Located in an up and coming area of Newcastle, just a short walk from Gateshead Millennium Bridge and the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art sits the stylish Hotel Du Vin.
Previously HQ for Tyne Tees Shipping Yard the site has been dramatically converted into the home of this well-known hotel brand. The brickwork of the original Edwardian building contrasted against the heavy rope that winds its way across the terrace is a clear acknowledgement to the site’s heritage and the nautical theme runs throughout the hotel. Another nod to the locality of the hotel are the pictures adorning the walls – all related to the shipping industry and its people.
There isn’t a grand reception area but there isn’t a need for one – the hotel is highly classy without having to shout about it and as I’m given the tour by Adam, the hotel manager, it is evident that grand and bling are not characteristics present (or required) at this quintessentially British establishment.
Highly efficient and pleasant (us Northerner’s are friendly sorts!!) I was offered to be shown to my room however, I declined as I wanted to catch the last few rays of sun in the beautiful outdoor terrace which is an extension of the bistro and around which the hotel rooms and suites sit.
Adam started the tour by showing me one of the suites which is located in the new part of the building. It is simply stunning with a spiral staircase case leading to the mezzanine level which is home to the signature HDV roll top baths (his and hers) and presents fantastic views across the Tyne. If the natural scenery isn’t your thing you could watch TV on the flat screen at the end of the bath.
All rooms and suites are named after vineyards or wines which is another acknowledgement that guests are here to enjoy the good food and wine and relaxed atmosphere created here.
We stayed in a twin (I was with my best friend) terrace room which overlooked the ground terrace and had its own private balcony area.
Original beams and high ceilings gave the room quite a majestic feel and the clever use of half height lighting ensured that the room still had a warm and welcoming aura.
Again the room presented the signature roll top beds and bath and the solid wood bedroom furniture created a simple yet sophisticated look.
All the five star features / room amenities you’d expect in a hotel of this stature were available; lighting in wardrobes, iron & board, cosy bathrobes, hairdryer, Nespresso coffee machine and high quality mini-bar snacks from brands on par with HDV (such as the grown up chocolate company).
We did have one minor issue with the hair drier in that it didn’t reach the mirror so drying hair and styling simultaneously was impossible. We phoned reception and a member of staff came to investigate, she wasn’t very helpful and said she’d come back with a solution.
The bathroom was immaculate and the wood, tile and stainless steel was in keeping with the heritage of the site. The walk-in shower was the full length of the bathroom and extremely powerful. A great selection of Miller Harris toiletries were available and replenished at our request.
A hand written note welcoming us to the hotel from Adam, the hotel manager, was left in our room – nice touch!
The lounge area is as cosy as can be. I could really imagine curling up with a big glass of red and whiling the hours away….and that of course is the brand’s positioning; they want guests to stay here to feel relaxed, enjoy the surroundings and food and wine. A contrast to the ‘busy city in and out’ style of sister hotels Mal Maison.
There is a wine tasting room complete with spittoon (6 people) and two private dining areas. I absolutely love the mural of the quayside in the larger dining room. Another Wow factor in this room is the chandelier made up of crystal glasses and each month every single glass is individually cleaned so it sparkles.
The hotel has a licence for civil ceremonies so exclusive use is available for weddings or other large parties (sports teams frequently stay here whilst in the city).
The brasserie overlooks the terrace area and the open kitchen is another assurance to guests of the high standards and quality this hotel delivers.
Food and Drink
With over 300 wines served here (most of which are on show around the hotel) it is unsurprising that monthly wine dinners are on the calendar of events. This month it was Italy and what a feast we had. After canapés and Prosecco on the Terrace we adjourned to one of the beautiful private dining rooms to enjoy a five course meal accompanied with the expert knowledge from Dan of Bolla wines who talked us through the wines that complimented each course.
I have to say that the flavours and presentation of the food far surpassed anything the imagination could conjure from the menu and descriptions. Every single course was absolutely delicious and I was taken aback when the Chef popped out to say hello – he was so young! I thought this feast had been crafted by an old veteran with years and years of experience.
The whole evening was thoroughly enjoyable and I thoroughly recommend this experience – no matter what level of knowledge you have about wines.
Served in the bistro there was a great selection of pastries and home-made Granola, boxed cereals, fruits and yoghurt were in abundance and the hot breakfast menu accounted for all tastes and appetites. The chef was very obliging and I switched the cured bacon to grilled banana with my French brioche and maple syrup – ohhhh I could have made myself sick on this it was so light and tasty. My friend enjoyed a full EB which looked extremely appetizing.
Personifying the hotel I would describe it as being quietly confident with a lot of integrity. Just the type I like! Ideal for couples or friends wanting to enjoy a laid back time with the option of venturing out into the bustle of the city.
Would I go back? Absolutely. I’d love to be able to do a hotel take-over with all the family.
From £84.00 per night.
Address: Allan House, City Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 2BE
Tel: 08447 364259