Hotel Du Vin (Gourmet Chick in Brighton)

It seemed a little bit ridiculous to venture to Brighton in the middle of winter but I suppose you are never guaranteed good weather at the beach in England so at least if you go in winter time you know exactly what you are getting yourself in for. The wind whipped off the sea churning it into a frenzy against the pier. It didn’t matter to us though as we were snugly ensconced in the comfy surrounds of Hotel Du Vin.
Salmon fishcakes
We were having a girls lunch to celebrate the lovely Mez’s upcoming wedding so we started with prosecco for everyone in the bar adjoining the dining room which was filled with huge leather sofas and seemed to be designed with this sort of event in mind.
The dining room itself has the air of a shabby old Victorian salon with high ceilings, large gold mirrors and magnums of champagne arranged in rows. Our waiter was friendly and quite accommodating although he was a little vague on some aspects of the menu and the wine list (for example he told us there was no prosecco on the menu until we pointed out we had just ordered a bottle of it at the bar).
Hotel du Vin is a hotel as the name suggests so the food falls into that hotel food category of being reasonable enough but not particularly exciting. A starter of of tomato and pecorino cheese galette was rich and creamy with a crisp crust of pastry encircling it (£6.75). The salmon fishcakes with alioli and mixed salad had a crispy exterior but were strangely flavourless being more akin to a giant circular fishfinger (£6.75).
The duck confit with dauphinoise potatoes (£14.95) had a nice crisp skin but the meat erred towards being overcooked and there was not enough of the red wine jus to add some moisture to the meal.

Confit duck leg
The apple crumble was laced with cinnamon to add a little spice but the crumble topping tended to be a little soggy. A better choice was one of Hotel du Vin’s “dessert cocktails” such as the espresso martini to finish off the meal with a combined sugar and alcohol hit.
The atmosphere at Hotel Du Vin is lovely but the food is not really notable enough to make it worthwhile returning if I do ever manage to make it back to Brighton when the sun is shining.
Details: 2/6 Ship street, Brighton BN1 1AD (Ph 01273 718 588)
Damage: Pricey
If you want to read other restaurant reviews outside London you can try this one for The Miller of Mansfield in the Cotswolds or this one for The Queen’s Head in the Lake District.


  1. Think I went to Brighton in the middle of winter too. Let’s face it, would you actually go in the water on the hottest day of about 25 degree anyway?

    Have a great Christmas

  2. Ha ha I have relatives in Brighton and it always seems to pour with rain or be snowing whenever we visit.

    Not been to Brighton Hotel du Vin but I did once stay at their Winchester one about five years ago when they only had about 3 branches. I found the hotel stay very comfortable, one of the nicest hotel rooms I’d stayed in up until that point. We did eat there but other than the restaurant being extremely dark, I cannot remember a thing about it so it can’t have been that great.

  3. Hmm. I’ve been to Hotel Du Vin in Brighton a few times now and have always had a great meal. The pork belly I had the last time I went I can still remember vividly. Agree about the atmosphere – they have it bang on. Their venture next door – Pub Du Vin I’m not entirely convinced by, but I would recommend the restaurant highly.

    I love Brighton in the winter too – less tourists! 😉

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  5. Brighton…now I have a few more reasons spend a week there next summer (plus a couple of good friends….) Thanks

  6. Lex Eat – A very good point!

    Sarah – the hotel itself did look lovely – we stayed in a cheaper and much more dodgy place

    Graphic Foodie – I am always a fan of pork belly – great winter food

    Kitchen Butterfly – I am going to post this week on our other meal in Brighton at the Ginger Pig which I would really recommend – mind you if you have friends there they can probably give you lots of good tips.

  7. more reason to visit brighton! happy holidays to you!

  8. Kiss my Spatula – Thanks – you too!

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