Jesmond Dene has all the trappings of a modern country house hotel – but transplanted into a prosperous city suburb. Originally Georgian, the building was extended in Victorian times and now features gorgeous public rooms, a cocktail bar and summer terrace, as well as an elegant restaurant. The cooking is smart, modern, cosmopolitan and seasonal, taking in the likes of Northumberland venison carpaccio with pickled plums, beetroot and horseradish or North Sea halibut accompanied by black garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, crosnes and purple sprouting broccoli, while a rich chocolate and salted caramel sphere with peanut ice cream rounds things off admirably. In a nod to dressed-down informality, the hotel now offers a flexible daytime menu embracing everything from Craster kippers with seaweed butter, croque monsieur or steak and chips to doughnuts and macarons (no bookings required, and you can eat anywhere you like). One of Newcastle’s very best.