Hotel Du Vin, Brighton
This may be hard to believe, but as we made our way out of London towards my second favourite UK town – we were lucky enough to be experiencing what is known as “sunshine”. That’s right, the little yellow ball was shining, the sky was blue, and it was warm enough not to wear a jacket. Crazy I know, but true.
We’d definitely picked a good day for our trip to the seaside, and as we pulled up in Brighton, the Lanes were buzzing, the atmosphere was great and the beach was crawling with revellers making the most of one of the last days of Summer.
After we’d meandered through the tiny streets, we headed back to our hotel for the night, the Hotel Du Vin on Ship Street, to settle in and freshen up before dinner.
The Hotel is gorgeous and perfectly located, just off the main beachfront but tucked away so as not to be too noisy or obvious. As you walk in, you enter a spacious reception area, which leads on to a stunning lounge and bar, private courtyard and the huge, sweeping wooden staircase which leads you up to your rooms.
The bedrooms and suites at Hotel Du Vin are fantastically appointed, and as the name of the hotel suggests, are all named after Wine Producers – a nice touch. Nothing is forgotten here – the sheets are of the highest quality cotton, the fixtures and fittings are all superb, you have every convenience you could ever need – and the bathroom? Stunning. We had a vast walk in shower (you could have easily had 6 people in there, although we didn’t test this theory…) a free standing bath-tub you could easily drown in (again, we didn’t try) and the highest quality towels and toiletries. It’s luxury, without being flashy or overdone. Beautiful.
We popped in to the pub next door, owned by the same people and rather unsurprisingly called Pub du Vin, before settling in to enjoy a delicious bottle of Sancerre in the wonderful lounge area of the hotel. The cosy sofas are set in a double height room with wooden seagulls suspended overhead, and an upstairs mezzanine level with outside seating. (We would have made the most of this, but, being England, it was raining by this point). The bar area was busy without being unpleasantly so, and we whiled away the afternoon in the relaxing surroundings, before moving into the adjacent restaurant for dinner.
The restaurant was busy but we had pre-booked (advisable at weekends) and were seated immediately, at a nice table in the corner. Our Waiter was great and looked after us really well – until dessert – but we’ll get to that in a minute.
I rather unoriginally went for the Chicken Liver and Fois Gras Parfait to start, which was served with Onion Marmalade and Brioche toast. I do prefer standard bread than a Brioche with a parfait, but this was very nice, and predictably rich. We both opted for steak for our main course – which was cooked perfectly medium rare, but was under seasoned for my taste. I say this all the time though, so am starting to think it might just be me…
Now. At some point between ordering our dessert and us being served, our Waiter changed into a Waitress. Not physically of course, that would be weird, but someone new took over. Unfortunately, we had advised the first guy of my nut allergy, and perhaps this was not communicated, so as our ice cream arrived and we took a bite, we realised it was Pistachio. Cue a coughing fit of epic proportions and an early bedtime.
I have to say though, no harm was done, the Management were fantastic and offered us complimentary wine to make up for it and everything was sorted with minimal fuss. Definitely something to watch out for though…and something I needed to mention.
Back in the room, after an hour or two it that incredible bathroom, we crashed out in an amazingly comfortable bed and slept like babies until the morning. Breakfast was served back in the main restaurant and there was an excellent selection of both hot and cold dishes. We did seem to arrive at the busiest time (around 9.30) and had to wait to have a table laid, but we were in no rush and spent the time reading the complimentary papers and having a chat.
Overall, we really did love Hotel Du Vin. OK, so there was a minor issue over dinner but that was the only small hitch and the rest of the stay was perfect – everything from the room, to the staff, and the facilities were a delight. You even get a discount at the local car park – which is a bonus as parking in Brighton is notoriously expensive.
Would I recommend the hotel? Definitely. Perfect for a cosy getaway with someone special, but there were a lot of families present too. This will be my hotel of choice whenever I return to Brighton – and next time, I’m going to try and get myself The Loft Suite – looks incredible!