Hotel du Vin, York

The leaves are brown, they’re falling fast….

Thursday sees the start of Autumn, without doubt my favourite season. Cosy nights in with candles lit, oversized scarves, copious amounts of hot chocolate and the excitement of halloween and bonfire night.

This Autumn, I plan to fully embrace hygge. Hygge (pronounced hoo-gaah) is a Danish term which is loosely translated as “cosiness” and possibly originated due to the long, cold seasons that Scandinavia is renowned for. In essence, hygge means creating a nice, warm atmosphere and enjoying the simple things in life with the people that you love. Apparently it’s what makes Danish people so happy. Given Copenhagen was just voted the happiest city to live on the planet, it’s high time us Brits adopted the hygge way of life.

With that in mind, I booked a trip to York to catch up with my uni friends. Unlike our usual jam-packed weekends away, we decided to take it easy and do nothing except for a trip to the local park for a picnic and then relax at the beautiful Hotel du Vin.

Tucked away in the Mount area of the city in a Grade II-listed mansion, in what used to be an orphanage, the hotel consists of 44 elegant bedrooms and suites which are typical of the Hotel du Vin brand. Despite undergoing a full renovation, the building has retained many of its unique features as well as embracing all the necessary mod-cons to make it a comfortable stay. 

We booked the De Trafford junior suite in the loft. The room had a king size bed with Egyptian linen, a chaise lounge seating area, a roll-top bath and separate bathroom with a walk in monsoon power shower.

The freestanding bath in the centre of the room perhaps isn’t ideal when sharing the room with a friend but we put it to good use as a cocktail holder. 

We considered venturing out into York for an evening meal but decided against it, opting for the cosiness of our room and room service instead. The Bistro du Vin menu is simple and inspired by French home-style cooking. We chose a simple meal of french fries with baguette and a bottle of red wine, although my friend deviated from the theme slightly by ordering a burger. 

After a lovely nights sleep, possibly due to the comfy bed but most likely due to the cocktails, we headed down for breakfast. The Country Table offers freshly squeezed juices, cereals as well as a selection of pastries and fruit. We started our day with a healthy granola and yoghurt before diving headfirst into a hearty cooked breakfast with oodles of tea.

We walked off our breakfast with a tour of the hotel. There’s a relaxing bar area leading to a couple of quiet snug rooms. A lovely feature in the reception is a wall of clocks, one for each of the locations of the Hotel du Vin hotels around the country. We promised to visit every one. 

Outside there is a terrace and courtyard for alfresco dining where your dog can also join you. There is even a quirky little Cigar Shack in the grounds for smokers. 

We perched ourselves by the wine van at the front of the hotel, wondering whether it was too early to have a tipple. Apparently not, we were surrounded by folk who fully embrace alfresco Sunday drinking. Very hygge!

Before we knew it, it was mid-afternoon and our tummies told us it was time for more food. We ordered a roast dinner each followed by some homemade apple pie with custard. All very relaxed and served by attentive, friendly staff. We each had a final glass of wine before catching our trains home feeling a little tipsy but happy and content.

If you're interested in learning more about hygge, I can highly recommend this book and this book.