I’d wanted to visit Hotel du Vin in Bristol’s city centre for oh so long, so I was very excited when Emma and I were invited to come and try out their afternoon tea as part of a special Bristol Bloggers and Influencers event.
So, that Sunday I excitedly put on a pretty tea dress and drove us to the hotel ready to step through the courtyard and see what lay beyond.
The site of the hotel was originally a sugar house, built back in 1728, later being used for tobacco storage and making bird seed. I was surprised to discover that the river actually came up to the building back then! After lying unused for over ten years the hotel chain came along and did up the place, carefully protecting some of its special features, which makes it a truly unique place to visit for dinner or an overnight stay. The oak beams are still on display, as are the creaky floorboards – what made me chuckle was that we were told during renovation they kept finding bird seed under lots of them!
After being greeted by the lovely Helen we were ushered into the bar area where champagne flowed freely. Gutted I was the designated driver, I treated myself to a little sip before moving on to their spectacular teas. From Twinings, there were some interesting teas on offer including passion fruit ceylon, moroccan mint with rose and elderflower and blossom darjeeling.
For a while the bloggers mingled whilst checking out the afternoon tea spreads, before we were moved to our own private dining room ready to try it out for ourselves.
Hotel du Vin Bristol has put their own spin on the afternoon tea experience and look upon it as a two course affair, with the savouries coming out first, and the sweet treats later.
Oddly for me my favourite was actually the savoury course ( I usually have such a sweet tooth) but I think it was the variety in breads that made it for me, as the spread was quite unique. This was made up of goats cheese and spinach quiche, an egg and cress brioche mini-sub, heritage tomato and tapenade galette and my absolute favourites – a cheese and ham croissant and a Servern & Wye smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel. I actually loved the bagel so much that one lovely blogger swapped hers for my galette so I could enjoy it all over again!
Between courses we were given the opportunity to have a snoop, I mean tour, around the hotel and it didn’t take long before I knew which room I wanted to say in!
The Moet and Chandon suite had not only the most gorgeous bed, but also its own balcony bathroom with twin roll top tubs. I can just imagine having a soak whilst sipping champagne in one of those!
Having nosed around some of the vacant rooms we then checked out the Sugar Bar and Bistro before heading up to try out some of the hotel’s seasonal cocktails before course two.
Emma and I both loved the vibe of the bar. Not only were the staff really friendly, the atmosphere was surprisingly relaxed (I expected it to be a bit ‘posh’ shall we say) and I loved that there were a pile of board games by the side of the bar for you to grab and have a play. We want this place to be our local!
Not much of a drinker (and well, yes, driver!) I left Emma to try out some of the seasonal cocktail tasters. They did sound pretty impressive though – and Dan, their head mixologist, talked us through his creations and how he loves to experiment with different flavours, which have led to amazing concoctions such as his Breakfast Martini, which includes Earl Grey syrup and bourbon-infused butter and an Autumn Sidecar (Emma’s favouite) made with spice-infused Calvados, Grand Marnier, lemon juice and vanilla gomme. We were kindly given a voucher to come back and try one at a later date, so think our next games night might be in the Sugar Bar.
After our bracing tour we could tuck into the second course of sweet goodies guilt-free, although the trays of tea cakes and lemon merengue pies and G&T sorbets looked so pretty I didn’t want to disturb them.
But disturb I did, although the first thing I went for were their fresh scones – I’m a total sucker for a scone and I may have gone back for seconds!
I also loved their apple candifloss that topped the tea off – a total sugar rush.
We had a great time at Hotel du Vin Bristol and really enjoyed their afternoon tea showcase. Our thanks goes out to Hotel du Vin for hosting us and for Heather from Bristol Bloggers and Influencers for arranging the trip.
Now we know what lies inside this unassuming building, we’ll definitely be back to try more of their dining delights!
Afternoon tea at Hotel du Vin Bristol is priced at £20 per person with Champagne and gin upgrades available.