Bistro at Hotel du Vin, Harrogate – Restaurant Review

Bistro at Hotel du Vin, Harrogate – Restaurant Review

By Kirsty Reid

When it comes to food, I’m not that adventurous – much to my other half’s disappointment. I’ll happily tuck into Italian or Greek cuisine, I’m even partial to (not-too-spicy) Mexican. But when it comes to trying new eateries, I’m the first to admit I can be more of a fusspot than a foodie. So, it’s fair to say that a restaurant with escargots (snails) on the menu is out of my comfort zone.

The Bistro at Harrogate’s Hotel du Vin were all out of escargots on my recent visit, though my partner and I were still spoilt for choice.

Fashioned from a row of Georgian town houses, the building’s period features hint at the grandeur inside, where timeless décor complements the hotel’s original façade. Olive-green walls are adorned with mirrors and framed pictures, while reclaimed dark-stained floorboards and soft lighting help to create an intimate ambience. It’s the perfect setting for our date night.

After receiving a warm welcome, our server leads us to an elegantly laid out table at the heart of the Bistro. As the first diners of the evening, we have the restaurant to ourselves. It’s an unusual occurrence for a Saturday night out.

Bistro at Hotel du Vin, Harrogate – Restaurant Review dessert

“Does not disappoint”

Perhaps it was a lack of background chatter that led me to notice the Bistro’s music choice. Though not terrible, I was surprised to hear the likes of Aloe Blacc’s ‘I Need A Dollar’ at an establishment as refined as this. Instrumental music would be better suited.

Serving traditional French food with regionally sourced ingredients, the Bistro has a good menu selection – and an extensive wine list! Sadly, we have an early start the next morning, so a boozy evening is off the cards. Instead, I opt for a lemonade, while Kyle settles on a BrewDog Dead Pony Club.

The food arrives quickly, and it does not disappoint. The Petit Lucas Olives (£4.95) and Sourdough Baguette (£2.50) from the ‘Nibbles’ section are perfect for sharing. Setting the bar high, the olives from the Languedoc have a light vanilla flavour and pair well with the freshly baked sourdough, served with Lescure butter.

For starters, I plump for the Tomato, Olive & Parmesan Tart (£7.95). Crispy puff pastry provides the base for plum tomatoes, rocket and vegan-style Parmesan. Served warm this was utterly divine.

Bistro at Hotel du Vin, Harrogate – Restaurant Review egg

“Light and fluffy”

Kyle is impressed with his beautifully presented Smoked Salmon Classic (£8.95). A chopped garnish of soft-boiled egg, cornichons, capers, parsley and red onion circles the melt-in-your-mouth fish.

My main of Grilled Normandy Chicken (£15.50) is served with pomme frites (fries) and a leafy salad. The chicken is deliciously tender and well-spiced, while the golden frites are light and fluffy.

Kyle’s Steak Haché (£17.95), a French-style chopped steak formed into a patty, gives me food envy. The succulent posh hamburger is served with pomme frites and a leafy salad, with the addition of a creamy peppercorn sauce. A side of Glazed Carrots (£4.25) complements the mouth-wateringly good main.

When asked whether we’d like to see the dessert menu, neither of us hesitate in saying ‘yes’.

Bistro at Hotel du Vin, Harrogate – Restaurant Review starter


I opt for the Apple Tarte Tatin (£7.50) from the seasonal menu. I’m advised this can take 15 minutes to prepare, but we’re in no rush so I stick with my choice – and have no regrets. The pastry is still warm when it arrives, making it even more heavenly. Topped with caramelised apple slices and a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream, it’s a sweet treat that’s not too sickly – the perfect autumnal dessert.

Kyle settles on the Rum Baba (£7.50). The light sponge is generously soaked in syrup and topped with Chantilly cream – a sweetened whipped cream. Served with a shot of extra syrup to drizzle over, it is another flavoursome seasonal pudding.

As we leave, I’m disappointed to see only four other parties are dining here tonight. The food is fantastic and service second to none. Perhaps Hotel du Vin’s new seasonal menu can entice foodies to sink their teeth into something new.



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