Home Hotel reviews An unscheduled stay at Hotel du Vin Bristol

An unscheduled stay at Hotel du Vin Bristol

by Sarah Bridge
hotel du vin bristol

A stay at Hotel du Vin Bristol

With every cloud there comes a silver lining and the missing of a flight meant an unexpected overnight stay at Hotel du Vin Bristol.

Hotel du Vin Bristol bar

Hotel du Vin Bristol is sited in an former 18th century sugar house where sugar was refined

I’d long been aware of the Hotel du Vin group founded by Gerard Basset and Robin Hutson back in 1994 (they had met while working for the excellent Chewton Glen, one of my first reviews for ALadyofLeisure.com and still a firm favourite).

Get my free email with offers and updates!

Sign up to receive my monthly email full of news, offers and brand new reviews!

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Hutson has since gone on to found the Pig hotels chain, so I should have got round checking out Hotel du Vin much sooner. However I had my doubts, as the chain was sold, first to Malmaison and then to private equity outfit Frasier Hospitality, so I had thought it might be a touch corporate and soulless now.

Hotel du Vin Bristol restaurant

Hotel du Vin Bristol has an impressive restaurant and takes its food and wine very seriously

Arriving at Hotel du Vin Bristol

Thankfully judging by my experience at Hotel du Vin Bristol at least, that doesn’t seem to be the case. A ten minute taxi ride from the station and we were dropped at its pretty courtyard entrance.

A sign marked the site of Bristol’s last remaining sugar house, a legacy of the city’s years as a trade centre and Britain’s second city, when instead of the road there would have a river crowded with boats unloading their goods for refinement and distribution.

Looking for hotels with Michelin star restaurants?

The perfect gourmet break at Northcote hotel Lancashire
Hambleton Hall, Rutland: Michelin star dining luxury
Whatley Manor, Wiltshire: a Cotswolds gem
Ynyshir restaurant and rooms, Wales

Top class food at Hampton Manor, West Midlands
Relaxing in the Lake District with Gilpin Hotel and Lake House

9 great hotels with Michelin-starred restaurants

This sugar refinery was built in 1728 and operated until 1831, becoming a warehouse and then lying derelict for years until being sympathetically restored, opening as a Hotel du Vin in the now Grade 2-listed building in 1999.

The inside of the hotel is like a cosy rabbit-warren due to being made up of several buildings knocked together over the years, and in keeping with the wine theme, each room is called after a different type of wine, with a little glass case containing a bottle outside each door.

Hotel du Vin Bristol bedrooms

Our room was the Veuve Clicquot room and the champagne theme was continued inside, with the distinctive yellow-labelled champagne bottles decorating almost every surface.

Hotel du Vin Bristol review

Each room is named after a different brand of wine, such as English winemaker Chapel Down

The room was much larger than I’d been expecting, with high ceilings and a mezzanine level.

Book Hotel du Vin Bristol

Visit Hotel du Vin on Tripadvisor

Downstairs was a vast king-sized bed, an en suite loo and separate lounge area containing a Chesterfield-style sofa and a desk, while on the open balcony was not one but two baths, a walk-in shower and yet more Veuve Clicquot bottles.

Veuve Clicquot room at Hotel du Vin Bristol

The lower level of our bedroom at Hotel du Vin Bristol, complete with Veuve Clicquot-themed wall

A very romantic evening could be spent drinking fizz in the bath while your partner did the same in the neighbouring bath, but as I was with a friend rather than a partner it seemed more appropriate to take turns while the other one watched TV from the bedroom level.

twin baths at the Veuve Clicquot room in Hotel du Vin Bristol

Our mezzanine balcony with twin baths and a champagne bucket in the middle

Hotel du Vin Bristol restaurant

Dinner was also an unexpected treat. The Hotel du Vin Bristol restaurant pulled off the difficult trick of being large but cosy.

The menu was a well-thought out French-themed range of everything from bar snacks and salads to Chateaubriand and venison pie and had a detailed description of where all the meat, fish and cheese had come from on the reverse.

Hotel du Vin Bristol restaurant

The restaurant had a wide-ranging menu and showed clearly where all the food was sourced from

We had smoked salmon and roasted tiger prawns to start with Devon crab cake and Bouillabaisse fish stew to follow. All the food was excellent in taste and presentation (although I could have done with a soupier Bouillabaisse) and accompanied with a very good wine from McClaren Vale as recommended by the sommelier.

Hotel du Vin Bristol smoked salmon with soft-boiled quails eggs

Severn and Wye Valley smoked salmon with soft-boiled quails eggs, shallots, capers and cornichons

Hotel du Vin Bristol Bouillabaisse

Bouillabaisse, a traditional Provencal fish stew with red mullet, monkfish, bream and king prawn

There was a decent buzz to the place too, with fellow diners being a good mix of hotel guests, locals, friends, businessmen and couples having a romantic evening (maybe they should have had our double-bath balcony).

Breakfast was plentiful and livened both by cute milk jug cows and by the appearance of comedian John Bishop at the next table. We finally headed off to the airport – 24 hours later than planned but very much the better for our impromptu Bristol hotel stay.

Hotel information and to book Hotel du Vin Bristol

Hotel du Vin Bristol
The Sugar House
Narrow Lewins Mead
Bristol, NS1 2NU
0117 925 5577

Rooms from £119 a night

Book Hotel du Vin Bristol

Visit Hotel du Vin on Tripadvisor

Looking for hotels in the South West of England?

The Headland hotel, Cornwall: seaside luxury in the heart of Newquay
The Pig near Bath: a heavenly, foodie, country retreat
Lucknam Park hotel near Bath: my Palladian mansion for the night
Cornish spa delight at Mullion Cove hotel, Lizard Peninsula
A romantic seaside stay at Cary Arms and spa
Seaside views at Thurlestone hotel and spa
Lodges and luxury at Bovey Castle hotel and spa
Grand but friendly Lewtrenchard Manor
Huntsham Court: exclusive use country living

You may also like