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Get the holiday feeling at Bistro duVin.

By Tracy Griffen

There’s something about dining in hotel restaurants that makes me feel like I’m on holiday. It was a slightly soggy Thursday evening that we ventured into the bustle of the Old Town to visit the Hotel du Vin courtyard. Rain prevented outdoor dining, but we happily enjoyed eating in the bistro from the Al Fresco menu instead. Cocktails and bubbly dominated the top half of the menu, with Hotel du Vin really living up to its name with an extensive drink selection. Perrier-Jouët champagne by the glass too. Ooh la la!

We opened with cocktails: for me a Raspberry Spritz, sweet raspberry offsetting bitter orange flavour notes of the Aperol. Gorgeous! Husband went for a short, a Grapefruit and Rosemary Gin Julep, complete with a generous spring of aforementioned herb. We started our grazing with a Garlic Fougasse, a Provencal style focaccia served with a rustic and herby olive tapenade. An additional bowl of glistening bright green olives were fruity and fresh. Simple pleasures.

We tried all four skewer options on the menu and were happily surprised by the generous portions. Favourites were the Steak and Chestnut Mushroom Skewers, meat medium rare and tender. I also loved the squeakiness of the Halloumi and Aubergine Parmigiana Skewers too. You can imagine them coming straight off a BBQ grill to the table. And then there was the Charcuterie Sharing Platter. Oh my word, what a lot of good quality meat. It was one of the larger sharing platters I’ve had in a restaurant. The kind of platter that could provide early evening grazing for four – we did our best. Husband adored the pate, smooth and spreadable, perfect on the grilled Italian bread, especially with fruity chutney (thanks to our friendly waitress for recommending that combo). Al Fresco antipasto style eating is definitely a trend at the moment (well, it is summer), it reminds me of parties in Sydney, BBQ’s with friends and gastronomic evenings imbibing fine wine and nibbling on tasty plates.

There was a DJ spinning background tunes on the night we went, adding to the holiday vibe. Husband and I agreed that it would be a rather pleasant place to rendezvous with friends for some bubbles and nosh before heading to a Festival show. Be a tourist in your own town.

Hotel Du Vin 11 Bristo Place, Edinburgh, EH1 1EZ

(0)131247490 Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 7 days @HDV_Edinburgh

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