we had to go down in a lift and explore the corridors. I absolutely would not hesitate to go back and the children were made to feel so welcome it was an absolute delight. I am looking forward to my next opportunity to re-visit this lovely place.