On a rare weekday off a couple of weeks ago we took a trip into Birmingham for a spot of shopping and lunch. After a trawl around the BullRing we wanted to get away from the crowds and relax for a couple of hours. We have a Gastrocard, and to be honest, haven’t yet made much use of their great offers so we had a quick look on their website and saw that Hotel Du Vin were offering 20% off weekday lunches. Hubby has never been there, and I have not been for about 8 years, so it’s probably changed a little…
The building is an early Victorian red brick, and is on the site of the disused Birmingham Eye Hospital. It has managed to retain a lot of the old features including a grand sweeping staircase and granite pillars and really has a lovely feel to it, almost like been transported back in time to another century.
with dark wooden floorboards, empty wine bottles lining the windows and quaint framed pics on the walls. The dining room was cool and calm, just what we wanted. The service was attentive and friendly and the whole lunch was very relaxed. I’ve been told by a friend that they have an amazing wine list with some great choices by the glass as well as bottle. We stuck to soft drinks with lunch but I will look forward to having a look at this next time we go!
Menu wise there was the standard A La Carte and also a Summer Specials menu. We weren’t sure we could manage 3 courses at lunch so opted to share a starter first off. We chose Gravalax, and the salmon was delicious and melted in your mouth. It was served with a cucumber salad which was fresh and crunchy and a little pot of mustard dressing. This was fantastic in itself, but a little overpowering when eaten with the salmon.
For the main course I ordered Roast Goosnargh Duck Breast with Red Cabbage and Caramelized Apples and Pears. Many who know me would think this a strange choice for me, not because of the duck, but because of the presence of the apples and pears…I’m generally not a fan of cooked fruit and usually stay clear wherever possible! Yet I decided to go for it and was so glad I did. The duck was perfect, and the cabbage and fruit were perfect accompaniments. I think the fact the apple and pears were soft and golden but retained a slight crunch rather than being a mushy mess must be the reason I liked it. Maybe I will try things like this more often now! My husband chose Risotto Primavera for his main, and also really enjoyed it. As well as some traditional vegetable ingredients there were also hidden bits of fennel and baby carrot which he felt really brought it up to another level.
Although neither of us had planned to have a dessert when we had a look at the menu there were some really interesting sounding choices so we couldn’t resist. Lee loves his French food and tried the Nectarine Tart with Honey and Pistachio crème fraîche. The pastry was flaky and the tart sweet and delicious, as well as looking divine. I went for the Pineapple Carpaccio with Melon sorbet and coconut sabayon. The pineapple was wafer thin and the sabayon gorgeous. The melon sorbet had a lovely flavour but the texture was a little grainy. But all in all a lovely light fruity dessert.
This was a lovely place for a quiet lunch and the food was of a great standard. Somewhere I would certainly return of an evening to sample more of their great menu and wine!
Birmingham, B3 2NR
Disclosure: We paid for our own meal, and all opinions expressed are honest and our own