My sister came to visit recently and I wanted to take her for the best afternoon tea in the North East. We had to visit Jesmond Dene House, which is somewhere I’ve always highly rated and also offers a vegan alternative. She was wowed immediately with the grand surroundings. Myself and the Teen have been many times before so knew what to expect but are always impressed by the attention to detail and service received.
On this occasion both my sister and the Teen were partaking in the non-vegan tea, while I chose to order from the a la carte menu. I’d heard on the grapevine that JDH were doing a vegan Melting Chocolate Bombe and I wanted to give it a try, but even I had to have something savoury first. There were no specifically vegan dishes but one was adapted for me.
Having heard so much about Noveltea, a tipsy version of tea infused with gin and rum, I suggested my sister paired The Tale of Earl Grey with her food.
I had a sip and found it to be stronger than I’d anticipated. This is not something you could drink a bottle of in one sitting and the flavours definitely need to be savoured. The pairing with the afternoon tea works well as you’d likely take your time drinking this with your finger sandwiches and cakes.
JDH have improved their afternoon tea offering with the inclusion of more savoury options. You will still receive the very British finger sandwiches – crusts off, naturally – but now you will receive a Quiche and a Sausage Roll. This reminds me so much of the Sunday teas my Mum used to prepare for family when I was younger.
The Teen’s favourite part is always the scones, which he thicks in butter and jam. Even the cheese scone gets this treatment!
The cake tier is always impressive and worthy of an appearance on anyone’s Instagram feed. It was hard to stop Dinky grabbing for these sweet treats as they weren’t suitable for her.
My main course of Soft Polenta, Tomato and Kale was light and delicious. The flecks of sweetcorn which peppered the dish added sweetness, while the herb infused oil dressing the plate kept it moist and flavourful.
While the dessert promised the ‘wow’ factor it failed to deliver as the chocolate sauce didn’t melt the casing upon pouring. Instead I had to smash the sphere to unveil the sorbet centre. You can watch the video here.
I have seen it working for others so not sure what the issue was on the day I visited. Perhaps the chocolate sauce wasn’t hot enough? Still, it was good to see something innovative offered to vegans for dessert other than fruit salad or sorbet – Malmaison, take note!
The price of Jesmond Dene House’s afternoon tea has increased to £25pp with the addition of the new items to the menu. We paid an additional supplement for the Noveltea drink. It is most certainly worth a visit and is deserving of its crown as Top Afternoon Tea in Newcastle. Service is always faultless and it is a leisurely affair compared to the likes of GB Cupcakery on the Quayside. If you haven’t already tried it you should get booking for the next special occasion ASAP.
Thanks for reading,