Nestled in the glorious Kent countryside, Royal Tunbridge Wells is a leafy, laid-back corner of ‘the Garden of England’. Occupying an 18th century mansion in the heart of this historic spa town sits Hotel Du Vin, one of the boutique chains first properties.
Full of character and charm…
This central hotel holds prime position in the town – opposite the Assembly Hall Theatre and backing onto the charming Calverley Grounds.
Whilst this is a great backdrop the hotels grounds themselves boast their own vineyard, boules area and even an alfresco dining spot, surrounded by rows of lavender bushes for the summer months, so there is no need to wander far.
Lovingly converted from a Grade II-listed mansion, Hotel du Vin is one of this beautiful town’s architectural landmarks. They have amplified the beautiful, authentic Georgian period detail, whilst adding their own characteristic twists throughout.
I particularly loved the antique lift, although a little rickety, travelling with a six month old comes lots of baggage, so I was very grateful for its help during our stay.
There are 34 unique rooms and suites, complete with luxuriously fluffy towels and robes, and overhead showers or roll-top bath.
Each room is aptly named after a type of wine and we were staying in the ‘Duval Leroy’ on the second floor. It was certainly a room with a view, as the day grew late I sat in the armchair with my son Leo watching the sun go down over the parkland.
Time for tea…
It’s a time-honoured tradition, taking tea in the afternoon. We were served our afternoon tea just after dusk in the candle lit Bistro, it seemed more romantic this way – especially served with Hotel du Vin Lombard Champagne from Epernay in France.
On the menu during this visit were finger sandwiches of Winterdale Shaw cheese and posh pickle on tomato bread, Coronation chicken on rustic onion loaf, cucumber and mint on white tin loaf Severn & Wye, smoked salmon and cream cheese on Swiss loaf and egg and cress on country malted bread.
These were accompanied by a selection of plain and fruit scones served with Bonne Maman preserves, Lescure butter and Rodda’s Cornish clotted cream, and classic handmade gateaux and cakes such as carrot cake, Paris Brest, Tutti Frutti macaron, Black Forest gateau and Rum Baba. With nine types of tea to choose from, we went for Peppy Mint, a minty classic with blue cornflowers.
I really enjoyed the freshness of the Cucumber and Mint Sandwiches, it was a combination I hadn’t tried before. I also loved the carrot cake – one of my weak spots!
Afternoon tea is a particular favourite of mine, and hands down, I rate this as one of the best selections I have had to date. I loved the selection and how time just seemed to disappear as we enjoyed our tasty treats.
For those who wish to have a little more on their plate, dinner is also served in the Bistro du Vin, with Gallic influenced dishes, created from fresh, seasonal ingredients and an à la carte and Fixed Price menu for your enjoyment. You can also grab a lavish lunch or a lighter bite and a Sunday lunch with four delicious courses to be consumed at your own pace.
Beyond the walls…
Tunbridge Wells has a lot to offer a visitor. Just a stone’s throw away from the hotel is the super selection of shops in Tunbridge Wells – both the independent brands down in on The High Street and The Pantiles and the more well-known brands in and around Royal Victoria Place.
If shopping isn’t your thing, Spa Valley Railway is a delightful heritage railway within walking distance of the Pantiles. Steam and Heritage Diesel Trains operate at weekends and school holidays with special events throughout the year.
There are plenty of beautiful walks and attractions. Be sure to visit Scotney Castle, a short drive away and it’s as fairytale-esque as they come!
The perfect option for a staycation, set within a fabulous location! We loved our stay – Leo even slept through the night into breakfast giving us the rare opportunity to enjoy the fresh scrambled eggs with avocado on sourdough.
Whether it’s a romantic getaway, time with a friend or a family break, Hotel du Vin ticks all the boxes, mixing luxury with space to create just the right amount of balance for an unforgettable trip away.
Address: Crescent Rd, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Tunbridge Wells TN1 2LY
Phone: 01892 320749
Hotel offer: Join our exclusive Société du Vin for a huge 20% off all food and beverage in our bistros for you and up to five friends, and an ongoing 10% off rooms and free cancellation up until 10am on the day of arrival when you book direct.