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“Lovely Food, Service Needs Improvement”
Review of Bistro Du Vin

Bistro Du Vin
Price range: US$44 - US$70
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, After-hours, Reservations
Description: Elegant yet informal, the Hotel du Vin restaurant serves premium French bistro-style cuisine made with the freshest ingredients. Subtle starters and bold mains sit alongside an outstanding wine list, as well as a choice of spirits and local beers. Leather and dark stained wood fill the interior, with an inviting bar area providing the perfect evening meeting point.
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
798 reviews
585 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 491 helpful votes
“Lovely Food, Service Needs Improvement”
Reviewed 7 May 2014 via mobile

I really like this place and have done for some years. Therefore I forgive some of the service shortfalls in my score. Staff change regularly and this means there is little consistency, not surprising for a chain. Our waitress was East European and lacked any sign of a softer side, it was all very harsh and perfunctory. No warmth and when it was commented that glasses were not clean she said that they were old and that it was not her problem. No chance of the customer being right with her. The service was pretty slow to start but picked up as service went on, the place wasn't busy on a Wednesday lunch, so things could have been so much better. The annoying thing about this place is it is so much hit and miss, wish it wasn't. Food was well presented and very good, all 4 starters and mains passed muster. We couldn't manage puddings but had coffee, all good. I will keep coming back here and hope that I get the good times more often than the average or Eastern European service approach.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Donald M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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349 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Royal Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
54 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Disappointing”
Reviewed 7 May 2014

We recently booked for dinner to celebrate our anniversary. Having been here for drinks and lunch before I was expecting high levels of service. Unfortunately whilst the staff were very pleasant and polite the service and the food were not as good as we were expecting.
The restaurant was quiet on the evening we dined but this was reflected in low numbers of staff meaning service was slow and inconsistent. When I tried to order some wine I was told I would need to speak to the sommelier. We knew what we wanted and didn't need to ask advice so I'm not sure why this was necessary and so assumed either the waiter was following orders to the letter or this was a touch of pretentiousness....
Once the waiter had taken our order he told us he would bring some bread for the table straight away. In fact the bread arrived at the same time as out starters which of course was a little late.
The starters were very good but my main course was disappointing.
This place has the potential to be up there with Thackarays (and certainly charges Thackarays prices) but sadly can't quite pull it off - yet. With an improved menu and some staff training it would somewhere us locals would frequent more often.

    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Fleur S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tonbridge, Kent
Level Contributor
28 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Afternoon tea revisited - much better!”
Reviewed 4 May 2014

After our disappointing experience on the 29 March, my husband decided to complain. We received a speedy and apologetic response inviting us to have a complementary tea, which we had yesterday. Much better! We were presented with a card with a selection of teas (although these had several typing errors). The sandwiches were fresh and a good selection provided. Whilst I would still maintain the scones were more like rock cakes, they were fresh and tasted just as good smothered in jam and clotted cream. The chocolate eclairs were delicious, as was the banana cake. A much nicer experience and a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank KarenJune
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sussex
Level Contributor
21 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Raw food”
Reviewed 27 April 2014

Given a voucher for Bistro du Vin from Audi after buying a new car. Audi need to do a deal with a proper restaurant like Thackerays. My wife's soup was tasteless - good job my chicken liver pate OK, though would have benefitted from toast instead of sliver of brown bread. However really went downhill when my mains salmon turned up nearly raw. We all know French chefs hate cooking fish and steak but this was ridiculous. Pinched half of my wife's roast beef but her roast potatoes were rock hard. At this stage decided to not have desserts and pointed out to waiter the remaining pile of uncooked inedible salmon. No apology forthcoming - see other reviews about the chef who plainly does not like criticism. Well at least we now know not to use the place again and grateful it was Audi's money wasted rather than ours. Back to Thackerays next.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank sussexguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Heathfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
298 reviews
169 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 146 helpful votes
“Mediocre food, terrifically expensive, poorly organised”
Reviewed 27 April 2014

In February we started organising my Mother-in-Law's 80th birthday party for a group of twelve family members. We went backwards and forwards including six meetings to organise the food and wine - more than we thought necessary. We arrived on Saturday evening to find the menu was wrong - it was not what had been agreed and planned, and we had to work to get it modified. One positive point was the waitress allocated to our private room was excellent and worked very hard.

In the end, the menu we were presented with was not the same calibre as the main restaurant's, it was poor, plain food, uninspiring and not what we had agreed with Hotel du Vin & anticipated at all. We ordered from this limited range. When the food arrived we had to ask for the pre-ordered vegetables twice before they arrived. The "carrots" soup was average, the scallops were good but the vegetarian dishes, both starter and main, were very poor. The steaks were alright (with £3.95 supplement) but the guest of honour, my Mother-in-Law, felt her risotto was very stodgy and ate little. We had specified that there should be a fish dish, and had anticipated a sea bass, monkfish, bream etc. - instead we had a seafood risotto, and both who ordered it said it was pretty much a case of "find the prawn"! Little positive can be said of the desserts or cheese, and instead of a platter of cheese to follow the desserts if was ignored and simply offered as an alternative dessert.

We did complain about the risotto and a replacement dish was offered but by that time the damage was done. We didn't push the complaint further because we didn't want to upset the guests, but we were bitterly disappointed. Then the bill arrived...........we were into four figures for twelve lacklustre dinners. Not happy, not happy at all!

    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DavidSB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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