Wanderlust is something I have become well acquainted with lately and the urge to travel has been with me constantly. I have been lucky enough to travel a lot over the years (some of my favourite destinations have included Hawaii, New York and Egypt) and I lived in both France and Germany during my degree studies. Nevertheless, for a while I have been so busy with work that I have not had time to travel as often as I would like. Happily, all of that has begun to change lately as I have had some great travel review opportunities and I am looking forward to bringing you more travel content going forward. I have never been to the city of Newcastle before, so what better way to continue indulging my yearning for travel than by exploring a city just a few hours from where I live. I was excited to be invited to review Jesmond Dene House* over the weekend, an independently owned boutique hotel just a five minute drive from Newcastle which has won plenty of awards. The hotel is located within the tranquil surroundings of the wooded valley of Jesmond Dene, shrouded in trees, the picturesque location piqued my curiosity as soon as we arrived.
As you see the stately building for the first time it creates an unforgettable impression, the hotel was once a private house and the Grade II listed Arts and Crafts mansion has retained its integrity and grandeur to become a destination of choice for weddings, business travel and short breaks. There are many striking features within, such as a billiard room and a great hall complete with minstrels’ gallery. Look out for the wire sculptures of dogs by Gary Tiplady, which are dotted around the hotel, and the many artworks on the walls by various artists, which are also available for purchase.
After a long journey, were warmly welcomed on reception and given the keys to our deluxe room. The plush reception area opens up in to a long corridor adorned by artworks and photographs, beyond which lies a gleaming wooden staircase which winds its way up to the luxurious rooms and suites. Opening the door to our room, the first thing I saw was the giant bed dominating the space, flanked by nightstands with reading lights. A digital radio was playing to welcome us and the room was flooded with daylight from a large bay window overlooking the sprawling grounds. I was happy to see a large desk (and there is free Wi-Fi so it is easy to catch up on some work too) and there was a lovely welcome note from the General Manager and Marketing Manager which was a nice personal touch.
The 40 bedrooms and suites at Jesmond Dene House are designed with a sense of comfort in mind, with everything from robes and slippers to morning wake up calls and newspapers to make you feel at home. Complimentary tea, coffee, mineral water and biscuits were waiting to fortify us and there was also a mini bar stocked with a great selection of drinks and snacks including champagne.
In terms of entertainment, there was a HD Smart television and magazines had been left in the room for us too, a thoughtful touch which I appreciated when I wanted to read later. As usual, I found the addition of a safe and an iron and ironing board to be useful. The room service menu had a good choice of meals available, but since we had a dinner reservation downstairs (separate review to come) we decided to wait. The bathroom was opulent, with gleaming tiles throughout, a large window, walk in shower and sunken bath as well as a range of toiletries from The White Company.
We settled in and sipped a cup of coffee on the comfortable chairs overlooking the garden, before we got changed and headed down for dinner.
The restaurant at Jesmond Dene House mirrors the tone of the entire hotel, with a feeling of understated opulence and refinement. After dinner we relaxed in the intimate cocktail bar, which has a classic aesthetic including wood panelled walls, inglenook fireplace, William de Morgan tiling and an impressive cocktail list, from which I ordered a vodka martini with a twist.
We took an evening walk to explore the grounds, where fresh herbs are grown to supply the restaurant. The striking house looked like something from a fairytale in the fading light of dusk and we lingered until stars dotted the night sky. Tiredness was beginning to catch up with us, so I had a relaxing soak in the sunken bath which was an ideal way to unwind after a long day. After reading for a while, the sound of the river rushing by lulled us in to a deep and peaceful sleep.
Breakfast the next morning was an absolute feast, there was a huge buffet of cold meat, cheese, cereal, muesli, fruit and pastries as well as a menu of cooked breakfast dishes. We took our seats in the attractive garden room, where we sipped fresh orange juice and coffee as we perused the menu.
After a selection of pastries and bircher muesli, I enjoyed an excellent eggs benedict and my partner selected a full English breakfast (which he asked for without eggs). We had toast on the side which rounded off the meal and we finished breakfast feeling energised for a day exploring Newcastle.
The hotel is so well appointed, just a short drive from the city centre of Newcastle and the reception team are happy to help with information about the surrounding areas. Jesmond Dene house successfully merges a resplendent sense of history with a wealth of contemporary features which make your stay pleasant. With a feeling of secluded luxury and an eye for detail throughout, Jesmond Dene House is somewhere to completely unwind. I did not want to leave and I will certainly be staying there again in the future.
Before we left we also had the pleasure of meeting a very special resident of Jesmond Dene House, the cat Riley who lives at the hotel. What a cutie!
Jesmond Dene House
Jesmond Dene Rd,
Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne
0191 212 3000
What do you all think, do you like the idea of a refined luxury boutique hotel just outside the centre of Newcastle? As always I cannot wait to hear your thoughts and thank you so much for reading this post.
Until next time,
*I was a guest of Jesmond Dene House, my stay was complimentary for the purposes of this review. All opinions expressed herein are my own and honest.