We hear a great deal about recycling these days - du Vin recycles attractive but sometimes un-loved buildings to restore real gems in the best tradition of British understated style.
Complement that with all that is best in the French bistro ethos, bars that reach out to please, and you have a setting that provides an inspirational background for people to meet, do business, get married, provide a base for golf or fishing, somewhere you can call your own for a private celebration, a spa or - most engagingly - a wine school that breaks the mould.
Think quintessential British style - elegant and unpretentious. Combine this with a great spirit, wit, and an unquestionable devotion to wine, and you have captured the essence of Hotel du Vin.
Situated in the area known as The Mount, Hotel du Vin is a unique luxury boutique hotel close to the centre of the historic city of York. Housed in the distinctive architecture of a beautiful Grade II-listed building that dates back to the early 19th century, it was formerly a private home, then an orphanage and more recently the Shepherd Homes building. du Vin have transformed it into a real home away from home, with 44 stylish bedrooms and beautiful suites. Every room has handsprung mattresses, fine Egyptian linen, deep baths, power showers and high speed wireless internet access.
The classy bistro is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner and offers a menu rooted in classic European cuisine with a contemporary edge. Head Chef Nico Cecchello introduces notes of originality by adding his own selections daily, all supporting the overall philosophy of using the finest and freshest local produce, cooked simply and priced sensibly.
From a choice of six starters on the à la carte menu expect to find Uig smoked salmon classic, smoked haddock chowder 'en croute', salted cod brandade with paprika and herb crostini, devilled lamb kidneys and toasted sour dough.
The simple classics option yields potted rabbit with pickled vegetables, or a Jerusalem artichoke veloute with white truffle oil, or on the mains menu the traditional fish pie, an impressively moist and well packed production with cheese topping that commands great popularity. In season don't be slow to order the traditional roast red leg partridge with bread pudding, game chips and jus rösti, a wonderful dish.
Other main courses delight customers with braised ox cheeks and fresh buttered tagliatelle, stuffed squid with carmague rice and tomato fondue, or pan fried halibut with butter bean ragout and rosemary sauce. Desserts look to homemade Bailey's cheesecake, traditional Black Forest gateaux, and a fine pear crumble with pouring cream.
Whilst one might argue that the whole point of being in a du Vin is to snuggle up to the wine list, this list is designed to march with the food and can only be described as excellent. Their selection of single malts is enough to stop a homebound Scot from going any further north. Service is telepathic in the best possible sense. Those gasping for a little nicotine are welcome in the Cigar shack or the luxurious, heated, candlelit, leather smoking bothy in the garden.
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for full information and rates. Hotel du Vin, with fourteen options throughout Britain, awaits your call.