Tanya Gold Tanya Gold

Food: Bistro battleground

The Hotel du Vin is a mini chain of tasteful hotels, usually found in ‘heritage’ cities — Henley, Cambridge, wretched Tunbridge Wells.

The Hotel du Vin is a mini chain of tasteful hotels, usually found in ‘heritage’ cities — Henley, Cambridge, wretched Tunbridge Wells.

The Hotel du Vin is a mini chain of tasteful hotels, usually found in ‘heritage’ cities — Henley, Cambridge, wretched Tunbridge Wells. They have baths in bedrooms, rush-matting and white linen, and, although the name is French, they feel amazingly class-conscious, and therefore English. I like them, principally because of what they are not — neither unknown and dangerous boutique hotels, nor the dreaded Marriott. I fear the Marriott, because its ancient founder, J.W. Marriott, who looks like a cadaverous gnome, has his own in-house TV channel, on which he does a 24-hour talking head about himself. This makes me think he is capable of anything.

Now the Hotel du Vin has opened a restaurant in Dean Street, deepest Soho, next to the Groucho Club. This is bandit land, where restaurants cut each other’s throats for a potato peeling. They were brave to come here. Du Vin has bistros in its hotels already, but they feel like an afterthought made of steak frites, a mere interlude between checking in and passing out. This restaurant has pale green booths, an open kitchen and a cheese room and wine cellar with glass walls. There is also a library up a staircase, where all the book spines have been painted neon blue or neon pink. If you pull one out it sticks to its neighbour. This reminds me of the time I met a woman who told me, ‘I style books.’

The publicity material, meanwhile, of which there is a lot — ‘I think, therefore I du Vin’ — has a photograph of Piers Morgan lounging on a sofa laughing, and another of him preening into a mirror and possibly fondling his nipple.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.

Or

Unlock more articles

REGISTER

Comments

Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in