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|Address:||Crescent Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 2LY|
|Tel:||01892 526 455|
|Price: £32.00||Wine: £12.50||Champagne: £34.50|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-1.45pm 7-9.45pm|
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We took advance of the special offer of dinner for 2 (2 courses only plus a bottle of house wine and coffee) during the week. The Hotel du Vin has always been a pleasure to visit as the food is always excellent as is the service so a deal like this was too good to miss. A drink in the bar – think dimly lit, intimate, gentleman's club, with a good serving of excellent olives and peanuts and generous measures, while perusing the menu – quite difficult to do as the lighting is so dim. The deal restricts you to specific menus and the choices were rather limited and we were very surprized to see beefburgers – not really “la classe” for the chef and this hotel for dinner. The dinning room was completely empty when we were ushered through at just before 8pm but it slowly filled up with other dinners who were all placed at one end of the room to make it seem more populated. The dinning room decor is French provincial – old, bare, dark wood floorboards, dark wood tables and chairs, dim lighting, old French posters and adverts on the walls, shabby chic objetcs, with hop bines strung around the windows! It's comfortable and welcoming and very French. My “classic smoked salmon” starter was presented as a large mass and did not look very attractive, however, it did have a generous half a lemon to squeeze over it but it was rather greasey and tasted “farmed”. My husband's chicken livers he savoured to the full! We both selected gurnard for main dish and were very pleasantly surprised as it is not a fish that we offen eat. The flesh was moist and full of flavour with a crisp, crunchy skin. The vegetables were colourful and added to the presentation but the clear sauce was the “piece de resistance” – slightly sweet with hints of citrus which brought out the full flavour of the fish. The waiter suggested that my husband might enjoy some potatoes with his, so he selected fries and we were surpirzed to see them presented in a paper cone like a fast food restaurant! As we expected, the table wine was very acceptable – the wine list here is a joy to read and as the Sommeliers are so knowledgeable it is a real pleasure to discuss it with them. We had no room for dessert even if the deal had encompassed it and so were happy to complete the meal with a really good cup of coffee. The final damage was £70 with the extras – pre-dinner drinks and potatoes with the meal, still a good price for the Hotel du Vin though.