Bottomless champagne and the best afternoon tea with Hotel Du Vin

Bottomless champagne afternoon tea - Hotel Du Vin York
hotel du vin york

I absolutely adore afternoon tea. It’s on a par with brunch as one of my favourite meals. I love having sandwiches, and cake and scones and tea. I love that it’s a ritual-type experience where you receive it on a stand and you never know quite what you’re going to get but it’s always a delightful surprise.

So I’m sure you can imagine my absolute joy when I was invited to review Hotel Du Vin’s afternoon tea with bottomless champagne. Yes, you read that correctly. Bottomless. Champagne. And also, y’know, all the tea you can drink as it’s pretty criminal behaviour to have a scone without a brew, am I right?

All of the below is reviewing a complimentary experience, but as always, all enthusiasm is absolutely my own, and I can assure you, it was a pretty dreamy experience.

Hotel Du Vin in York is very central, you’ll find it a stone’s throw from the station (or to be more accurate a 9 minute walk / zero walking if you get your mum to drop you off outside like I did when my sister and I visited), which makes it the perfect location for an occasion. I find that nowadays when I’m meeting friends, we’re all travelling from somewhere, most likely on the train if we’re wanting to have a drink and somewhere central is essential as nobody wants to get somewhere and have to trek to a venue. Am I being lazy? Absolutely. Am I still impressed at the convenient location. Again, absolutely.

My sister and I arrived and were greeted by the team in the bar who poured us a glass of champagne to enjoy in the lounge. We didn’t feel rushed at all to immediately go to our table which was lovely. There was a wedding going on that day at the hotel but the guests were fairly separate to where we were – if there hadn’t been a few well-dressed people in the bar, we’d never have known.

When we were shown through to the restaurant, I honestly wasn’t expecting such a beautiful room – it was so light and airy with beautifully high ceilings. One thing I noted was that the tables weren’t really close together so it felt more spacious. The team who looked after us in the restaurant were absolutely fantastic, which is feedback we gave to them on the day too. They couldn’t have been more accommodating for my sister who is gluten free as well.

We ordered our teas which are from the Bird and Blend Tea co – not a company I’ve heard of before but I’d definitely pick up their teas if I saw them as they were really delicious. I went for the Mojitea which is a green tea with peppermint and lime and Charl went for the Earl Grey Crème which had a hint of vanilla. Whilst we did enjoy the teas, I must admit, we were drinking more of the champagne!

hotel du vin york afternoon tea

Our afternoon tea stands arrived shortly after, which were two tier with our scones on a separate plate. Our savouries were different as Charl’s gluten free options meant having gluten free bread, but we had similar fillings including smoked salmon on rye, egg mayonnaise (my childhood favourite), and I got a ham and cheese croissant too which was incredible. I liked that the sandwiches had different variations when it came to the breads, and Charl’s was much the same. Gluten free bread can be so hit and miss (if you’ve ever tried it, you’ll know what I mean) but she said that it was possibly the closest in taste and texture to normal bread that she had ever tasted.

hotel du vin york afternoon tea

Our sweets were also delicious. Mine included a mini black forest gateau, tutti fruity macaron, pistachio pin wheel and a rhubarb and custard tart, whereas Charl’s included a gluten free brownie, polenta cake, a chocolate macaron and a scoop of sorbet. I’ll be honest, I did get a little bit of food envy and insisted on trying all of her sweet treats (I didn’t want to miss out, OK?) and I even ended up asking the staff where the sorbet was from as it was that good. It was a raspberry one by a company called Jude’s based in Winchester. I’ve never seen a sorbet on an afternoon tea before and I think it’s a fantastic idea for a gluten free or veggie/vegan option.

When it came to our scones, firstly they were delicious and secondly I was left with the age old conundrum of what to put on first, jam or cream. I compromised with one half of each but I honestly don’t know where I sit in that debate. Charl said that her scone was the best gluten free scone she’d ever had as when she cut into it, it didn’t immediately crumble which is what usually happens!

hotel du vin york afternoon tea

To be totally honest, I think Hotel Du Vin have absolutely nailed it with their afternoon tea and champagne offer. Two hours, a significant amount of food, a glass that’s never empty and a stunning setting? It’s £29.95 and I think that is an absolute bargain – I can’t wait to go back. The very reasonable price is really good given the quality of the food and the luxury of the experience. It’s always the service which takes a restaurant to the next level and it was honestly faultless – and it wasn’t just because we were there to review, everyone around us received the same treatment. It’s not often an experience is faultless so I’d highly recommend if you’re looking to go for afternoon tea that you head to Hotel Du Vin.

1 comment

  1. Well doesn't this look delightful and yummy!
    I agree though, convenient places close to transport are always a winner. :)