I was kindly invited into Hotel du Vin in Poole to sample their new menus. I’ve eaten here a handful of times before, but always with friends (and without kids) so I was delighted to be able to take my kids this time too and see how this lovely restaurant is with two teenage boys in tow.
Hotel du Vin is situated in the older part of Poole near the Quay, and the restaurant is at the back of a rather gorgeous looking Georgian building. We could have chosen to sit outside on the large courtyard area but decided to sit in the restaurant area on this occasion.
Hotel du Vin have a couple of menus to choose from currently – their large a la Carte menu and their Prix Fixe menu. Hotel du Vin are a small chain of luxury, boutique hotels, found across the country and their a la carte menu is part of a chain wide menu. The Prix Fixe menu is smaller, fixed price menu (2 courses for £19.95 or 3 courses for £24.95), designed by the in house Head Chef, unique to each hotel and designed to include as much locally sourced produce as possible.
They also have a lovely children’s menu, full of classic, child friendly dishes and with 3 courses for £9.95, it is good value too. Samson (14 years old and can be a fussy eater) ordered from the children’s menu. He was entirely happy and satisfied with his 3 courses so the dishes are plenty big enough even for young teenagers and they don’t compromise on flavour just because they are smaller.
To try and review as much as possible, I ordered from the Prix Fixe menu and Andy ordered from the a la carte menu and we shared our dishes between us.
The a la carte menu includes a good number of choices with lots of different fish on the menu, from scallop appetisers to fruit de mers platters or 1/2 a lobster. The menu also has salads, tasty sounding main courses and they also have a good selection of steaks. Toby (12 years old) certainly loves to have steak when he can and he was able to have (and thoroughly enjoyed!) the smaller steak hache and frites option from this menu.
I chose arancini balls made with Dorset smoked red cheddar and served with Isle of Wight tomatoes to start, followed by slow braised lamb breast, cooked in Palmers IPA. Andy had the scallops and chorizo starter, followed by an onglet cut steak. Ordered rare, the steak was perfectly cooked with a chargrilled exterior and pink interior. I haven’t tried an onglet (or hanger) cut of beef before and it was really tasty!
It was lovely to have some local ingredients on the menu and my starter was delicious with the local smoked cheese and fresh Isle of Wight tomatoes.
We also managed to squeeze in a dessert and I chose a Portland pudding, Andy had a molten chocolate pudding and the boys had ice cream.
With a name like ‘Hotel du Vin’, it was not a surprise to have be offered an extensive wine and drinks menu. The wine list includes all sorts, in many price brackets and to suit the menu or to be enjoyed on its own. Wine can be ordered by the bottle, by the carafe or the glass. There is also a large cocktail and beer menu, as well as the usual soft drinks, coffees and teas available.
Although we didn’t try it, they also offer what looks like a delicious Sunday roast, afternoon teas and a range of breakfast options too, with a lovely little lounge area, as well as snug bar if you want a drink but don’t fancy the formality of the restaurant area.
As a foodie, it can often be difficult to find restaurants with my family that both provide great food for me and Andy, as well as can accommodate the slightly fussier tastes of my kids. We had a lovely time at Hotel du Vin this week and we felt that they struck a lovely balance between the two – simple and tasty meals for the smaller kids, and tasty, beautifully cooked, more complex food for the adults – a definite recommendation for anyone in the same predicament as us!
Hotel du Vin – Poole
Poole, BH15 1JN
For more information, to book a table or for an idea on price and their current menus, check out the Hotel du Vin website –
|Invited by PR company?||No|
|Guest of chef/restaurant/owner?||Yes|
|Restaurant/outlet knew ahead we were bloggers?||Yes|
|Was the meal complimentary from the restaurant?||Yes|
|Any complimentary items provided by restaurant/outlet?||No|