1 Overview

By Francis Anderson,2014-07-11 10:10
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1 Overview ...

1: Overview

    2: People

    3: Background

    4: Bedrooms

    5: Food

    6: Private Dining & Business

    7: Special Events 8: Garden

    9: Art

1: Overview

    A conversion of one of Newcastle‟s finest residential buildings, Jesmond Dene House is an independently owned hotel set in a leafy area of the city five minutes to the north of the centre and 15 minutes from Newcastle International Airport. Overlooking the small wooded valley of Jesmond Dene, the historically rich Arts and Crafts mansion (Grade ll Listed) combines a wealth of original details with a modern sense of comfort. The hotel is driven as much by the quality of its food as the quality of its bedrooms.


    40 bedrooms

    AA 4 star rating

    Restaurant with Garden Room and Terrace

    Cocktail Bar

    Billiard Room lounge

    Great Hall and Reception Rooms

     (can also be hired privately for meetings and dining)

    3 individual rooms for private hire:

     3 for private dining

     2 for meetings

    Contemporary style garden

    On-site parking

    75 full-time staff, 25 part-time staff


    Jesmond Dene House

    Jesmond Dene Road

    Newcastle upon Tyne

    NE2 2EY

+44 (0)191 212 3000 Press enquiries:

    Nicky Sherman, Marketing Manager

    Tel: 0191 212 3000


    Eric Kortenbach, General Manager

    Tel: 0191 212 3000


2: People

    Terry Laybourne, co-owner and director

    Born in the north-east and trained as a chef in European restaurants, Terry returned to Newcastle in 1980 as Head Chef of the Fisherman‟s Lodge turning it into the region‟s finest fish restaurant. In 1988, he opened 21 Queen Street, on Newcastle‟s Quayside, winning a Michelin

    star three years later, a first for the region. Further restaurants followed, including Bistro 21 in Durham in 1996 and Café Live in Newcastle in 2002, while 21 Queen Street was refurbished as the more relaxed yet stylish Café 21 in 2000.

    While expanding his restaurant group, Terry was also looking for a suitable property to convert into a small, luxury hotel. Finding the right building - with the right location, character and potential - wasn‟t easy. It also needed the space for the extensive kitchens necessary to

    service both a restaurant and private dining rooms. He rejected several before Jesmond Dene House won him over. The hotel, which opened in September 2005, is owned by four directors. Never one to do one job if he can do several, just two years after the hotel opened, Terry opened Café 21 at Fenwick in Newcastle, moved the original Café 21 to Trinity Gardens, closed Café Live and opened the Italian-style Caffè Vivo.. A consultant chef to several organisations, he is a passionate advocate of the artisan regional food producer whom he celebrates in his book, „Quest for Taste‟,

Peter Candler, co-owner and director

    After 12 years working for a Californian engineering company, managing large-scale projects in the Middle East and Far East - including building airports in featureless deserts - Peter returned to his native north-east to set up Rivergreen, a property development company in Durham.

    Despite launching at the start of a property slump - in 1991 - the business survived by picking and choosing its projects carefully. Rivergreen has made a particular name for itself by rescuing and sensitively refurbishing Listed buildings and properties that do not have an

    st century. Examples include a Victorian pumping station obvious commercial use in the 21

    th(turned into four houses), a bonded warehouse (made into offices) and a vandalised 18

    century country villa (now offices and a restaurant). It was through the latter - Aykley Heads House, Durham - that Peter met Terry Laybourne when Terry chose it as the site for his restaurant, Bistro 21. Together, they hatched the idea, one day, to launch a small luxury hotel…

    Rivergreen has also championed strong environmental principles in its developments: sourcing local or sustainable products; reducing CO2 emissions; minimising energy costs; using solar energy; harvesting rainwater; maximising biodiversity. A good example is its own headquarters, completed in 2006, on the outskirts of Durham. The quality of its work has been recognised by RIBA, English Heritage and the Civic Trust, amongst others.

Eric Kortenbach, general manager

    Fluent in three languages - Dutch, German, English - Eric brings an international flair to the management team. After a degree in hotel management in his native Holland, in 1988 he moved to London, taking on successive roles in conference and banqueting at The Strand Palace, The New Connaught Rooms and the five star Grosvenor House Hotel. In 1998, after three years as Deputy Director at the latter, he decided it was time to move into broader areas of hotel management.

