Good food and great mates are the perfect ingredients for a lazy Sunday afternoon so last weekend I was in my element as one of my best friends made the journey up from Rochdale to join me for Sunday Brunch at Hotel du Vin, Newcastle.
I’d heard that the lavish four course menu was enough to satisfy even the biggest appetites and as my eyes are often bigger than belly, I decided to wear jeans with a stretchy waist – definitely a wise move!
We kick started the afternoon with cocktails in the Bubble Bar where Ross, our bartender, recommended a light and refreshing Gin based drink called Garden of Eden for my mate Gemma and mixed up a classic mojito for me. There’s a nice relaxed atmosphere in the bar and despite Hotel du Vin being the favourite of many high profile celebs (One Direction were checking in later that day!) it certainly doesn’t feel pretentious and the staff are really chatty and down to earth.
So let me tell you about the food… quite honestly I didn’t know where to begin but that didn’t matter because the four courses of Sunday Brunch can be enjoyed in order! After a bowl of hearty vegetable soup I headed to the French Market Table where I was spoilt for choice with an array of freshly baked breads, a selection of seafood including mussels, mackerel and salmon plus cured meats, pâtés, and loads of fresh salad. This style of grazing is absolutely my cup of tea and I loved chatting to head chef, Stuart Donaldson about the preparation for the feast.
It was Stuart who persuaded me try an oyster and after the all the effort he put in to shucking it (that’s the proper word for opening an oyster don’t you know!) it seemed rude not too. My verdict? A big thumbs up! Although to be honest, one or two would be enough. Besides, I had to save room for the star of the show… a proper Sunday roast!
There are plenty of other dishes to choose from for your main course at Sunday Brunch including a Bistro Burger (not for those with a small appetite!), Salmon Hollandaise and Steak and Chips to name a few. For me though, Sundays are just not complete without a roast dinner and as soon as I saw rib of beef was on offer my mind was made up. I’m a bit of connoisseur when it comes to Yorkshire puds and Hotel du Vin did not let me down, they were light and crispy and almost the size of my head!
Despite being full to bursting I managed to find room for a traditional trifle too, it was boozy, fruity and oh so moorish! Told you my eyes were bigger than my belly! I think it’s fair to say I’ll be returning to Hotel du Vin and for family occasions, the intimate dining room just off the main bistro is perfect, mainly because it’s located right next to that brilliant market table.
What would you choose from the tempting menu at Hotel du Vin?
By Rachel Kershaw