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du Vin opened only opened in April but if you’ve dined at any of the Hotel du Vin Bistros before you’ll know what to expect. French food, tobacco stained walls, lots of art, lots of wine and lots of cheese.

We visited during lunchtime on a bank holiday Monday and we were surprised by how busy it was, given that the area is a business district. The bistro has a small separate bar area with plenty of seats to enjoy a drink before your meal or if you prefer, like us you can dive straight into the restaurant.

We started our meal with a signature Marmalade Martini, bitter and zesty the drink goes down a little too fast. After indulging on the selection of fresh flavoured breads we decided to skip the starters and headed towards the mains. We dined on Fillet Steak with pomme frites and one of the famous HdV burgers.

The steak was cooked to perfection (medium rare), so soft that the knife slide through the meat and needed no chewing at all. The meat is all sourced from the nearby Smithfield Market and you can taste the quality and freshness. The burger was equally as good and MASSIVE. The pomme frites were classic homemade french fries, a generous portion served in a silver cone – no matter how hard we tried we couldn’t finish them. The only grumble we had was that the tomato sauce (yes we asked for tomato sauce in a French restaurant) is served by the waiter and not left on the table.

For a dessert, the strawberry sundae which is a smaller version of our all time favourite dessert the Knickerbocker Glory, was sweet and tangy with the added sorbet providing a refreshing touch. The only regret we had was that we didn’t try the cheese board, it was huge! The biggest we’ve seen in a restaurant…

Oh well next time.

Bistro du Vin, 38-42 St. John Street, Clerkenwell, EC1M