    As luck would have it, a Dutch contact in the idyllic southern Caribbean island of Curacao happened to know the job of Deputy General Manager of the four star, 100-room Avila Beach Hotel was up for grabs. With its beach-side position, family-friendly feel, discreet luxury - a favourite of the Dutch Royal family - it was the perfect contrast to Eric‟s previous work.

    Unsurprisingly, his young family agreed. From here, he became General Manager of the Floris Suite Hotel, an all-suite, Design Hotel with numerous leisure and dining venues and overlooking the island‟s Piscadera Bay.

    After seven years of sunshine, Eric wanted a fresh challenge and looked to the States and Europe. The idea of running a newly created and independently owned hotel, with the chance to influence its growth and image, made Jesmond Dene House an attractive proposition.

    Arriving shortly after the hotel opened in 2005, the warmth and enthusiasm of the people, and their determination to create a quality product, he says, easily make up for less predictable weather. His family even support Newcastle United.

Pierre Rigothier, head chef

    As a teenage boy growing up in Bordeaux, France, Pierre had an unusual hobby - collecting recipes from the French glossy women‟s magazine, „Elle‟. It was this fascination, however,

    together with watching his mother and grandmother cook, that proved the launch-pad for a career that has whisked him through a succession of Michelin-starred kitchens. Having abandoned ideas of becoming a Formula 1 racing car driver, Pierre studied at catering college before spending six years climbing the kitchen ladder of Parisian restaurants: the Ritz Hotel‟s Michelin-starred L‟Espadon followed by Restaurant Laurent and Les Élysées at Hotel

    Vernet, both two Michelin-starred. Working under such chefs as Alain Pegouret and Eric Briffard - both of whom had trained with the acclaimed Joël Robuchon - Pierre learnt the discipline, quality and perfectionism of classical French cuisine.

    In 2006, he moved to the one Michelin-starred The Greenhouse in London‟s Mayfair as Senior

    Sous Chef. Under another Frenchman, Antonin Bonnet, he acquired a more modern style and was rapidly promoted to Executive Sous Chef. After two years, Pierre wanted a fresh challenge and needed little persuasion to take on the Head Chef role at Jesmond Dene House in January 2008, aged 29. Here, he has the freedom to make his own mark in an ambitious kitchen drawing on all the best aspects of the quality restaurants in which he has worked. Pierre describes his style as classical but with a light, elegant and modern touch and with a passionate attention to detail. “I want to take classic French dishes and make them more modern, more sexy. I will still use the classic techniques but bring a little twist, something that catches the eye as well as pleases the palate. I like to play with colours and textures. But I can‟t do it on my own. I want to build a team around me, like a family, who are as keen to achieve as I am.”

Nicky Sherman, marketing manager

    Nicky has over 20 years‟ experience in hotels, conference organisation and event management. She began her career at Gosforth Park, at the time one of the top conference hotels in the UK (now Newcastle Marriott Gosforth Park) before leaving the north-east to work for five years for conference agencies in Coventry and Manchester. She returned to the city to join the brand new, privately-owned Vermont Hotel on Newcastle‟s fashionable Quayside, working her way up

    to General Manager of this four star hotel.

    After five years, she moved to become Director of Sales and Marketing at De Vere Slaley Hall, another four star hotel (with spa and championship golf course), near Hexham in Northumberland. Six years later, and keen to return to a smaller, independently owned hotel - and with the added challenge of creating a hotel from scratch - she joined Jesmond Dene House as Marketing Manager. Nicky was the hotel‟s first member of staff and has fond memories of working from a cramped office in the old stable block while the conversion work was completed.

3: Background

    The original house was Georgian, designed for a local doctor in 1822 by John Dobson who was responsible for many of Newcastle‟s handsome streets. However, little of that house remains.

