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Hotel du Vin - Tunbridge Wells

Crescent Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 2LY

We hear a great deal about recycling these days - du Vin recycles attractive but sometimes un-loved buildings to restore real gems in the best tradition of British understated style. Complement that with all that is best in the French bistro ethos, bars that reach out to please, and you have a setting that provides an inspirational background for people to meet, do business, get married, provide a base for golf or fishing, somewhere you can call your own for a private celebration, a spa or - most engagingly - a wine school that breaks the mould. Think quintessential British style - elegant and unpretentious. Combine this with a great spirit, wit, and an unquestionable devotion to wine, and you have captured the essence of Hotel du Vin.

We hear a great deal about recycling these days - du Vin recycles attractive but sometimes un-loved buildings to restore real gems in the best tradition of British understated style.

Complement that with all that is best in the French bistro ethos, bars that reach out to please, and you have a setting that provides an inspirational background for people to meet, do business, get married, provide a base for golf or fishing, somewhere you can call your own for a private celebration, a spa or - most engagingly - a wine school that breaks the mould.

Think quintessential British style - elegant and unpretentious. Combine this with a great spirit, wit, and an unquestionable devotion to wine, and you have captured the essence of Hotel du Vin.

In Tunbridge Wells, du Vin has taken on one of the historic spa town's architectural landmarks, a Grade II-listed sandstone mansion built as a private residence in 1762. With infinite care they have sought to retain the historic detail of this fine building whilst adding the sort of comforts of which earlier generations were unable to take advantage.

Thirty four stylish bedrooms and suites all offer handsprung mattresses, and fine Egyptian linen; thirty rooms have deep baths and power showers, four have power showers only. High speed wireless internet access is available in all rooms. Guests can enjoy a game of boules, linger on over a meal at the Bistro or read a book with coffee in hand on the garden terrace that provides wonderful views of  Calverley Park.

The hallmark Bistro, so much an essential part of a Hotel du Vin, is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner, offering a menu that is rooted in classic European cuisine with a contemporary edge. Under Head Chef Jens Folkel the company philosophy of using the finest and freshest local produce cooked simply and priced sensibly is closely followed.

The same menu is deployed for lunch or dinner, starting with a choice of nine dishes or more that could include smoked eel with black pudding, apple and cinnamon purée, foie gras and duck liver terrine, dressed crab with quail egg and Melba toast or seared diver scallops with slow braised oxtail. From amongst the simple classics those who dare may select the herring cooked in Russian style or perhaps the goats' cheese and thyme cannelloni, pesto. The classics choices extend into main courses; in particular keep an eye open in season for the crêpes filled with mussels and cockles, one of the finest dishes nature provides.

Other main courses might centre round the pan fried whole lemon sole, brown shrimp and caper beurre noisette or roast rump of lamb with crushed roast potatoes and savoy cabbage. A splendid range of side dishes includes roast beetroot, fat cut chips, green beans and mashed potatoes.

Whilst one might argue that the whole point of being in a du Vin is to snuggle up to the wine list, this list is designed to march with the food and can only be described as superb. With a team of three sommeliers, headed here by Maxime, there is no room for anything but the best. Indeed I would go further and say that for the wine list alone a visit to a Hotel du Vin is more than worth while. Service is telepathic in the best possible sense.

Click on their Website for full information and rates. Hotel du Vin, with fourteen options throughout Britain, awaits your call.

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Bistro, French, Modern European

: 12:00 - 14:00 19:00 - 22:00
: 12:00 - 14:00 18:00 - 22:30
: 12:30 - 14:30 18:00 - 22:30
: 12:30 - 14:30 19:00 - 22:00

0844 567 2483

Click here to visit

Crescent Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 2LY [Map]

£25.00    £35.00

£10.95 (1 course + glass of wine followed by coffee)

£40 (3 courses incl coffee)

(Avg Price is the average cost per person for two courses, coffee, half a bottle of house wine and tip/service)

REVIEWS OF Hotel du Vin - Tunbridge Wells

Chris Reeves (9 September 2009)

We have enjoyed several meals at Hote du Vin in Tunbridge Wells, usually for family celebrations. On each occasion the food has and service has been good to excellent, with a menu particularly strong on meat dishes. The wine list can be relied on - you can buy more to take home if you find a particular favourite. I'm sorry that an earlier correspondent had a poor experience - I can only recount a time when our booking was misplaced, which was corrected by a genuine apology and two glasses of champagne on our table from the restaurant manager.

Mrs K Tunnel (12 July 2006)

We booked a table for our wedding anniversary, but only to find when we arrived they had no reservation! The staff were not particularly welcoming and we were shoved on a table in the corner.

The food was ok, nothing bad to report, but as for service? What service? I have to say waiting hour between starter and main, and then 45 minutes between main and dessert, my husband and I left the Bistro feeling somewhat let down. I wouldn't recommend any of my friends to eat here, as I feel they wouldn't stay my friends!

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