Another place to add to the list if you’re looking for quality Sunday lunch options in Bristol – especially if you have a large appetite! We were recently lucky enough to be invited to Hotel du Vin Bristol to sample their Sunday brunch offer…and we’ll definitely be heading back.
“Le Brunch” was launched in October 2012, described by Hotel du Vin as “taking the nation’s favourite Sunday lunch and adding a little French flair”. Available from 12pm to 3pm every Sunday, Le Brunch is accompanied by live jazz in the hotel’s bar, and is priced at £22.95 for four courses. Yes, FOUR courses.
After arriving a little early, we thought it wise to begin our meal with a Bloody Mary (£5.95) – a potent blend of Grey Goose vodka, tomato juice, Tabasco, Worcester Sauce, celery salt, pepper and a huge stick of celery. It was nice that they asked us how spicy we wanted it too, medium was just fine for me and probably the best Bloody Mary I’ve had in a while…
The four course brunch begins with a bowl of homemade soup – it appears that the waiting staff realise that four courses is quite a lot at lunchtime, as we were asked if we’d like to start with the soup or move straight onto the starter. In the interests of a full review..we went for it: a beautiful old-school tureen filled with an incredibly fresh-tasting rich tomato soup flecked with herbs, the intensity countered by a generous helping of toasted croutons.
It was the Market Table that we were most excited about trying: a second course involving grabbing a plate and choosing from a table heaving with fresh seafood, cured meats, salads, pates and more. From top left (clockwise) in the photo below, I opted for the duck rillettes, stuffed tomato and marinated vegetables, smoked salmon, hot smoked salmon, dressed crab and ham rillettes.
All perfectly fresh and light, it was the ham rillettes that were the winner for me, beautifully coarse and salty and full of flavour. The quality of the fish was outstanding too, with the hot smoked salmon a particular favourite.
When it comes to main courses, there’s a huge amount of choice on the Hotel du Vin Sunday Brunch menu. Traditional Sunday lunch options of Normandy chicken or rib of beef sit alongside pies, steaks, fish, omelettes, burgers and more – perfect if you want to go out for a meal on a Sunday but don’t fancy a standard roast dinner.
We did, however, with Chris going for the beef and me choosing the chicken. And, as you can see from the picture below, it was a huge amount of chicken! The meat itself was cooked perfectly, and was served with an incredibly rich, thick gravy that was great for mopping up with the crispy Yorkshire (maybe slightly TOO crispy…?) and the mounds of veg with which it was served. Amazing roast potatoes too…I’ve said in previous reviews that these really do make or break a roast dinner!
When it got to seeing the dessert menu, I was stuffed. Four courses is definitely too much for me at that time of the day! And so, while Chris chose the rhubarb crumble (which would have been my first choice if I’d had more available stomach space), it was the Bistro du Vin Coupe for me: an almost medieval style chalice filled with vanilla and pistachio ice cream, flecked with huge chunks of nougat and drizzled with a chocolate sauce. A simple dessert maybe, but with great quality ice cream – the only downside was that the nougat had frozen and was near impossible to eat!
The rhubarb crumble, however, was amazing – a lot sweeter than most, but still with that slight tartness present. It was a little odd that the jug of custard served with it was cold, but he didn’t complain…
If you like large portion sizes, this is definitely one for you. And not just that – it’s amazing quality for the price that you pay, and the market table is a fantastic idea. We’ll definitely be heading back for another go.
Please note: this meal was received free of charge, but in no way impacted on our opinion. We were not obliged to write a positive review, and the venue did not see this review before it was put up on the site.
Find Hotel du Vin Bristol on the Bristol Bites Directory…