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Sunday, 20 July 2014

Sunday with the family at Jesmond Dene House

Those who know me personally will know that I work every Sunday. This certainly has it's advantages however I do really miss a good Sunday lunch. So when the lovely people at Jesmond Dene House* asked our family if we would like to sample Sunday lunch in their restaurant, I swiftly organised a reservation for my next available Sunday.

I have dined at the Jesmond Dene house on numerous occasions - particularly on anniversaries and special birthdays. It is my number one place to visit in Newcastle when we'd like somewhere special to celebrate. The staff really do look after you and make you feel welcome and the food and wine is always stunning. I have never really contemplated the idea of taking three children with us (aged 7, 5 and 3) and I have to say I was a little nervous about how they might behave. I pushed my concerns to one side though and we were all looking forward to spending some quality time together over some lovely food.

Thankfully, all feelings I had that the children may mis-behave were quashed as soon as we stepped foot in the hotel lobby. The staff were extremely welcoming and friendly towards our children, engaging with them and taking the time to show them around. The atmosphere was not stuffy at all - it felt natural and informal and we all immediately started to relax into the very comfortable chairs in the bar area where we sampled some canap├ęs (including crisps for the children) and browsed the menu. There were lots of other families there enjoying their Sunday together - some people were dressed up (Heidi asked if they were going to a wedding) but others were in shorts and flip flops. Nobody looked or felt out of place and everybody was made to feel as welcome as each other.

The Sunday Lunch menu is a foodies dream. It was difficult to choose but we ended up deciding on Roast Northumberland Grand Reserve Sirloin of Beef, Yorkshire Pudding, Brown Ale Gravy and Roast Leg of Middle May Lamb, Roast Potatoes and Gravy. The children can choose a half portion of anything from the main menu at half the price or dine from the children's menu. As much as I would love it if my children would order North Sea Lemon Sole if there are chicken nuggets on a menu, they're going to order chicken nuggets (although my eldest did choose fish fingers).

We were taken through to our table in the conservatory which afforded splendid views of the beautiful garden. It really was a perfect spot. The sun was shining and we could sit at our table, sipping a glass of wine whilst watching our children play together on the lawn. Perfect!

Our food arrived swiftly and our hostess could not have been more accommodating towards our children - asking if they would like some ketchup and pouring them a glass of water each, the service we received as a family really was second to none.

Our food was perfectly cooked and one of the best Sunday lunches I have ever eaten. The brown ale gravy was unbelievable and I was very pleased you were given your own little jug so there was plenty of it to go around.

We had promised our children a dessert if they were good (yes we do sometimes have to resort to bribery) and as they had been as good as gold they chose a banana split, vanilla ice cream and a dark chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream from the children's menu. All were wolfed down in no time at all and our hostess did not raise an eyebrow at the mess three children and ice cream leave behind.

I decided to try the peach cheesecake and I was very pleased with my choice. The peach sorbet really was a treat for the tastebuds and tasted like summer on a plate. The presentation was gorgeous and the dish really made for a perfect ending to a wonderful meal.

After lunch, we spent some time exploring the wonderful gardens of Jesmond Dene House with our children and then spent a couple of hours walking through Jesmond Dene towards Pets Corner and the park to try and burn off some of our delicious lunch. We could leave our car in the car park at Jesmond Dene House which was very convenient.

Sunday lunch at the Jesmond Dene House really was the perfect way to spend an afternoon together as a family. The staff really made us feel welcome, the atmosphere was relaxed and the food was divine. The next time I happen to have a rare Sunday off work, I will not hesitate to book here again.

Sunday lunch is priced at £25 for 2 courses. Children's menu starts at £9.50. Book online here.


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