Suite dreams

Sunday Express - - Puzzled? -

earthy grey soft fur­nish­ings. Boutique touches in­clude Egyp­tian cot­ton sheets, un­der-floor heat­ing in the bath­room and divine smelling Ar­ran Aro­mat­ics toi­letries. Our din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence be­gan in the cock­tail bar where we sat on plump so­fas and en­joyed a re­fresh­ing Cu­cum­ber & Elder­flower Collins with lash­ings of gin.

Fresh bread rolls came with unusual but ex­cel­lent sea­weed but­ter. The mouth-wa­ter­ing veni­son carpac­cio with horse­rad­ish was an ex­cel­lent starter and North Sea hal­ibut with black gar­lic and Jerusalem ar­ti­chokes was a per­fect choice for main. Dan, the som­me­lier, came up trumps, too, with a crisp, per­fectly chilled Assyr­tiko, a white whine from San­torini. Af­ter a brisk walk around the park, af­ter­noon tea in the Bil­liard Room is a well earned treat. We tucked into a tiered dis­play of good­ies in­clud­ing roast beef, rocket and horse­rad­ish sand­wiches, scones with jam and clot­ted cream and sticky tof­fee cheese­cake. De­li­cious! The River Ouse­burn runs through the wooded val­ley along­side the ho­tel splash­ing un­der or­na­men­tal bridges and tum­bling over water­falls.

On the west bank cast your eyes over the 12th-cen­tury ru­ins of St Mary’s Chapel. Once thought to house holy relics it is now a shrine where peo­ple come for quiet con­tem­pla­tion.

On Sun­day morn­ings Arm­strong Bridge, over­look­ing the Dene, is the lo­ca­tion for a lovely arts and crafts mar­ket sell­ing ev­ery­thing, from paint­ings and jew­ellery to wooden toys, all made lo­cally. Lord Baden-Pow­ell and Rud­yard Ki­pling were once guests when Jes­mond Dene House was the home of Sir An­drew Noble.

THE KNOWL­EDGE

Jes­mond Dene (0191 212 3000/ jes­mond­dene­house. co.uk) of­fers dou­bles from £160 per night, B&B

FAIRY­TALE SPOT: The Ouse­burn tum­bles through Jes­mond Dene

STYLISH STAY: Each suite is in­di­vid­u­ally de­signed

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