After a long week at work, I was super excited to be invited to Hotel Du Vin, Bristol to try out their new Prix Fixe menu, which has been created by their Head Chef Marcus Lang, using locally sourced ingredients that the West Country has to offer.
I had my fellow travel companion and blogger, Julianne of Part-Time Passport, to sample this delicious new menu with, and of course to have a proper catch-up and gossip over a couple of glasses of perfectly chilled white wine.
Talking of the wine, the patient Sommelier, asked what we were ordering from the menu as well as our wine preferences to pick a wine to compliment our choices. Having a limited wine knowledge, other than which wines I don’t like (aka. oaky chardonnay) it was nice to be guided as to what would I would like. He picked a bottle of Cuatro Rayas Vinedos Centenarios, from the Rueda in Spain. Which funnily I had tried and fallen in love with when visiting San Sebastian and always keep my eyes out for, as delicious on a warm Summer evening.
For my starter, I went for the Soft Boiled Goosnargh Duck Egg, Asparagus Soldiers and Brown Crab Mayonnaise. Grown-up version on my favourite egg and brown bread soldiers. Personally, I didn’t need the crab mayonnaise as was enjoying the fresh clean, richness of the duck egg yolk and the tender asparagus for dunking. The toasted sourdough below the asparagus meant I was able to still have a traditional soldier dunk as well as getting every last drop of the sunshine egg yolk.
Julianne went for the Tiger Prawns, in Garlic and Patis Butter with Aioli Dip. Super plump prawns, the perfect size to slather with plenty of the aioli dip. With the double garlic hit from the butter, all to be caught with crusty bread. A really hands-on starter!
I’m a total sucker for any duck dish so there was going to be only one dish for me, the Confit Duck Leg with Wye Valley Asparagus, Baby Gem Lettuce, Peas and Pancetta. Duck dishes tend to be so heavy and rich, but with the freshness from the peas and asparagus, the dish was lifted to be lighter for the Spring/Summer weather. I think braised lettuce is such an underrated dish which I love, so was happy to find the tender and crispy duck leg was sat on a bed of the lettuce. The nuggets of the pancetta, gave a lovely smokiness, that classically works with the sweetness of the peas.
In the background, you can see Julianne’s main course, Aubergine and Halloumi Parmigiana Bake, thick grilled aubergine and halloumi with a chunky tomato sauce. Definitely had a rich toasted cheesy top and the sauce perfect for moping up with the fresh crusty bread.
Of course, when presented with a dessert menu, I can’t say no. I went for the Pineapple Tarte Tatin with Coconut Ice Cream. A tropical twist on a classic French dish. The coconut ice cream was wonderfully rich against the caramel of the Tarte Tatin. The pineapple was golden and sticky caramelised, I think I could have done with the pastry being a bit flakier as was on the tough side.
Julianne went for the classic option of the Crème Brûlée, which I was instantly jealous of her choice as the rich set custard was perfect once broken through the thin sugar shard top. A delicious way to end the meal with a light glass of dessert wine.
The Prix Fixe menu is currently 2 courses for £19.95 or 3 courses for £24.95, which is available daily from 7 pm, excluding Saturday, book your table through their website. Which I think is a really good deal for the quality of the dishes and is a beautiful setting for a date night or like me a catch up with a good friend. The outdoors courtyard would also be a dreamy spot for a Summer cocktail or a glass of their vast wine collection.
Thank you to Hotel du Vin for my invitation and our meals. Although gifted, all opinions are my own.
Hotel Du Vin & Bistro
The Sugar House, Narrow Lewins Mead, Bristol BS1 2NU
Tel: 0117 403 2979
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