The approach to Hotel Du Vin is certainly entrancing, you enter through a cobbled courtyard, peppered with fairy lights that gives instant medieval castle vibes.
Upon entering the restaurant, we were seated in the main bar which boasts high ceilings and gorgeous hanging chandeliers while our table was being prepared and offered a cocktail from the extensive menu. Both of us decided on an Amaretto Sour which was served in a coupe glass with a generous foamy head. This is one of the best I’ve tasted, perfectly balanced with the correct level of sweetness versus sour.
The staff are attentive without being overbearing and checked to see if we were happy with our drinks while offering some free nibbles. Once we had finished our drinks it was time to adjourn to the dining area. This room is also spacious and retains the formal relaxed energy.
My starter was pate with capers wrapped in pancetta with lightly toasted bread, my dining partner chose king prawns that were shell on, and swimming in a garlic butter with herbs and a dusting of fresh chilli. Both dishes were delicious and gone in minutes.
Next up, mains. We both opted for the ribeye steak with a red wine jus, glazed baby carrots and French peas. The steak cut like butter with hardly any fat and I have to say my favorite were the French peas. Sweet to the taste with crispy pancetta, cabbage and pickled onions minus the vinegar and a really delightful accompaniment that I’ve never tried before. We washed this down with a large glass of Du Vin’s own Malbec – glorious and full bodied and far too easy to drink.
Although we were both bursting, desserts were needed for research purposes. I, as always, am eternally seduced by Crème Brûlée and my partner chose Baked Alaska which is something you don’t find everyday. The Alaska was the highlight as our waiter set fire to it with the side of liquor which ignited effortlessly and cooked the meringue before our very eyes.
All the dishes served were perfectly executed and the service was outstanding. This venue is classy without being ostentatious and we both felt welcome and relaxed from the outset. With Christmas on the horizon Du Vin would be the perfect choice for any work parties as the Bistro is open to non residents. Book now. hotelduvin.com
Words by Samantha Harman