Hotel du Vin
Amidst the cobbled streets in the heart of the city of Cambridge, you’ll discover Hotel du Vin. In keeping with its historic setting, the beautiful medieval building has kept many of its quirky architectural features – the hotel itself was fashioned from a row of five Grade II listed, ex-university houses. While much of the original character has been carefully retained, the decor throughout is contemporary but classic in design – think reclaimed dark-stained floorboards, restored fireplaces, framed pictures and comfortable seating.
When it comes to drinking and dining, the theme of elegance continues. The candlelit labyrinthine basement bar is ideal for kicking back with a drink in hand, while wine tasting in the Pembrook and Trinity snugs offers a wide choice of carefully selected bottles for all tastes and pockets. An evening here would be incomplete without sampling some wine, and an expert sommelier will be on-hand to guide you through the extensive list. Meanwhile, the contemporary ground-floor French-style Bistro du Vin, complete with mood-enhancing lighting, is chic, vibrant and relaxed. Dining rooms don’t come much more atmospheric than this.
As for the food, the menu is inspired by French home-style cooking. Fresh local ingredients take centre stage in a host of seasonal, sensibly priced dishes. Guests might like to start with a classic – moules du vin marinières or scallops ceviche would be a fine way to begin. Comforting main courses include 28-day-dry-aged steak-frites, canard and boudin noir saucisson, and sweetcorn and courgette cakes, all of which are expertly executed. Homemade desserts are quite simply irresistible – finish with a flourish by choosing the sea salt caramel fondant or maxi rhum baba.
If you’re looking to make a night of it, stay in one of the 41 timelessly styled bedrooms and gorgeous suites featuring hand-sprung mattresses, fine Egyptian linen and deep baths. Some even boast private terraces. Whether you’re drinking, dining or staying the night, Hotel du Vin promises a first-class experience without any of the pretence. Visit once and you’ll surely be back for more.