A few weeks ago I got to experience the famous Bistro du Vin Sunday Brunch at Hotel Du Vin, which sits right between the Jewellery Quarter and Snow Hill areas. My wonderful friend Flic gave me the lunch as a gift – she knows me well! – and we finally found the time to enjoy it one sunny spring Sunday.
The brunch itself is quite a feat, with 4 courses available. A seasonal soup course kicks things off, and we were given a bright, colourful pumpkin broth. It was fine, although looked more impressive than it tasted, and I’m not entirely convinced it’s as homemade as they’d like you to believe. Passable nonetheless, and joined by various types of rustic-looking bread.
The soup is followed by a visit to the ‘help yourself’ French Market Table situated in the next room. The choice of fresh seafood, dressed crab, cured meats, pates, salads and vegetables is vast, with a table reserved solely for artisan breads. I have to say, the pickled onions are mind blowing (weird but true) and the mackerel pate was beautiful; I enjoyed being able to build my own picky platter. So much so I went up a second time (sorry not sorry!)
The third course is your choice of Sunday lunch which includes traditional roasts (such as beef and chicken) and all come with a selection of seasonal veggies. Having been fairly greedy during the buffet course I decided to opt for something a little lighter, choosing the pan fried salmon main. My dining partner went for the haddock hash with poached eggs and was delighted.
Refusing to be beaten, we did manage to squeeze in a dessert. My banana bread and butter pudding lacked sweetness and was a little bland – I couldn’t taste much in the way of banana – and very heavy. Aware that it’s never the lightest sweet option, of course, but even by b&b pudding standards it was stodgy. I was quite jealous of the light pistachio ice cream my dining partner let me try, to be honest. The rum ice cream which came with this was delicious though.
Hotel Du Vin itself is a great establishment, and having stayed there for a wedding previously I know the rooms (the suites in particular) are decent. The staff are attentive and helpful without being intrusive; I personally hate being hovered over which happens in some of the other ‘nicer’ places to dine. There’s also a relaxing bar space next door which is ideal for a lazy Sunday with wine.
Be prepared to put some time aside to do this, by the way. We were there for over 2 hours, and a relaxed eating experience is very much the USP. If you’re in a rush I wouldn’t choose this brunch option, but if you’re looking for a filling, tasty lunch with good quality food you can’t go far wrong. Just be careful with ordering drinks, especially if you can’t see them on the drinks menu – it’s very much hotel prices and a single gin and tonic set me back about £8.
The Sunday Brunch costs £25pp and runs from 12pm-4pm.