The Afternoon Tea Files: Jesmond Dene House

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Afternoon Tea is one of the greatest pleasures in life. There isn't anything better than settling yourself down in a beautiful location only to know you're going to be spending a good few hours chatting, nibbling and relaxing. It's the perfect way to spend a rainy day (or sunny day, or any day really), which is exactly what we did recently at Jesmond Dene House.

 Afternoon Tea Jesmond Dene House, Newcastle Upon Tyne

I've been to Jesmond Dene House for afternoon tea a number of times but have never featured it on my blog, I've always been too busy chattering on and drinking champagne to even think about breaking the spell and picking my camera up.  So, when JDH contacted me and asked me to review their new Easter themed Afternoon Tea I was thrilled. Armed with my camera and trusty sidekick, Kris we jumped in the car and off to Jesmond we went.

Afternoon Tea Jesmond Dene House, Newcastle Upon Tyne

I couldn't believe my eyes when our waiter placed the cake stand in front of us. The cakes were some of the most beautiful I've ever seen, delicate yet vibrant I couldn't wait to dig in.  Priced at £25pp I honestly think you'd struggle to find such quality patisserie at this price point, they've really pulled something special out of the bag here.

Afternoon Tea Jesmond Dene House, Newcastle Upon Tyne

We, of course, started off with the savoury tier. This consisted of a cheese savoury and a ham, wholegrain mustard and tomato sandwich each. We were then delighted to discover a few cheeky characters lurking amongst the sandwiches, a cheese and butternut squash quiche and a bloody sausage roll! Any afternoon tea that features a sausage roll has instantly won me over. I mean, you can take the lass out of Newcastle and all that... 

Afternoon Tea Jesmond Dene House, Newcastle Upon Tyne

Afternoon Tea Jesmond Dene House, Newcastle Upon Tyne

Shimmying up a tier, it was scone time. A cheese scone which I slathered in butter, standard. I have to admit, it was pretty damn delicious, once of the best I've tasted. Next was a plain scone served with clotted cream and a choice of raspberry or strawberry jam (cream then jam, I'll fight anyone that says otherwise) then another festive addition, a fresh baked hot crossed bun. Hawt damn, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. May I add, the little nuggets of sugar on top were a revelation. Can all hot crossed buns have these in future? I'll start a campaign.

Afternoon Tea Jesmond Dene House, Newcastle Upon Tyne

Afternoon Tea Jesmond Dene House, Newcastle Upon Tyne

Afternoon Tea Jesmond Dene House, Newcastle Upon Tyne

And now the part we've all been waiting for. The pièce de résistance, the cake tier *angelic music plays*. Ahh man, I can't even to begin to describe how delicious these little babes were.  I was faced with a dilemma, I knew I could only manage two at best relegating the other two to a box for later that evening. In the end I chose to eat the lime and raspberry macaron and the coconut and mango posset while saving the rhubarb crumble tart and chocolate mousse sable for when I got home and changed into my stretchy pants.

Afternoon Tea Jesmond Dene House, Newcastle Upon Tyne

Afternoon Tea Jesmond Dene House, Newcastle Upon Tyne

Afternoon Tea Jesmond Dene House, Newcastle Upon Tyne

Afternoon Tea Jesmond Dene House, Newcastle Upon Tyne

Afternoon Tea Jesmond Dene House, Newcastle Upon Tyne

Sadly it just started raining again as we left, scuppering any plans I had of rambling through the beautiful dene but trust me when I say, it's an incredible place for an afternoon stroll. 

As always, Jesmond Dene House have knocked it out of the park, I've never had anything less than a wonderful experience whenever I've dined with them and this was no exception.  In the infamous words of Arnie, I'll be back.

Afternoon Tea Jesmond Dene House, Newcastle Upon Tyne

Jesmond Dene House
Jesmond Dene Road
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE2 2EY
(0191) 212 3000
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Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake

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Moist, zingy and bright. This grapefruit olive oil cake is a delicious slice of sunshine on a plate.  Dip any left over candied grapefruit slices in chocolate for a delicious snack.


This cake is so moist and zingy it will last you up to a week, if you can leave it alone that long.

Can you believe it's finally Spring here in the UK. Although you can be forgiven for doubting it; it's still too cold to venture outside without a scarf and there's more snow warnings on the horizon, but it's gotta be over soon. Right?!  Even a staunch Winter lover like me is so over the chill, I'm ready for denim jackets, floaty dresses and dare I say, ditching the tights for bare legs. Oh me, oh my!


This cake is so moist and zingy it will last you up to a week, if you can leave it alone that long.





Growing up in my house, grapefruit was always considered a breakfast food. I used to love sitting down to half a grapefruit, sprinkled liberally with sugar. I even had a dedicated, serrated grapefruit spoon. I was a cool kid, what can I say. This means, in my eyes, grapefruit olive oil cake is perfectly acceptable as a breakfast food.  Cake for breakfast guys, I found a loophole!

