Trying The Seasonal Menu At Fern, Jesmond Dene House

Jesmond Dene House is always a favourite especially for an occasion, and during lockdowns last year they took advantage of the down time to spruce up their dining room. While we couldn’t visit, they transformed it into a new concept and named it Fern. I was recently invited to go along and try the new seasonal menu and experience Fern for myself.

Disclaimer: We received a complimentary meal in exchange for an honest review. 

I’ve had some great meals there in the past, both with Kieran and my family for Mother’s Day or birthdays. What I’ve always liked is the care they show the entire experience and across all the staff. 

This visit was no exception, and after following along both Jesmond Dene House Instagram and Danny Parker, I knew they’d been putting a lot of effort into this new menu. Autumn winter menus are my favourite, for good hearty food and some of the dishes sounded fabulous. 

We visited on that really warm Wednesday a couple of weeks ago, so we went up early for a drink on the terrace. It was packed! So busy there were no spare tables outside so we sat in the bar instead, and I had one of the gin cocktails while we people watched. It took a while to choose – the cocktail menu is bigger than I realised.

The whole place was buzzing, it was busy with hotel guests and people coming for food for the evening. So nice to see after all the effort they put in during lockdowns on takeaway afternoon teas to keep the place going.

We were given the menus to look at over our drinks, a big selection that leaves you a bit torn between a few. Starters had everything from terrine of Yorkshire game, Mushroom and Black Truffle Soup, to Beef Carpaccio, fish cakes and mussels. 

We argued over who could have the fish cakes because we don’t really like to get the same things, so on the condition I could still try them, I went for the mussels in a mustard, saffron and garlic sauce instead. Served with warm focaccia my favourite, they were delicious and I mopped up the leftover sauce with the bread – obviously. 

Fern at Jesmond Dene HousePIN IT

Kieran really enjoyed his fishcakes and he also joined in with the sauce mopping from mine at the end. 

For mains neither of us were budging so we did end up getting the same thing – the braised feather blade of beef with chips and tender stem broccoli. Such an autumn winter dish and I have no regrets, it was very good. The beef just fell apart, the broccolis were cooked to perfection and you just can’t beat fat chips.

Other dishes on this menu include grilled calves liver, turbot on the bone, herb fed chicken schnitzel, North Sea hake and a lot more. There’s always a really good range and the descriptions make you want them all. Have a look at the full menu here.

I’d also recommend following Jesmond Dene house and Danny Parker on Instagram as they share all the new creations, their pics are much better than mine as it was getting dark by this point. You’ll also see how much effort goes into it all.

We had room for desert just about, so I had creme brûlée and Kieran got himself the cheese board to go with our red wine. 

Now let’s talk about service, because the hospitality sector has been hit so hard by Covid, and a few people messaged me to ask how it was. I think like so many places they’d seen the struggle for staff and recruitment opportunities for in the kitchen.

I can honestly say the service was great, there were no delays, or issues and the restaurant was packed. They definitely weren’t holding tables back all of them were full and there were plenty staff in both the bar and the restaurant. Two in particular stood out so much I emailed to feedback how good they were – and I never do that! 

All in all the new autumn winter menu at Fern, Jesmond Dene House didn’t disappoint at all. A really good evening as is always the case there. I’m looking forward to visiting again for a wedding literally next week. 

If you’re keen to visit, or choose it for a Christmas get together with friends, or any other occasion over the coming months you really will enjoy it. Just get booked up early as I know they’re getting dates filled fast. 

See the full Jesmond Dene House a la carte menu here, and you can book on their website here

Disclaimer: We received a complimentary meal in exchange for an honest review. 


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