LUNCH IN DECEMBER
Not large but they’re certainly big on colour and surprises. They catch your eye whatever time of year you visit. It might be the palms, eucalyptus and banana trees by the terrace or the spring cherry blossom in the Japanese-themed section beside the Dene.
In early summer, vibrant tulips and big-headed alliums start to clamour for attention. Or you could be dazzled by the fiery, look-at-me colours of dahlias, roses and Oriental poppies.
Look carefully between the plants and you’ll discover herbs happily minding their business: lemon balm, salad burnet, borage, mint, chives, oregano… Wild strawberries, too. Apple trees flourish in the car park, blackberries along a fence, quince by the front door. Plus there’s a small kitchen garden beside the New House.
Alongside the hotel, there’s the grander, wilder garden of Jesmond Dene. A wooded valley of native and exotic trees, criss-crossed with paths and dotted with waterfalls and rustic bridges, the Dene is a quiet place to unwind with a walk or recharge the batteries with a jog.