When Christmas begins the holidays become a flurry of family events, festive parties and catching up with friends. So just before the mayhem started my best friend and I decided to treat ourselves to a little winter weekend escape.
Jesmond Dene House was the perfect location for our getaway and, even better, they celebrate Christmas in style! Our stay was filled with champagne cocktails, sparkling decorations, log fires, mince pies, the scent of pine needles and delicious food. What more could you want?!
We travelled from Durham to Newcastle where a private car collected us and whisked us off to Jesmond. Just ten minutes north of Newcastle city centre the hotel is in a lovely location; it’s almost in the country yet still in the city. As we drove through the wooded valley of Jemonded Dene I could see why it’s known as the city’s most attractive residential area.
The hotel obviously take great pride in its lovely location as in our room there was even a ‘Guide To Jesmond‘ which detailed what was nearby in a cute little map.
When we arrived I had a quick tour of the hotel. It was lovely to see all of the secret staircases, hidden rooms and little trinkets that I may have missed otherwise. The whole hotel was decorated with fairy lights, Christmas trees and cute decorations – the nutcrackers definitely being my favourite!
Nicky, who gave me the tour, explained to me that most of the staff have worked there since the hotel opened. Quite simply, as she put it, “because they care about the place”. During my stay I really felt like this was true as there was such a sense of pride in everything the staff did at Jesmond Dene House.
Once my tour finished I joined my friend in our room which was tucked away upstairs. With two twin beds and comfy chairs we kicked off our shoes ready to relax! There were freshly baked mince pies in our room when we arrived so we put the kettle on and enjoyed a cup of tea with our festive treats before unpacking.
We had glossy magazines, fruit, fresh milk and freshly ground coffee in our room so to start our pampering we didn’t need much else. I ran a hot bubble bath with the bergamot and ginger bath oil in our room and slipped in to the tub to read Vogue with a cup of tea.
After a long soak in the bath I was feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and ready for dinner so I got dressed up in my favourite Jones & Jones dress (you can read more about what I wore in my latest style post here) and we headed downstairs for a drink.
The cocktail bar and billiard room were full of friends and family visiting for a drink or preparing for dinner like us. I’ve always found that most hotel bars are usually only visited by their guests but this clearly wasn’t the case in Jesmond Dene House as it was so busy! The room had quiet corners, deep sofas and a welcoming fire so I can see why it’s such a popular place for people to meet.
We treated ourselves to a three course meal and the food didn’t disappoint. The menu changes seasonally so we were visiting just in time for some delicious meats and fresh vegetables. The hotel even had a ‘Dining in December’ menu which was created especially for the festive season.
For the main course we had ballotine of turkey with sprouts, roasted chestnuts, chipolata and bread sauce; it was fresh, flavoursome and very filling so we couldn’t even finish the extra side of vegetables we ordered.
For dessert I had a cheese board which was one of the best I have ever had. Once I ordered a cheese specialist (although I think the correct name is a fromager) came over to me wheeling a trolley full of British and French cheeses! He carefully described the provenance and taste of each one before letting me choose three. As we were in the North East I chose three local cheeses which were delicious. I’m getting hungry just thinking about them now…
I was so impressed with the service we received during our meal. A sommelier helped us choose our wine for the evening and a fromager helped me with my cheese selection – for a foodie it was absolute heaven to dine at Jesmond Dene House.
Feeling very content after our three course meal (and pretty sleep after sharing a bottle of wine) we retreated to our room for the evening. Walking through the hotel made me feel so Christmassy! There were presents tucked under the tree and stockings lining the bannister of the staircase; all of a sudden I had an overwhelming urge to watch a Christmas film…
After putting on our pyjamas we climbed in to bed to watch Elf with a hot chocolate – the perfect festive finish to a lovely day!
After a long sleep tucked in to our cosy duvets we woke up early to enjoy breakfast. The menu was very expensive for example, french toast and eggs benedict were £18.00 each – so we didn’t fancy ordering any extras. Luckily the buffet (which is included in the cost of the room) had lots of variety so we tried the pastries, fresh fruit, smoked salmon, home made bread and local yoghurt.
As you can help yourself to breakfast it was a very relaxed way to spend the morning. You could have easily just grabbed a coffee and a croissant if you didn’t fancy a leisurely start to the day like us but I always think its nice to enjoy breakfast with a glass of fresh orange juice and the paper when staying at a hotel.
With Christmas over and New Year just around the corner it’s the perfect time for a winter weekend getaway. If you’re thinking of taking a little holiday in the North East of England then I couldn’t recommend Jesmond Dene House enough. Everything about the hotel, from the service to the log fires, made me feel at home… alebit quite a grand one! You can browse and book a room here: www.jesmonddenehouse.co.uk