It was the perfect sunny weekend for heading to Cheltenham and a stay in the smart Hotel du Vin there. Having visited several of the du Vin restaurants I was already aware of their high standards and friendly attitude and was not disappointed with this branch. The sun drenched white building has a certain calm about it, located just a minute's walk from the prestigious Cheltenham Ladies College, it is in the pretty and prosperous Montpellier district.
We arrived on the Saturday afternoon to find the hotel already bustling with weekend guests, but despite this, it was easy to park free of charge directly outside, and we were shown up to our room straightaway. We were allocated the lovely Tattinger suite, located on the second floor among other Champagne titled rooms. Hotel du Vin Cheltenham offers forty-nine spacious bedrooms and suites all decorated in the inimitable, elegant du Vin style.
Our Tattinger suite was nicely arranged, with a few comfy chairs for reading and dreaming by the window, a substantial fluffy bed in the centre, and ample wardrobe space. A desk and TV were also available to use in the room. A side door revealed a huge tiled bathroom, complete with a free standing bath and the biggest walk-in drench shower I have ever seen. Du Vin’s own specially designed toiletries are complimentary and given in big generous bottles.
My two favourite things about our room were the sweet extra touches: the stack of glossy magazines left for me to indulge in, and the Nespresso machine, small and compact but which made wonderfully hot, rich espresso or Americano coffee, and was great fun to work as well! I became so addicted to this gadget I think I might add it to my Christmas list, which is, embarrassingly, already well underway. All in all this suite was the most well equipped hotel room I have ever had the pleasure of staying in, with all the little extras that make it extra special.
The bistro downstairs is quite spectacular, composed around a showpiece central staircase, and overlooking the al fresco area outside. A Provencal feel is created with quirky empty wine bottles lined up along every shelf. Still on antibiotics for my poor wisdom tooth, I had to be content with a virgin apple mojito, avoiding the detailed wine list from the sommelier, but the cocktail tasted so good and fruity I never would have guessed it was non-alcoholic.
Though I have written about the du Vin food before, I must quickly mention some of the exciting dishes we were treated to at Cheltenham. Summer courgette and pea risotto, Garlic Tiger prawns with chorizo crisps for starters, both beautifully presented and deliciously fresh. And for mains: Dijon Chicken with creamed potatoes and Chargrilled lamb cutlets with wild mushrooms, broad beans and sweetbreads. It was a feast of carefully prepared and well-assembled seasonal dishes.
After supper, feeling rather smug about our glorious room upstairs, we marched back up and I had a long hot bubble bath. A cup of Earl Grey tea, Friends on TV and a great big comfy bed sent me off into a much needed deep sleep.
Hotel du Vin Cheltenham is one of the few branches to offer a mini spa, with extensive treats and beauty services. In the morning I ventured down there for a cleansing aromatherapy facial: an hour of total relaxation while an expert beautician pampered my skin’s every need; it was blissful. After checking out, we walked into the town centre, to peruse the shops and see my auntie’s wonderful hare and minotaur sculpture (see photo above) that sits majestically amongst the Cheltenham trees.
Only a two hour drive from London, this magnificent branch of Hotel du Vin is the perfect place for a quiet, blissful weekend away with everything and anything you could possibly desire.
More information, and book here.