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Bristol Avon Gorge by Hotel du Vin review: A contemporary hotel in a Georgian setting

Bristol’s Clifton Village’s independent shops and Avon Gorge by Hotel du Vin leave us charmed

By Nigel Russell

The view from Hotel du Vin's Goram & Vincent restaurant
The view from Hotel du Vin's Goram & Vincent restaurant (Image: Provided)

On a recent trip to Bristol, I stayed at the Bristol Avon Gorge by Hotel du Vin, not to be confused by the chain’s other location in the city centre, with my partner. While the other location puts you in the heart of the city, Avon Gorge positions you in Clifton Village, the city’s most coveted neighbourhood. 

Clifton Village is characterised by a vibrant atmosphere, eclectic mix of independent boutiques, and stunning Georgian architecture. It sets a remarkable backdrop for our hotel which is perched on the edge of the Avon Gorge and offers breathtaking views of Bristol’s most iconic landmark, Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s suspension bridge spanning the Avon River.

Bristol Avon Gorge by Hotel du Vin's terrance
Bristol Avon Gorge by Hotel du Vin’s terrance (Image: Provided)

We arrive late afternoon in the middle of a torrential downpour thanks to Storm Babet and are pleased to be welcomed by friendly faces in the warm reception.

We are given the keys to a junior suite called Lombard that was stylish and spacious with rich velvet curtains, warm lighting, an emperor bed, a powerful walk-in monsoon shower plus a roll-top bath in the bedroom with spectacular views over the gorge.

Bristol Avon Gorge by Hotel du Vin's junior suite
Bristol Avon Gorge by Hotel du Vin’s junior suite (Image: Provided)

The walls are decorated by interesting Georgian paintings, which seem fitting for the area, and a lovely juxtapose to the otherwise contemporary décor. But look closer at the paintings and you may find a little something extra has been added.

Given the awful weather outside, rather than a stroll around the local area we head for pre-dinner drinks early. The Lounge, the Clifton’s bar, is inviting with comfy armchairs and original artwork on the walls.

Bristol Avon Gorge by Hotel du Vin's The Lounge bar
Bristol Avon Gorge by Hotel du Vin’s The Lounge bar (Image: Provided)

We start our evening with a cocktail from the extensive drinks menu, which features eight signature cocktails including their award-winning cocktail Malvasia Soares. Made with white port, tequila, créme de pêche liqueur, and a homemade spice mix it packs a punch.

From the bar, we move to the hotel restaurant fittingly named Goram & Vincent after two mythical giants who fought over a woman called Avona and created the Avon Gorge in the process. Housed in a contemporary floor-to-ceiling glass addition to the back of the hotel with amazing views, the restaurant has an open kitchen offering dishes prepared using coal-fired grills, clay ovens, and a smoker. Both meat eaters and vegetarians are spoilt for choice here.

We enjoy Burrata & IOW Heritage Tomato Salad and Ravioli of Pea and Mint to start. For the mains we have the Tuna Steak and Roast Lamb Rump, both were lovely. Dessert is the Poached Chocolate Cake, which at nearly two thousand calories we just had to try it together with some sorbet to make us feel a little less guilty. We wash it down with some lovely white wine from the impressive wine list delivered by the friendly staff.

Bristol Avon Gorge by Hotel du Vin's chef working the coal-fired grill in Gorman & Vincent restaurant
Bristol Avon Gorge by Hotel du Vin’s chef working the coal-fired grill in Goran & Vincent restaurant (Image: Ki Price, Emulsion London)

In the morning the storm has moved on so, though I’m sure it’s amazing, we skip breakfast at the hotel and set out for one of the many local cafes.

On a stroll around the local shops, we pop into Arch House Deli for coffee and cake, Maze Home for some interior inspiration, and The Dog House for some doggy treats to take home to our Labrador. The shopping experience is a pleasure as the shops present some delightful alternatives to the typical high street offering.

Bristol Avon Gorge by Hotel du Vin's lobby
Bristol Avon Gorge by Hotel du Vin’s lobby (Image: Provided)

Bristol Avon Gorge by Hotel du Vin is perfect for those who appreciate a unique and picturesque setting. Its ideal location by Clifton Village shops and the stunning views of Brunel’s suspension bridge during dinner offer a unique experience whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a special celebration, or just a relaxing escape. With its exceptional dining, comfortable rooms, and friendly staff, it’s a place that offers the perfect blend of luxury and relaxation.