A country house break in the city
Jesmond Dene House is one of only two Newcastle-upon-Tyne hotels listed in the 2017 Michelin guide, and they get a separate entry for their food too (they also have 3 AA rosettes). The mansion house sits beside a wooded area above the Ouseburn river ('Dene' is a local term for a ravine with a stream) northeast of the city centre in Jesmond, one of Newcastle's nicest areas with some of the best cafes & restaurants in Newcastle and a noticeable amount of Arts & Crafts architecture.
Jesmond Dene is in Arts & Crafts style too. Built in the 1800s it is the former residence of Lord Armstrong and as a result, before it was even a hotel, a number of famous faces have stayed or visited including Arthur Conan Doyle and Rudyard Kipling. In 2005 it became Newcastle's first independently-owned boutique hotel.
We were met by a member of staff as we approached. I almost expected him to say "we've been expecting you!". Check-in was quick and painless and soon we found ourselves in a gorgeous big room at the opposite side of the building on the 1st floor. There is lift access and staff helped us with our bags to the room.
First impressions were great - lots of space with a huge comfy bed and lots of furniture a chaise lounge, an office desk and a round table with two chairs.
Actually, the room is one of the best-equipped we've come across with a minibar (with snacks as well as drinks), bottle opener, a larger than usual selection of teas, own-roasted coffee, real milk in the fridge, a pedestal fan, hairdryer, iron/ironing board, sewing kit, shoe shine sponge, laundry service, thick blackout curtains and even a hot water bottle!
The bathroom was also a good size with underfloor heating and a separate shower and bath - which was rather large.
Before dinner we cosied up to the real fireplace in the Billiards room. There's no billiards table here nowadays so it's a good place for a pre or post-dinner drink. We had a local ale, a bottle of Mocha Milk Stout from the Tyne Bank Brewery and a gin & tonic.
After dinner we returned to our room for a relaxing bath. We slept soundly, it's incredibly quiet in and around the hotel so you wouldn't think you were only a 10 minute drive from the city centre. There was one niggle though, in that neither of us could pick up the free WiFi from the bed. We could only do so beside the door.
In the morning we had another gripe as the shower wasn't the most intuitive so it took a while to get a consistent stream of hot water.
Breakfast is served in the same room as dinner. between 7-10 Monday-Friday and 7:30-10:30 on weekends. Non-residents are welcome.
There was a decent selection of cereals, homemade bread and yogurt with a choice of fruit (I especially liked the poached pear with cinnamon).
The inclusion of both salmon and gravadlax was a good touch. There was also a small selection of cheese and ham/salami.
There were pastries, muffins and banana bread too. Someone at Jesmond Dene has a sweet tooth and so do a lot of the guests by the looks of the gaps in the pastry tray!
After filling up our plates from the buffet we ordered some hot items. There were a few unusual dishes with haggis, duck egg and salsa verde calling my name. I love duck egg, it looks so much more impressive than a regular hens' egg with a massive yolk and the haggis was nicely done.
The Mrs chose her morning favourite, Eggs Benedict which passed her high standards.
It wasn't long until check-out but thankfully this is 12 noon as standard. Staff offered to look after our bags and gave advice on places to go in Newcastle. Apparently the hotel also has a cat called Riley but we never saw him. 🙁
After check-out we walked along the river Ouseburn where a number of parks meet, known collectively as Ouseburn Parks, towards the city centre - it took about an hour (2.5 miles) to the Quayside at the Tyne where the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art and Sage are just across the Millennium bridge. Along the Ouseburn you'll also find various ruins, a waterfall, a grotto, a pets corner and a visitor centre - so plenty to keep anyone occupied!
We really enjoyed our stay at Jesmond Dene. The interior of the hotel has a lot of character and the food is to a good standard. We are suckers for a real fire and cats (even though we never saw the resident feline!). Our room was huge, cosy and we loved all the room amenities, especially the inclusion of a hot water bottle (which you rarely see) and reception staff were brilliant!
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Jesmond Dene as the place to stay in Newcastle and would happily stay here again.
+ Beautiful hotel
+ Huge cosy room
+ Well-stocked minibar with real milk
+ Own-roasted coffee in room
+ Water bottle in room!
+ Real fire
+ Local beer on sale
+ Noon checkout as standard
+ Peaceful stay and perfectly placed for walks along the Ouseburn river
+ They have a hotel cat!
- Struggled to pick up WiFi from the bed in our room
- Shower was a bit awkward
The current room rate is from £140 B&B.
They also have the following Festive offer from £170 per person:
December Dinner, Bed & Breakfast
Three course dinner from the festive menu with full English breakfast. This is available all December excluding the 25th and 31st.
On New Year’s Eve there will be a ball in the Great Hall with champagne and canapes on arrival, a four-course meal and a live band. Dress code for the event is Black Tie Optional. This is £135 per person.
At Valentine's the Love Luxe Overnight package on the night of 14th February 2017 includes:
A chilled glass of champagne on arrival, a sumptuous 5 course tasting menu in the 3 AA Rosette restaurant with live music, rose Petals on the bed at turndown, a full English Breakfast in the morning and a gorgeous gift to take away for £325 for two people in a Classic room.
Or hurry now and grab this ItIsOn offer before it ends!
Jesmond Dene House, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, England
Disclaimer: We received a complimentary stay at Jesmond Dene house but had to pay for all drinks and a service charge.