Afternoon tea at Jesmond Dene House - was one of the priciest worth it? We've been to review afternoon tea at Jesmond Dene House in Newcastle - here's what we made of it; We've been to review afternoon tea at Jesmond Dene House in Newcastle - here's what we made of it.
Afternoon tea is a treat meal. Jesmond Dene House is a treat venue. So, this should be a double treat, right?
A quick search about online and you'll find that afternoon tea atJesmond DeneHouse is on the upper price scale. You can get it a good deal cheaper elsewhere - but we were hoping for that extra bit of quality and opulent surroundings making it a relative bargain.
Afternoon teais also usually a treat to get away from it all with a loved one or pal, so it was a bit of a gamble that my wife and I took our 19-month-old daughter Amelie.
We were more worried about ruining other diners expensive treat than our own so came armed with books and a tablet to keep her entertained.
The 'basic' afternoon tea is [pounds sterling]25 per person, which includes refillable tea and coffee.
But if you're feeling in need of alcohol there are three other options: For [pounds sterling]33 you can have a glass of prosecco thrown in; for [pounds sterling]34 a cocktail; and for [pounds sterling]37.50 a glass of champagne.
We were sticking with the normal afternoon tea. We were offered a children's menu for Amelie, but declined with a plan to just share ours with her.
Right, on to the actual food.
I'll start at the bottom plate. Sandwiches were turkey, black truffle and baby gem lettuce. Turkey can be a bland sandwich but not here with the truffle making it more flavoursome. The other was oak smoked salmon, cucumber and dill cream cheese. A more classic afternoon tea sandwich and a good choice.
Top 10 Afternoon Teas around Newcastle if you're looking for the cream of the cream
In a mild curve ball the sandwich plate came with sausage rolls and onion and goats cheese quiche. These were brilliant.
I've had the 'gentleman'safternoon tea' elsewhere before which usually replace some sandwiches so a mix here was perfect. My wife, who doesn't like pastry, was less impressed - which just meant for me and Amelie.
Two cheese and two fruit scones followed. They were fresh, but not warm; which would have been better. But once lathered with a choice of butter, cream and jam it didn't really matter.
Cakes were a splendid collection. They each came on small paddles, which made removing them from the top plate without getting cream on your hands a doddle.
The carrot cake was the universal favourite - light and packed with flavour. The dark chocolate and pistachio cake was an indulgent one - only a small amount needed here.
The white chocolate eclairs with raspberries on top were great - although another thumbs down on the pastry front from Gail. Finally, the blackberry and apple macarons were a light change from all that pastry and cake!
If, like us, you're not in for the booze it's all about the tea. There are 14 different teas to choose from, some with fantastic names like 'Orange spice samovar' and 'birds or paradise.'
I'm a little embarrassed to admit I massively bottled any adventure and went for the boringly titled English breakfast. That's normal tea, to me and you. Gail had Earl Grey.
Staff told me they cater for vegetarians or if you are gluten free with a separate menu. They said they would need 48 hours notice - so best to discuss any dietary requirements when you make your booking.
A small army of staff seemed to be on hand and it showed in the service. I've found that when dining out with a child the most terrifying period is waiting for the food to arrive when they are liable to scream the place down. There were no worries here with the drinks and food arriving within about five minutes of the order going in. Staff were chatty and friendly throughout.
If you're still reading you've probably gleaned that we were impressed. Is it worthy of being one of the region's most expensive? It probably is, yes.
The food was top quality in a fabulous setting. We had a potter round the gardens before we left and had planned to go to pets' corner in Jesmond Dene until the rain scared us home.
Nigella Lawson enjoyed an 'extraordinarily good' northern classic when she ate in Newcastle
As for Amelie - the copious cake she consumed meant she was well-behaved and didn't spoil anyone's afternoon out...including her parents!
Jesmond Dene House afternoon tea
Sandwiches, sausage roll and quiche at Jesmond Dene House
Afternoon tea at Jesmond Dene House
Amelie enjoying her afternoon tea at Jesmond Dene House