Afternoon Tea at Jesmond Dene House

Is afternoon tea at Jesmond Dene House the best afternoon tea in the North East? We went along to find out if it is or not.

Afternoon tea is a very British tradition. While most countries take a siesta in the afternoon, the British serve tea, scones and cake. The very act sitting at the table and pouring out tea from a pot brings a sense of relaxation and makes you feel spoilt. I am currently on a mission to find the best afternoon tea in the North East.

Read more: Afternoon Tea in the North East Bucket List

Jesmond Dene House is a boutique hotel set in the middle of Jesmond Dene, a unique parkland in the centre of Newcastle Upon Tyne. Jesmond Dene House aim to serve one of the best afternoon teas in Newcastle Upon Tyne. I was recently invited along to find out.

Afternoon Tea at Jesmond Dene House

I took my son along with me to enjoy afternoon tea at Jesmond Dene house. As it was a nice day we took a walk though the park to get there. Jesmond Dene is a lovely place to walk around. The walk though the woodland along side the river is lovely and tranquil. If you are lucky you might spot a kingfisher or a red squirrel.

Just before reaching Jesmond Dene House we came across a large waterfall and mill. The waterfall is the creation of Lord Armstrong. He was a prominent figure during the Industrial Revolution. His house, Cragside, was the first to be lit by hydroelectricity. He was responsible for the design of the park and gave it to the people of Newcastle to enjoy.
Waterfall in Jesmond Dene park
Miull in Jesmond dene park

Read more: A visit to Cragside

Jesmond Dene House

Our first glimpse of Jesmond Dene House was the chimneys above the trees. Jesmond Dene house is a Georgian house. The design is by John Dobson an architect who created many buildings in Newcastle. Walking up to the building you feel that you are going back in time. This old fashioned house in the centre of a tranquil park is the perfect setting for afternoon tea.
Jesmond Dene House
Jedmond Dene House
 
Standing guard at the doors is the Jesmond Dene House cat. He is a lovely and unusual figure. You will find other animals around the house as you walk though. These add a quirky touch to the hotel and are fun to discover. After entering the dining room we were taken to our table in the garden room.
Jesmond Dene House Cat
Jesmond Dene House Dog

Jesmond Dene House dog

Our seats were by the door onto the terrace and we had a lovely view of the garden. The garden room is small and homely. You feel almost as if you are in an Agatha Christie mystery book. It would not have been surprising to see Miss Marple entering the room. The tables are set with crisp white clothes. They are set far apart enough so you can enjoy your tea without feeling you are intruding on other guests.

Garden room at Jesmond Dene House

View across the terrace from the garden room at Jesmond Dene House

The afternoon tea

After taking our seats we read the menu. The only choice you need to make for the afternoon tea is which beverage to enjoy with it. This sounds easy but the menu has eleven different types of tea and coffee. There are the well known English Breakfast tea and Earl Grey tea to the more exotic Birds of Paradise.

afternoon tea at Jesmond Dene House

I choose Himalayan  Darjeeling which is a lovely light black tea. The tea leaves in the pot mean you need to wait for it to brew before pouring. This enhances the afternoon tea experience. Shortly after pouring my tea the waitress bought our afternoon tea. My son’s face when he saw the stand was a picture. It is a really pretty display.

Afternoon tea at Jesmond Dene House

The savoury tier

Afternoon tea always begins with the savoury tier. Traditionally this consists of sandwiches. Jesmond Dene House have a more substantial offering. A quiche and a sausage roll are an addition to the plate. This makes the afternoon tea much more filling. It is a lovely twist as it makes the tea more interesting.
 
I began with the sandwiches, salmon and cucumber and chicken and avocado with rocket cress on white bread. The chicken sandwich was slightly bland. The chicken was lovely but I didn’t taste the avocado and rocket cress. The salmon was delicious. It had a lovely tang with a spicy bite. The bread for both sandwiches was lovely and soft.
savoury tier of the afternoon tea at Jesmond Dene House
sausage roll from afternoon tea at Jesmond Dene House
quiche from afternoon tea at Jesmond Dene House

 

The sausage roll was impressive with its crust of sesame seeds. The pastry was light and flaky and the sausage has a lovely tang. It tastes fresh and flavourful. My favourite part of this tier was the asparagus and salmon quiche. Asparagus can sometimes be overpowering but this was not the case here. The salmon and asparagus work perfectly with the quiche to make a lovely savoury snack. The pastry on the quiche is light and crisp with a lovely subtle crunch. A definitely plate to impress.

