Hotel du Vin & Bistro
The grandeur and luxury of Hotel du Vin is well known. When presented with the opportunity to visit the hotel bistro in Bristol, I was delighted to discover a venue that far exceeded my great expectations. The bistro is housed at the forefront of the listed building, which we entered from the romantic courtyard space filled with soft twinkling lights and luscious potted plants. Stepping inside the bar, we were promptly greeted by smiling staff, and then led through to a high-ceilinged dining room filled with a courtly clientele of diners. Here we settled at a large round table dressed in sparkling tableware, and admired the aged furnishings and evocative paintings that line the walls.
With a Champagne cocktail in hand, we consulted a menu of authentic French dishes. I selected the plump scallops, artfully presented in their shells and dressed with lime juice, chilli and pomegranate seeds. My sister chose the tiger prawns roasted in rich buttery marinade and infused with anise spirit. Our sommelier Pablo selected a crisp and clean white wine from Italy to complement the seafood. To follow, my pan-fried lemon sole arrived with an aromatic and buttery topping of capers, and my companion relished a thick fillet of beef loin bursting with intense flavour at each bite. Side dishes of sautéed spinach and pommes frites offered a balance to the rich dishes.
Having taken our fill, we were politely excused to move out into the balmy courtyard. Under the recommendation of our expert sommelier, we rounded off the evening with a glass of premium Muscat and a deliciously sweet sherry.