A Sparkling Stay At Hotel Du Vin

Issue 98

After an incredibly busy year it was great to kick off a lengthy Christmas break with a visit to the Hotel Du Vin in Newcastle.

This has been a firm favourite in recent years after enjoying our 30th anniversary meal there in 2022 and leaving so impressed, we booked in for the full overnight stay experience.

This ‘hat trick’ of visits certainly didn’t disappoint.

The hotel lies atop the Ouseburn, an impressively refurbished Edwardian building which was originally home to the Tyne Tees Steam Ship company, combining the boutique feel of a smaller hotel with the amenities of one much larger.

From the exterior, the hotel boasts breath-taking, panoramic views of Newcastle’s Quayside while inside is a neat fusion of its maritime heritage and wine-themed bric-a-brac.

Hotel du Vin translates literally as “Hotel of Wine” (or so my French teacher daughter tells me) which provides a classy theme to a hotel chain with real character.

Hotel du Vin doesn’t have the big soulless hotel feel many places do. This is full of charm and character, a building keeping in with its history and tradition. It’s personal and warm from check-in to checkout.

We stayed in the sumptuous Villa Marie suite, with large window offering views out over the courtyard and towards the Tyne. The large bathroom, with sunken bath and rain shower, was put to good use after a morning run. All the facilities you need are at hand, with Nespresso coffee machine and flat screen TVs.

Following drinks – a healthy menu of champagne cocktails are available in the leather-bound bar area – we dined regally in Bistro du Vin, the hotel’s in-house eatery offering a mix of classic French and international dishes and a wine-led experience.

Winter was really kicking in on a bitingly cold Newcastle night. Thorough, solid warming food was the order of the day from the a la carte menu. After nibbling on olives and fat hunks of sourdough, I kicked off with tiger prawns with Chilli, garlic and pastis butter whilst Lisa chose the Severn & Wye smoked salmon with treacle soda bread and fromage blanc.

Following on, fillet au poivre arrived, 21 day aged, bathing in peppercorn sauce – my all time favourite. Accompanied by pommes frites, this was melt-in-the-mouth fayre befitting of the most tender of cuts.

Across the table, Lisa chose chicken chasseure with spatzle noodles, braised normandy chicken, mushrooms, tomato and baby onions with traditional fried pasta which she proclaimed hearty and delicious.

Lisa enjoyed a crisp glass of white to accompany whilst I complemented my steak with a warming glass of Malbec – each cherry-picked by our super-knowledgeable sommelier.

As is so often the case after such a fine meal, desserts were tempting, so we rounded off in style with an apple tarte tatin in addition to a selection of French artisan cheeses.

We then adjourned to the comfortable lounge for coffee and liquers so pleased that the Hotel Du Vin hasretained its previous benchmark of excellence.

We have already discussed returning soon to sample the Taste du Vin menu where each course is expertly paired by their group sommelier with a glass of wine to complement each dish. Watch this space. Admittedly, this wasn’t our first stay at Hotel du Vin, but this visit was a particularly good vintage.

For more information, visit www.hotelduvin.com

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