The scones

Jesmond Dene House goes out to impress with the scone tier. There are three scones, a fruit scone, a cheese scone and a plain scone. These come with home made jam, clotted cream and butter. The scones are light and airy so it is easy to eat three. I like the way that all the scones are different. It provides more interest to the meal. The jam was also delicious, full of a delicate fruit flavour.

Read more: Home made raspberry jam

scones at Jesmond dene hosue afternoon tea

The cakes

The top tier of cakes was a thing of beauty. It features four delicate cakes which quite simply were works of art. They were almost too pretty to eat. The cakes are:

  • strawberry and lemon balm macaroon
  • raspberry and coconut sundae
  • lemon cheese cake
  • chocolate orange and almond truffle

Each of the cakes comes on its own little plate which makes it really easy to lift them from the stand.

cakes from afternoon tea at Jesmond Dene House

cakes from afternoon tea at Jesmond dene hosue

 

Afternoon tea at Jesmond Dene House

raspberry and coconut sundae

Raspberry and coconut sundae

It is really difficult to decide which to try first. I went for the raspberry and coconut sundae which has lovely tart layers of raspberry and creamy coconut. The topping of delicate meringues just completes the dessert. It is really refreshing. A small spoon comes with it on the cake stand. I have to admit I was too full to eat any more but luckily Jesmond Dene House cater for this. They will pack up the cakes for you to take home for later.

Chocolate orange and almond truffle

My son was not so ready to give up. He tried the chocolate orange and almond truffle. The cake is delicately decorated with edible flowers and orange chocolate flake. The outside layer of chocolate hides a soft mousse layer with an orange cream. Whilst delicious my son found it a little messy to eat. He could have done with a larger spoon to eat this.  Trying this later at home I loved the range of flavours. The tart orange works so well with the rich dark chocolate.

Lemon cheesecake

The lemon cheesecake such a clever idea. A topping of lemon cheesecake with a white chocolate decoration rests on top of a shortbread biscuit. It looks spectacular and is full of taste.

Strawberry and lemon balm macaroon

The strawberry and lemon balm macaroon looks stunning. The bright red colour makes it stand out on the plate. The little heap of strawberry and cream beside it looks effective. The macaroon has a crisp shell with a chewy middle. It is full of flavour.

The cake section made a spectacular end to the afternoon tea and was simply delicious.

Is afternoon tea at Jesmond Dene House the best in Newcastle?

If you are looking for an indulgent afternoon tea in stunning surroundings Jesmond Dene House is perfect. The hotel has a lovely relaxing atmosphere. The tea rooms look the part and the view over the garden is lovely. The staff are attentive and there if you need them. You are given plenty of time to enjoy your meal and at no time did we feel rushed.

The tea itself was gorgeous. I like the fact that you can choose from a range of different teas or coffee. You also have the option of adding an alcoholic beverage at an additional cost. You can choose a special cocktail, Prosecco, Champagne or NovelTea.

Read more: NovelTea launch evening

Not having tried every afternoon tea in Newcastle I can’t say for sure if it is the best. However the experience will be very hard to beat. Jesmond Dene House have almost achieved perfection with their afternoon tea offering. The attention to detail and the relaxing atmosphere make Jesmond Dene House the perfect place for a special occasion.

 

Afternoon tea is £25 per person. Alcoholic beverages have an additional cost.   A discretionary 10% service charge is added to all food and beverages.

Afternoon tea is served serve daily every day from noon – 5pm

Our afternoon tea was complementary. I was not obliged to say anything nice and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Why not pin for later?

Afternoon tea at Jesmond Dene House. Newcastle Upon Tyne, England

 

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6 Comments

  1. September 8, 2017 / 2:46 pm

    Gorgeous location and a fabulous afternoon tea selection! The savoury choices are often overlooked in favour of the sweet ones, but this range offers a great variety.
    I love your commitment to finding the best afternoon tea place in the NE. A cat is a bit creepy, don’t think I’d want to come across it in the evening.
    Galina V recently posted…The Cornish Guest House by Emma BurstallMy Profile

    • September 18, 2017 / 8:42 am

      It is a wonderful location, so atmospheric. I love the cats and dogs, so quirky and unusual

    • September 18, 2017 / 8:41 am

      I loved the addition of the sausage roll and quiche, both were delicious and it makes the tea more special. The cakes are gorgeous too

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