York is a city I try to visit at least once a year. Although I have my favourite spots (hello cheap as peas pints at Kings Arms) there’s always something new to discover every time I return. During mine and my mum’s visit earlier this month, no different. We walked the wall from the Micklegate Bar entrance for the first time. We enjoyed a gin in Thor’s teepee to celebrate Sweden’s national day. We came across stunning wall art on Back Swinegate which I’ve not seen before. Most importantly, we enjoyed a delicious luxury afternoon tea at Hotel du Vin.
Hotel du Vin & Bistro York
Hotel du Vin is a new to me hotel chain so I assumed also to York but it’s been around for ages. What’s new is the refurbishment of their bistro. Outside, a small outdoor area seating, a cute drinks van and entrance to the hotel with a separate door for their bistro. The bistro being the venue for their afternoon tea but before heading there, we started off in the bar with a cold glass of champagne.
Visiting on a Thursday afternoon, we had the whole bistro to ourselves. Next door was privately hired out for a function so the hotel and bar was still bustling but it was nice to enjoy the gorgeous bistro on our own. The quaint bistro is gorgeously decorated with vibrantly coloured walls, lots of greenery and the street facing windows, together with the roof window, brings plenty of natural light. On a comfy leather sofa and chair, we sat down to enjoy their unlimited champagne afternoon tea.
The cold champagne is topped up throughout the afternoon but water is offered to the table, alongside a choice of a hot drink each. I was intrigued by the Gingerbread Chai Tea – a rooibos blend with cinnamon, ginger and cardamom and although it could taste too Christmassy we both went for it when the lovely waitress offered it us as a chai latte. It’s the only hot drink I really enjoy and its Christmas taste works well even on a hot summer day.
Hotel du Vin Afternoon Tea
An afternoon tea sitting at Hotel du Vin is two hours long and it’s just enough time to polish off this gorgeous double stand filled with delights. At the bottom, all the savoury and on top, the cute sweet treats. We started off at the bottom with the choice of: Severn & Wye smoked salmon and cream cheese on dark rye bread, egg and cress mayonnaise brioche sub, ham and Gruyère croissant, heritage tomato and tapenade galette and goats cheese and spinach quiche. All very tasty and I like the effort and spins that’s gone into these otherwise traditional and perhaps boring sandwiches. The mini croissant and mini quiche definitely the cutest but the winning taste goes to the salmon and cream cheese nibble. Swedish as we are, fish and rye bread always wins.
Second – scones. Perhaps THEE best on an afternoon tea. I watched my mum closely here to hopefully settle the English debate on how to spread a scone. My mum does it the same way as I do and apparently it’s also the Devon way: clotted cream first and then jam. How do you have yours? Hotel du Vin offer three different flavours of jam: strawberry, raspberry and black currant. I had one half with raspberry and one with black currant where the latter is my favourite. If you like me aren’t too keen on dried fruit in bakes, these scones only have a couple of sultanas which are easy to remove before eating.
Last, all the sweet treats. They don’t just look gorgeous but also have a beautiful assortment of flavours from chocolate to rhubarb. Tutti Frutti macaron, black forest gateau, pistachio pin wheel and rhubarb and custard tart. The pistachio wheel and black forest gateau look very stodgy but surprisingly and luckily aren’t. Since receiving the afternoon tea invite, I already knew how the macaron tastes (delicious but on the edge of to sweet) so I started with this. We both left the most British and Yorkshire treat for last and I’m so happy I did as it is the favourite: rhubarb and custard tart! Perfect ratio of dough, custard and rhubarb flavour. A fresh finish to a lovely afternoon.
The afternoon tea is very filling so no need to eat much, if anything, before. My mum and I shared a Yorkshire pud wrap for lunch earlier in the day but we couldn’t possibly eat anymore food for the rest of the day.
Have you been to Hotel du Vin in York? What do you think to their new Bistro refurbishment? What’s your favourite on an afternoon tea?
*I was kindly invited to visit Hotel du Vin in York and enjoy an afternoon tea in their bistro for two in return for this blog post. All photos, views and words are as always my own.