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Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Lunch at Hotel du Vin

Last week I was fortunate enough to receive a truly irresistible invitation. Emily from Bristol Bites asked if I would like to go for lunch at Hotel du Vin.  How could I say no? I pass Hotel du Vin every day on the way to work and have heard excellent things from a few friends, but I have never actually been in myself.

It was one of the nicest lunches I have had in a long while the restaurant itself is beautiful, lots of  wine bottles and pictures to catch your eye plus it is full of lovely natural light. 
Interior of Hotel du Vin
It took me a good long while to decide what to eat, that is the trouble with menu's that are packed with delicious options it takes me ages to pick something. Hotel du Vin has a very reasonable fixed rate lunch menu starting at £9.95 for one course, £12.95 for two and £14.95 for three. Perfect if you fancy a catch up or business meeting in a very wonderful setting you can view the lunch menu online here. On this occasion we decided to order from the main menu which you can also view here.

I chose the Chicken Liver Parfait, Toasted Brioche, Raisin Chutney, with the Duck Confit, Lentils du Puy for my main.
Hotel du Vin food
Chicken Liver Parfait
This was a truly delicious and indulgent starter. I am a huge fan of pâté and it's variants, it is always the first thing I pick up for when we go on a picnic, obviously followed by a super fresh baguette. The parfait was as smooth as silk and the raisin chutney was tart enough to cut through the richness. My only complaint was that the parfait size and the brioche piece didn't really match, luckily there was extra bread on the table for me to finish up the rest of the parfait. There was no way I was leaving any of this on my plate.

Hotel du Vin food
Duck Confit and Puy Lentils with Pancetta
Hotel du Vin Bristol food
Duck Confit, and the French feel of our table
My main was rich and hearty I've always wanted to try such a dish and I am very glad I now have. The flavour of the duck was smoky and satisfyingly melt in the mouth. We each had a bowl of Lyonnaise potatoes which was very nice but with such a filling main I could only manage about half of my side dish.

We were both pretty full after two such great courses but after a small pause we decided it would be wrong not to check out the dessert menu. Now had I not had such rich starter and mains I would have plumped for the cheese selection but I decided on my general fall back choice of crème brûlée because none of the other desserts tempted me much, I am much more of a savoury person after all.

Hotel du Vin Bristol food
Giant Crème Brûlée
Dessert was the biggest crème brûlée I think I have ever ordered it was simply enormous. The caramel top wasn't as hard as some crème brûlée's I've had but it didn't really matter because the dish was hot, comforting, smoothly creamy and full of vanilla pod seeds, very tasty. I actually couldn't finish it though it was  that massive. 

If you go to Hotel du Vin at any point to dine please make sure you check out their superb wine list it is immense and you'll be sure to get a glass of something that you really like. They are the knowledge so take advantage of the skilled sommeliers, we were fortunate enough to get a tour of the cellar from head sommelier Ben and it was magical.

Emily's review can now be found here. Here are a few teaser photos to start you off.

Hotel du Vin Bristol menu
Asparagus with Poached Egg, one of the Specials

Hotel du Vin Bristol Menu
As the guest of Bristol Bites this meal was free of charge but did not impact how I felt about the food in any way, I will not be censored after all, but you knew that anyway. Next blog may be on my trip to Leong's Legends a Taiwanese restaurant in China Town but have my special tasting trip to Filini at the Radisson Blu to cover and a possible second look at Cosmo's larger buffet offerings from Rich.


  1. Nice review! Definitely want to go back to try their special lunch menu soon - an absolute bargain considering it's Hotel du Vin!

  2. Thanks! I fancy going for an after work drink at some point but definitely the lunch menu. Looking forward to seeing your review!