This cake is so moist and zingy it will last you up to a week, if you can leave it alone that long.


Since the weather is refusing to play ball I thought I'd create a little slice of sunshine right here in my kitchen.  It's hard to be sad when you're oven is pumping out the warm, citrus scents of this grapefruit olive oil cake.  Plus you get to feel like a real life Willy Wonker candying up some grapefruit slices, just make sure you're careful and don't let any kids in the kitchen, sugar gets real hot y'all.

This cake is so moist and zingy it will last you up to a week, if you can leave it alone that long.

Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake


Ingredients:
  • For the Candied Grapefruit :
  • 1 small grapefruit, sliced into rounds
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 150ml water

  • For the Cake:
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 225g self raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 175ml olive oil
  • 55g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 grapefruit, zested and juiced
  • 4 large, free range eggs
  • 250ml soured cream

  • For the Glaze:
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 2-3tbsp of the grapefruit juice from above
Cooking Directions:
  1. First make your candied grapefruit. Fill a large bowl with cold water and a handful of ice cubes and set aside. Fill a large saucepan 3/4 with water and bring to the boil. Once at a rolling boil lower in the grapefruit slices and simmer for 1 minute. Remove the slices to the ice water to cool down.

  2. In the same (empty) pan add the 150ml water and sugar and bring to a simmer, stir until the sugar has dissolved. Place the boiled grapefruit slices into the sugar water and simmer for 1 hour. Place each slice on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper and allow to cool completely.

  3. Preheat the oven to 175C and grease and line a loaf tin.

  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the sugar and grapefruit zest, mix until fragrant. While the motor is still running on the lowest speed add in the melted butter, olive oil, eggs and soured cream. Add in the flour and baking powder and mix until combined.

  5. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 50-60 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin before removing to a wire rack with a sheet of baking paper underneath.

  6. To make the glaze combine the icing sugar with the grapefruit juice in a large bowl. Add the juice a little at a time until you get a thick, pourable consistency. If it's too thick, add a little more juice. If it's too thin, add a little more icing sugar.

  7. Pour the glaze over the cake, allow to set for 10 minutes then decorate with the candied grapefruit slices.
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Blue Cheese and Chilli Stuffed Chicken Thighs

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These blue cheese and chilli stuffed chicken thighs are the ultimate weekend lunch dish. This one pan recipe is super simple to throw together without scrimping on taste.  Serve with some roasted new potatoes for a decadent treat.

These blue cheese and chilli stuffed chicken thighs are the ultimate weekend lunch dish. This one pan recipe is super simple to throw together without scrimping on taste.  Serve with some roasted new potatoes for a decadent treat.

Aren't one pan meals the best! You just throw everything in a pan, shove it in the oven and hey presto, you've got yourself a meal. OK, I'm over simplifying here, this recipe does involve a little bit of hands on action but it's so quick you'd hardly even notice you're doing it. Just pop on some music and enjoy stuffing those thighs. Singing at the top of your lungs is a bonus for you, and your neighbours. 

These blue cheese and chilli stuffed chicken thighs are the ultimate weekend lunch dish. This one pan recipe is super simple to throw together without scrimping on taste.  Serve with some roasted new potatoes for a decadent treat.

These blue cheese and chilli stuffed chicken thighs are the ultimate weekend lunch dish. This one pan recipe is super simple to throw together without scrimping on taste.  Serve with some roasted new potatoes for a decadent treat.

I love to serve this dish with roasted new potatoes but it would be equally delicious alongside a crisp green salad. Just make sure you save those cooking juices for drizzling, that's some good flavour right there. 

These blue cheese and chilli stuffed chicken thighs are the ultimate weekend lunch dish. This one pan recipe is super simple to throw together without scrimping on taste.  Serve with some roasted new potatoes for a decadent treat.

Blue Cheese and Chilli Stuffed Chicken Thighs


Ingredients:
  • 150g mascarpone
  • 50g soft blue cheese
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1tsp thyme leaves, chopped
  • 4 free range, skin on chicken thighs
  • 50ml dry white wine
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 150g tenderstem broccoli
Cooking Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan. In a large bowl mash the mascarpone, blue cheese, chilli, garlic and thyme together with a fork. Season and set aside.
  2. Using your fingers, very gently separate the chicken skin from the meat then fill these little pockets with a heaping tablespoon of the cheesy stuffing. Press it into all the nooks and crannies before filling the remaining thighs. Place the stuffed thighs into a small baking dish, skin side up and pour in the wine. Drizzle the thighs with the olive oil and give them a little rub. Season the top of the chicken and roast for 30 minutes then place the tenderstem broccoli around the thighs before roasting for a further 20 minutes until the skins are crispy and the chicken is cooked through.
  3. Serve with roasted new potatoes or a crisp, green salad and drizzled with the cooking juices.
(adapted from Delicious Magazine)

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