If Christmas is ‘the most wonderful time of the year’, then Dry January must be the least. There’s nothing in the diary to look forward to (unless you count Valentine’s Day, which I don’t), the weather’s dreadful, everyone’s in a foul mood and the last thing you want to be facing is the prospect of no alcohol to get you through it all. Still, you’ve got to feel for Dry January, it’s been eclipsed by Veganuary in a feat of hair-shirt one-up-manship, so maybe they should rebrand it as JanuaDry? Either way, don’t worry Dry Jan, we’ve got your back. I’ll be at least doing Damp January and recommend that if you’re also planning to limit your intake too, then these are the places you should be headed…
If you’re casting around for a reason to give up the booze, then The Lanesborough is surely all you need. Not only are its health credentials unbeatable, given it’s set in the old St George’s Hospital, but they’ve got a stunning Dry Jan offering in the form of their upside down fizz. No, not a hiccough cure, but a beautifully presented cocktail comprised of Seedlip Garden 108 mixed with elderflower, lemongrass, vanilla, a hint off fresh lemon juice, vegetable crisps and ginger espuma. Sit back in the library bar and knock them back.
Where: Hyde Park Corner, London, SW1X 7TA, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner (0 miles)
Savage Garden (the impossibly cool bar at Tower Hill, not the Australian pop-duo or a euphemism for when you haven’t book a waxing in a while) are past-masters when it comes to non-alcoholic drinks. Their year-round ‘liquorless’ menu comes into its own for Dry January when they’ve teamed up with Seedlip to create a limited edition collection of serves. The menu includes Bitter & Twisted, mixed with Seedlip spiced non-alcoholic ‘spirit’, aperitif syrup, apples & rhubarb soda and a dash of cinnamon. Knock them back while you ogle at the view, or the interior, or the bottom of your fifth glass while remaining totally sober.
Where: 7 Pepys Street, Tower Hill EC3N 4AF
Nearest station: London Fenchurch Street (0 miles)
To London Bridge and the restaurant that makes roast even better than your mum. While you gorge on your steak and Yorkshires, shun the claret and instead order one of the restaurant’s Dry January specials. Choose from a Rose Martini, British Garden cocktail or Blackberry Sour, all made with Seedlip numbers (the Blackberry Sour includes Seedlip Grove 42, the British Garden Cocktail, Seedlip Garden 108 and the Rose Martini relies on a combo of Seedlip Spice 94 and Seedlip Garden 108). If you’ve not bought shares in Seedlip, then maybe best pile in at this point?
Where: The Floral Hall, Stoney St, London SE1 1TL
Nearest station: London Bridge (0.2 miles)
Brunello Bar at Baglioni Hotel are rolling out their Dry January menu with a series of cocktails specially made without alcohol. Look out for the Baglioni Punch, a full right hook of fresh blackberries, lemon juice, pineapple and orgeat syrup.
Where: 60 Hyde Park Gate, London, SW7 5BB
Nearest station: High Street Kensington (0.6 miles)
Refuelling at The Soho Hotel’s Refuel Bar & Restaurant just got easier during Dry January, thanks in no small part to their selection of non-alcoholic cocktails to see you through the month. Teaming up with Seedlip (again), they’re offering a 108 Garden Spritz, which mixes elderflower, lemon, basil and cucumber or their Mary 94, a bloody Mary concoction using Seedlip Spice 94 along with the traditional spice mix and tomato juice.
Where: 4 Richmond Mews, London, W1D 3DH, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Tottenham Court Road (0.4 miles)
Make no mis-steak, Gillray’s Steakhouse is an ideal place to head if you’re looking to stave off any cravings during Dry January. Firstly, the view is enough to make you forget any urges you might be experiencing, but coupled to their twist on the traditional afternoon tea, complete with free-flowing non-alcoholic G&Ts
Where: Gillray's Steakhouse & Bar, Westminster Bridge Road, London, United Kingdom
Nearest station: London Waterloo (0.3 miles)
Trust Ella Canta to have a graceful solution to Dry January. The upmarket Mexican restaurant at the InterContinental have an array of agua frescas to choose from, ranging from the bold Hibiscus with rose petals, to the tangy pre-Hispanic lemonade. The flavours are designed to sit perfectly with the food from chef Martha Ortiz’s kitchen, with unusual flavours that bring out the spirit of modern Mexico. What’s more, you can swap them with unlimited Margaritas as part of the set brunch menu!
Where: 1 Hamilton Place, Park Lane, Mayfair, W1J 7QY
I have raved about The American Bar at The Stafford on these pages times innumerous, but here’s yet another reason to visit. The Scoop is an alcohol-free drink that aims to be just as glamorous as its counterparts, if not half the people sat around you in the bar. Combining Seedlip (can’t escape ’em) with coconut water, aloe-vera, cucumber and mint, it’s a refreshing and detoxing (we need more of this) solution to all your Christmas over-indulgence.
Where: 16-18 St James's Place, Mayfair, London, SW1A 1NJ, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Green Park (0.2 miles)
Angler, the Michelin-starred seafood paradise at the top of the South Place Hotel have launched a non-alcoholic pairing menu specially for Dry January. Working with Seedlip (who else?), Executive Chef Gary Foulkes has created a three course menu that combines dishes like Cornish mackerel tartare, oyster cream, apple and shiso, with a sweet and sour short drink made from Seedlip Garden 108, shiso vinegar, lime juice and apple juice. The main, a Cornish red gurnard, potimarron, spiced pumpkin, buttermilk comes with a long drink made from homemade pumpkin juice, infused with ginger vinegar, Seedlip spice 94, and shaken with egg. And it’s not over yet, pudding, a Yorkshire rhubarb tart, Brillat-Savarin cream, stem ginger, and basil will be paired with a cocktail made from Rhubarb juice, baby Greek basil syrup and Seedlip Grove 42, topped with a light elderflower and rhubarb foam.
Where: 3 South Place, London, EC2M 2AF, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Moorgate (Great Northern) (0.2 miles)