    When it was bought in 1871 by Captain Andrew Noble, a partner in Lord Armstrong‟s Tyneside-

    based shipbuilding and armaments business, it was rapidly extended to accommodate Noble‟s growing family (six children) and business aspirations. Armstrong was the great Victorian inventor and engineer whose company (now part of Vickers plc and still on Tyneside) supplied armed forces throughout the world, including those of Japan, Italy, Spain and South America as well as Britain.

    Noble commissioned the Arts and Crafts architect Norman Shaw (who was working on Armstrong‟s country property, Cragside) to add a drawing room and library (now the ground floor bedrooms and private dining room) plus the grand staircase and a sweep of bedrooms. Ten years later, in the 1880s, with Armstrong retired from active management of the business, Noble needed a grander house for business entertaining. Shaw was called back to add the Billiard Room and dining room (now the Cocktail Bar) and the beautiful plasterwork ceiling in the music room (now the Restaurant). In 1897, in a final flourish, local architect Frank Rich added the boldest conceit: an entire new wing, including the Great Hall with its minstrels‟ gallery, and a fleet of bedrooms above.

    Most of the interior features dating from the late 19

    th century house can still be seen including

    vast inglenook fireplaces in the downstairs rooms, William de Morgan tiling in the Cocktail Bar, Frosterley black marble columns in the Billiard Room, stained glass windows, and the oak

    flooring and panelling throughout the ground floor.

    Knighted in 1902, Sir Andrew Noble moved in high society; Rudyard Kipling, Lord Baden-

    Powell, Admiral Togo, Chinese ministers and Japanese princes have all stayed or dined here.

    After Sir Andrew‟s widow died, in 1929, the house was variously used as a college, Civil

    Defence establishment (tunnels still exist under the house), seminary and, until recently, as a residential school. Bought by chef restaurateur Terry Laybourne, property developer Peter

    Candler plus two other private individuals, it took 18 months to convert the empty building to a hotel which opened in 2005.

4: Bedrooms

    None of the 40 bedrooms and suites is the same. As the hotel is a conversion of a historic house, rooms have been designed to retain original proportions and to preserve architectural features - including fireplaces, timbered ceilings, window seats, bay windows and roof terraces. Even the eight rooms in the New House (a modern interpretation of the Arts and Crafts style) are individual in size and shape.

    Their style is sleek, understated and uncluttered with shots of colour - pink, aubergine, turquoise - set against a soft, muted background. Furniture is custom-made walnut while accent walls of bold wallpaper, silk and velvet fabrics, silky-soft throws plus padded suede and leather headboards add warmth and richness. Bed linen is Egyptian cotton piqué, pillows are goose and duck down.

    Bathrooms have a crisp, clean functionalism and most have natural light. Floors and walls are tiled in pale creams, greys and taupes. There are polished granite shelves, frosted glass light shades and underfloor heating. Toiletries are Arran Aromatics.

    Several rooms are interconnecting or adjoining and can be adapted for families. Two are disabled accessible.

    All rooms contain: flat screen LCD television, cd/dvd player, digital radio, broadband access, desk space, mini bar, safe, bathrobes and slippers, iron and ironing board, tea and coffee tray, fresh fruit, bottled water and complimentary daily newspaper.

    Room grades:

    Single room (6): standard double bed. Mostly shower-only; two have bath with shower. Small double room (8): standard double bed. Mixture of shower-only and bath with shower. Double room (8): standard double bed or Super King/twin beds. Mixture of bath plus separate shower, bath with shower, shower-only. One has roof terrace.

    Deluxe double room (10): large double bed or Super King bed/twin beds. Mixture of bath plus separate shower, bath with shower, shower-only. Two in New House.

    Junior suite (6): New House. Large rooms with sitting area. Large double bed or Super King/twin beds. Mixture of bath plus separate shower, bath with shower, shower-only. The Noble Suite: Large loft room with sloping ceiling. Super King bed, spacious sitting area, roof terrace. Separate shower and bath.

    The Apartment: Large loft room with sloping ceiling, private staircase. Large double bed, spacious sitting area, roof terrace. Separate double shower and bath.


    Single: ?160

    Small Double: ?170

    Double: ?195

    Deluxe Double: ?225

    Junior Suite: ?275

    Noble Suite: ?325

    The Apartment: ?395

    Prices are room only. Special offers and accommodation packages are available throughout the year.

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