Afternoon Tea Treats

As the car’s tyres rumbled along the driveway of Jesmond Dene House I knew we were about to experience something special.

Prosecco and PieSituated in the heart of Newcastle, Jesmond Dene House is a beautiful 19th Century Gothic-style mansion that overlooks leafy Jesmond Dene below.I find the history of Newcastle’s architecture fascinating, and the story behind JDH is no different…

 

Originally built in 1822 by architect John Dobson, (the man pretty much responsible for building most of Newcastle and contributing to the city’s elegant Georgian architecture), wealthy industrialist and inventor Lord Armstrong bought the property and invested  time and money not only  into the mansion, but the woodland surrounding it which would later become Jesmond Dene.

 

Lord Armstrong later moved further North to Cragside and donated Jesmond Dene to the city for use as a city park. It remains one of my favourite places to wander through on a weekend; whereas I save Jesmond Dene House for a special occasion.

 

I had come to sample their afternoon tea, and I don’t mind admitting that I expected great things from such a reputable establishment that has become synonymous with fine dining.

Evidently, JDH and its capable staff have worked hard to uphold such an enviable reputation – even the minor details of our day were met with precision, creative flair and quality. From the pristine white tablecloths and beautifully laid tables, to the generous three tier cake stand and range of teas that were presented to us, afternoon tea at JDH is no small affair.

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Afternoon Tea for two at Jesmond Dene House

It was exactly what I wanted. Proper afternoon that made me feel like a 19th century society lady in all but crinoline petticoat and corset!

Prosecco and Pie

Keen to try the House’s new range of Pol Roger champagne (or mainly just enjoy the delicious novelty of drinking champagne on a Monday afternoon), I opted for the Champagne Afternoon Tea (£32 per person), while my fellow lady stuck to a sensible cup of golden Lapsang Souchong tea.

Discovered these little cuties in the doorway of Jesmond Dene House - how lovely!

I made some rather cute friends while we waited for our food to arrive (sculptor information here), while Ashleigh gazed out dreamily into the gardens beyond. It wasn’t long before our lovely waitress presented us with three exceptionally generous tiers of afternoon tea treats – an assortment of sandwiches, scones and artisan desserts.

Let me take you through each layer…

Firstly, we tucked into a tower of sandwiches (roast beef, rocket and fiery horseradish, potted salmon with pickled cucumber, egg mayonnaise and a hearty mature cheddar served with apple pickle).

In between sips of champagne, I helped myself to slices of plain, fruit and cheese scones, all crowned with clotted cream and jam. We were both impressed (and slightly intimidated) by the sheer amount of food before us. Despite being dainty, we were given four finger sandwiches and three scones to devour before even beginning the dessert tier – making JDH’s afternoon tea fantastic value for money.

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Obviously everybody’s favourite part of afternoon tea is the decadent treasure  trove that is the third and final tier and let me just say, JDH’s version does not  disappoint!

With Head Pastry Chef Kristian at the helm, the kitchen is brought to life with  dainty sweet treats and marvellous miniature versions. Full of flavour, bursting  with colour and each individual dessert possibly more pretty than the last,  Kristian and his team’s creativity truly shines through here.

The rich chocolate and raspberry tart was my favourite (topped with what Ashleigh and I could only describe as the whitest of white chocolate), followed by an apricot and vanilla macaroon. As a fan of Eton Mess I was intrigued by the blackberry sundae, but personally prefer the sweet tang of strawberries to blackberries.

In contrast, Ashleigh loved the intensely sweet slice of strawberry gateau followed by the blackberry sundae, which just goes to show that there’s something for everyone here.

 

 

 

Physically unable to eat another bite, our waitress offered to box up our leftovers for us to enjoy at home which I thought was a lovely touch. I struggle to find fault with JDH’s proper afternoon tea, the traditional flavours of our finger sandwiches and scones adhered to everything I love about afternoon tea, while the range of desserts wowed the 21st century foodie in me.

Afternoon tea is served daily from 2:30-4:30pm and booking is advised.

 

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10 thoughts on “Afternoon Tea Treats

  1. I’ve tried quite a few afternoon teas in the North East now and Jesmond Dene House remains my favourite, I think we’ve done it 3 or 4 times now, every special occasion we’re there, and we even took Simon’s Mum for her first ever afternoon tea there for her birthday last year. I just love it! Amazing food in such a beautiful and comfortable environment x

    1. Same here, I love the atmosphere and ‘classiness’ of the whole event. I’m off to try The Vermont Hotel’s afternoon tea next week, can’t wait! Have you been before?

  2. Gah! I really need to get myself to JDH for afternoon tea! I’ve been for dinner a few times and it’s always excellent, especially the tasting menu! I feel a birthday booking coming on! Lovely review! x

    1. Hahaha, you certainly do! Treat yourself to afternoon tea on a sunny weekend, sit back and sip a glass of chilled champagne and gorge on gorgeous cakes – what a way to spend the weekend. x

  3. Thanks for the detailed review of this place! I have never had ‘proper’ afternoon tea before and I had heard that Jesmond Dene house was good, but there’s nothing like a taste test from a 3rd party and photographic evidence to prove it! Looks lovely and very good value for money considering how much you get.

    1. It was delicious Dani! A lot more costly than your average slice of cake but its more suited to a special occasion given how indulgent it is. I’ve been invited to try The Vermont Hotel’s version this week so keep an eye out for that one! x

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