The Summer Menu at Hotel du Vin, Cheltenham
Last week I was invited out to Hotel du Vin in Cheltenham with the Cotswolds Bloggers and Influencers to try their new summer menu. I was not expected to write up the experience at all, but I was so impressed I thought I had to share it here. Now, I have to admit that I hadn’t been to Hotel du Vin in Cheltenham before. Although it is very close to the town centre, in Montpellier, it is tucked away off the beaten track.
We were meeting for cocktails on the terrace. To get there, I had to make my way through the bar and restaurant. My eyes were instantly drawn to an impressive chandelier, which on closer inspection was made up of wine glasses. It really suited the décor of the building.
Descending the rather grand curved staircase, you arrive in the restaurant. The candlelight from the tables gave the place a warm and intimate feel. It felt very different to the terrace, which was definitely THE place to be on a hot summer evening.
The terrace was the perfect place to meet for drinks. On the tables were elegant teapots and cups and saucers. However, we were not here for afternoon tea. Inside the teapot was a delicious gin-based cocktail. I was completely content – summery drinks, excellent company and a lovely setting.
I have to admit that this set up pretty high expectations for the food, and I was not disappointed. It was an impressive spread, and considering that I don’t eat meat, there was still a lot for me to choose from. There were far too many different dishes to go through individually, but I did have a few favourites. The scallops ceviche consisted of thinly sliced scallops but were set of really well with the addition of pomegranate. The tiger prawns roasted in pastis and chilli butter were so succulent and tasty that I could have eaten the whole platter. The real standout dish for me had to be the aubergine caponata and grilled halloumi. This was a spiced aubergine stew with tomatoes, olives and capers and was served with flat breads. It was absolutely delicious. After I had had a second helping, I had just about enough room to try the desserts. We were offered treacle tart and a lemon meringue. I couldn’t decide which one to have, so obviously had to try them both!
Well, I have to say that I was impressed. And actually a little embarrassed that I hadn’t visited Hotel du Vin before. The menu itself has something to please most, and the food itself was first class. This definitely won’t be my last visit. I hear they do a pretty amazing afternoon tea…..