Jesmond Dene House, Newcastle Upon Tyne
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If I was asked my opinion on what makes a perfect hotel, I would have quite a list of requirements!
Top of my list would be good service, luxurious, comfortable
accommodation and superb food. Location
would be high on the list too – a peaceful setting surrounded by countryside,
with the city on its doorstep and the coast not too far away! The hotel would have character, history -
stories to tell! It would need to be
easy to get around for those with reduced mobility (as I have arthritis). Recently, my husband and I were guests of
Jesmond Dene House - I soon realised I'd discovered a perfect hotel!
House is an independently owned forty bedroomed hotel, known for its
understated luxury, award winning food, good service and beautiful
surroundings. Its unique style is a mix of Country House Hotel, Townhouse and
Its location could not be better. This city hotel stands in one of Newcastle's
finest areas, just a few minutes drive from the city centre. Surrounded by its own attractive gardens, it
adjoins a wooded valley (called Jesmond Dene).
This steep valley which shelters the hotel's gardens is filled with tall
trees an abundance of flora, streams and waterfalls.
If walls could talk Jesmond Dene House could tell many
stories! Beginning life as a doctors house in the Georgian era. In Victorian times it was the lavish home of
Captain Andrew Noble. In W.W.2 it served
as a civil defence establishments (tunnels still remain beneath the
house). Then a school. In 2005 this grade ll listed building started
a new life as a hotel. Many original features have been retained – oak flooring
and panelling, beautiful plasterwork ceilings, huge inglenook fireplaces,
exquisite tiling, marble pillars, stained glass windows.
Jesmond Dene House is easily accessible by road and rail
networks, and within easy reach of Newcastle International Airport. We arrived mid afternoon (3pm check in) by
car which we parked in the hotel's ample car park ( which includes disabled car
An impressive, arched, stone entrance (which was level
access) led us to the light, conservatory style, Reception area. Friendly staff made us instantly feel at
home. Throughout our stay we noticed
there was no stuffiness or formality.
The atmosphere was informal, friendly with efficiency and
professionalism always maintained.
The bedrooms and
suites are all individually styled following a contemporary, uncluttered theme.
We took the lift to our second floor Superior room which overlooked the hotel
gardens and Jesmond Dene. High ceilings,
a large window area, decoration and furnishings in pale colours created a
light, relaxed feel. An independent
heater allowed us to set the room temperature as required.
Our room contained comfortable armchairs, a desk, a table
with complimentary fresh fruit, biscuits, teas, coffees, mineral water and
magazines. A large flat screen T.V.
adequate wardrobe space, an extra comfortable bed dressed in quality linens
with a sumptuous head board. Ironing
equipment, a hairdryer, safe, well stocked mini bar and free broadband access
ensured we were well looked after. Our
tiled bathroom had quality fittings, an extra deep bath and power shower,
robes, extra fluffy soft towels and Arran Aromatics.
Wandering around the hotel before dinner, we noticed the
hotel had a substantial art collection.
We stopped for a while in the Billiard Room – which does not have a
Billiard table but is a comfortable lounge dominated by a huge inglenook
fireplace. We looked into the elegant Great Hall – a place for Receptions or
conferences. We enjoyed pre dinner drinks in the Cocktail bar, seated beside a
beautiful fireplace. Outside, the gardens are sheltered with seating, they
aren't vast but nevertheless are impressive.
The restaurant has two areas.
There is the light, leafy, Garden Room with its Summer Terrace and the
elegant former music room, where we dined, which has a detailed plasterwork
ceiling and is decorated in earthy tones
to create a relaxed environment.
Head Chef Michael Penaluna and his team use classic
techniques but a contemporary approach to produce light, modern, British Dishes
where flavours are enhanced rather than confused. They also take care to ensure their menu is
accessible to everyone, whatever their preference. I think this is very much a plus point.
Warm bread and interesting appetisers led to my first course
– Foraged mushrooms, Sourdough toast and poached egg, whilst my husband enjoyed
Fillet of Salmon with Pea Risotto. A
simple choice of Char Grilled Flat Iron Steak, thick cut chips and Bearnaise
Sauce preceded our final course - Blackberry and Almond Tart with Vanilla Ice
Cream for myself whilst my husband enjoyed St Mary's Lemon Curd Ice Cream
(named after their sister hotel St. Mary's Inn). Our entire meal was delicious
- full of flavour, filling but also light, there was no over- richness or
heaviness. We drank mineral water with
our meal, had we wanted wine, there was a good wine list. The restaurant has no
strict dress codes, service was efficient and professional with an informal
approach which I think always enhances the dining experience.
Next day, we woke to the sounds of birds singing,water
tumbling from the waterfall in Jesmond Dene and sunshine filtering through the
trees. It was hard to believe we were so
close to the city.
Breakfast was served in the Garden Room. Cold meats, cheeses, cereals, yogurts,
fruits, nuts, juices and breads were laid out in an adjoining room for guests
to help themselves. The hot food was
cooked to order, the food was good quality, flavoursome, nicely presented. Service was good.
For the less mobile, there are two disabled friendly
bedrooms. From the level access main
entrance and Reception there is a level ground floor corridor providing access
to the public rooms, to the disabled W.C and to lifts. Seating is provided near the lifts and in
Reception. Disabled Car parking bays are
Step outside the hotel grounds and you are in Jesmond Dene
with its inviting parkland, pets corner, grottos, ancient buildings, stepping
stones, picnic areas, waterfalls, native and exotic trees, plant and bird
life. Newcastle upon Tyne has excellent
theatre, music and art facilities, museums, restaurants to suit all tastes and
pockets, superb shopping facilities.
Good road and rail links enable easy exploration of Northumberland's
unspoilt coastline and countryside known for spectacular castles and sleepy
Jesmond Dene House has a leisurely check out time of 12 o'clock. All too soon it was time to leave this lovely
hotel. Its unique style and hospitality making it one of my perfect hotels.
Jesmond Dene House
Jesmond Dene Road
Newcastle Upon Tyne
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