HOTEL du Vin & Bistro is a grand Virginia-creeper-clad Georgian house tucked within the medieval port of Poole Quay.

The hotel’s elegant bistro boasts an extensive à la carte menu, which is generic throughout the chain, honouring the traditional French bistros that inspired the creation of the brand (Hotel du Vin is a collection of 17 stylish boutique hotels).

All the Gallic classics are available, French onion soup, Bouillabaisse, steak haché, as well as a selection of egg dishes, salads, croques, sandwiches and tartines.

If you’re looking for something a little different, there are dishes like the Aubergine & Halloumi Parmigiana Bake (£10.50), thickly sliced grilled aubergine and halloumi in a chunky tomato sauce.

Running alongside the á la carte menu is the fixed price menu starting at £17.95 for a two course lunch (you have a choice of three different starters and mains) rising to £21.95 for a three course dinner.

The candlelit traditional French-style bistro, which is adorned with vintage photos and wine bottles, was packed on a mid-week evening so we had to wait a little while for the bread, but when it arrived, it was a piping hot crusty loaf served with butter and a dipping dish of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

This was swiftly followed by my mushroom starter (£6.95) which was superb, tender button mushrooms, lightly sautéed and served on toasted brioche in an exquisite Madeira cream sauce.

The only disappointment of the night was my partner’s Moules Marinières (£6.95) starter. Although the mussels were plump and fleshy, the sauce was watery and salty and not something you would want to mop up with bread afterwards.

Fortunately his HDV burger, recommended by the restaurant supervisor Graham, was a good choice - a 200g burger patty served with tangy tomato relish, crispy bacon and grilled cheese on a lightly toasted brioche bun served with pommes frites (£15.95).

For my main course I had Roast Cod, Lentilles du Puy (£16.95), a fresh cod fillet dusted with a basil, parmesan and bread crumb topping, nestling in the middle of a robust, earthy cassoulet with braised puy lentils, lardons, carrots, lentils and caramelised button onions.

The dessert menu includes favourites like Tarte au Citron (£6.50), Crème Brûlée (£6.95) and Ile Flottante (£6.95).

But if like us you love cheese, you are in for a treat here with a bespoke selection of eight French and British artisanal cheeses, including Yorkshire blue cheese, Blue Monday, from rock star-turned farmer Alex James.

The focus of the Hotel du Vin bistro is on hearty, home-cooking with seasonal ingredients. We’re told there will be some spring additions to the menu next week which is a good reason for a return visit soon.