I’ve lost count of the times James has had to tell me it’s pronounced ‘van’ not ‘vin’. I’ve been saying it wrong for so long now, my brain just can’t accept it. I’ll get there eventually but in the mean time if I start harping on to you about how great the food at Hotel Du Van is, I’m sure you’ll understand what I mean.
So last week James and I went along to a blogger’s evening at Hotel Du Vin in Cheltenham to sample their new menu, along with some cocktails and a tour around the hotel.
It was also a great chance to catch up with other local bloggers and actually meet some for the first time. It’s often a bit of a struggle trying to balance blogging events between Cheltenham and Bristol, as they both seem to be expanding and introducing new things all the time. I can barely keep up.
The event took place the day after the hottest day of the year so far, so we were able to enjoy some sunshine out on the terrace without overheating. There were little teapots of gin-based cocktails dotted around on all the tables that the barman had whipped up for us, along with cups and saucers.
Hotel Du Vin have also just started monthly Aperol Spritz socials, (something we need to add to the diary) which James and I were more than happy to sample.
After some mingling and a good measure of Aperol Spritz, a wide selection of the new Summer menu was piled high onto a buffet table for us to try. With us all being both bloggers and foodies, we all patiently waited as we each took photographs of the individual plates of food before diving in and enjoying a wonderful feast laid out by Hotel Du Vin.
We had a choice of salads, including Superfood and Nicoise salads.
Shelled tiger prawns, beautifully buttery.
Scallops ceviche, so fresh and went perfectly with a sprinkling of pomegranate.
Aubergine caponata with flatbreads. Full of flavour and added heat.
Great selection of meats on the Charcuterie boards. Along with pickled accompaniments. Onions pickled in balsamic are our new favourite thing.
And finally the pork, with a wonderfully sweet gravy and small crunchy round potatoes that I could not stop eating.
A treat for both the eyes and the mouth, with great flavours and beautiful presentation I could enjoy the food all over again. On this occasion I held back from second or third helpings and instead saved room for the desserts I had already eyed up before the main course. There were two on offer, a treacle tart with clotted cream and a lemon meringue-type-cheesecake.
We shared them both, which I often agree with, but after one mouthful of the lemon cheesecake James was going to have to accept he wouldn’t be getting much of it.
After we had all finished eating we were given a short tour of the hotel. I’ve visited Hotel Du Vin a couple of times before but had only seen the restaurant. Unfortunately the bedrooms were fully booked so we couldn’t see one of those, however we were shown around some of the other parts of the hotel.
The conference and event rooms have something to distract you; one being a view into the kitchen and another their entertaining murals.
They also have a sommelier room that they use for tastings.
We were then shown down into the spa where they offer an extensive list of treatments along with a steam room and tanning booth, the latter is very tempting as whilst I write this it has been raining for almost 36 hours now and I’m back to wearing jumpers. No tan for me.
That brought our tour to an end and a wonderful evening to a close. The new Summer Menu exceeded both our expectations and I can’t recommend it enough. If the food didn’t whet your appetite enough, surely you can’t resist an Aperol Spritz evening.
Find out more about the hotel here.