Gin gin darling, gin gin!
Imagin a world without gin. Or, don’t because this refreshing bevvy isn’t going anywhere soon (thank goodness). Personally, I can’t get enough of the stuff. You’ll often find me swanning around the city in search of the ultimate G&T so it was only a matter of time The Handbook wrote a guide to London’s mighty gin scene. So here I am, gin in hand, let’s hope I don’t make an mistkaes…
Around the world in 80 gins…
We all know the story of Mr Phileas J. Fogg and his challenge to travel the world in eighty days back in 1872. Well, six years ago Mr Fogg changed London’s beverage scene for good bringing Mr Fogg’s to the heart of Mayfair, and since the establishment has blossomed. I mean seriously, can you even call yourself a Londoner if you haven’t ventured into one of his emporiums? Which brings me to the glorious Mr Fogg’s Gin Parlour.
On the corner of St Martin’s Lane and New Row, plopped above the downstairs tavern, you’ll find the gin parlour of all gin parlours. Seriously, there’s over 200 to fill your boots on. Once home to his Aunt Gertrude, the parlour is adorn with upholstered furniture, charming trinkets, devilish treats and, of course, flavourful cocktails.
Where: 1 New Row, Covent Garden, London, WC2N 4EA
Wondering where your beloved Portobello Road Gin was first tried, tested and, no doubt, tasted? Well, at The Distillery nuzzled on the corner of Portobello Road, duh. Head on upstairs to Gintonica where you’ll find a list of 100 gins from all over the world which have been delicately paired with mixers and garnishes helping to add a little character to the refreshing bevvy. So raise your goblet to the gin gods and let’s get ginning!
Where: 186 Portobello Road, Notting Hill, W11 1LA
Another day, another gin. This time we’re headed over to the City of London Distillery to sample some of their devilishly good gin concoctions. Nestled inside you’ll find COLD bar, a retro, speakeasy-style cocktail bar that overlooks the copper stills of the distillery. Soak up the atmosphere on one of their gin experiences, you can even design and distil your very own little bottle of the good stuff in their gin lab! They’re currently getting a snazzy revamp but will be reopening on the 22nd of September so you gin fiends won’t have to wait long to get your gin fix.
Where: 22-24 Bride Lane, Blackfriars, EC4Y 8DT
14,000 gin and tonic pairings. Wowee, I’ve got a sore head just thinking about it.
Set in the beating heart of the city, Holborn Dining Room serves up traditional British grub and a bloody good gin and tonic. And I think it’s fair to say, with over 500 gins, 30 tonics, and 14,000 delectable gin and tonic pairings, these guys know a thing or two about the tipple! Snuggle up on the red leather booths and settle in for an evening of ginning! Whether you’re after a simple British favourite or you’re wanting a small-batch gin for a local distiller, there’s plenty to go around over in this brasserie.
Where: No. 252 High Holborn, WC1V 7EN
We’ve just renewed our gin membership! Hop on a Boris bike and scoot on over to Walthamstow where London’s trendiest gin palace lies. Based in an airy World War One munitions factory building, Mother’s Ruin Gin Palace serves up tantalisingly good cocktails and, of course, the perfect G&T made with their very own aromatic Old Tom gin. There’s certainly a lotta gins to choose from, whether you’re after a botanical hit or a juicy berry concoction.
Where: Unit 18, Ravenswood Industrial Estate, Shernall St Walthamstow, E17 9QH
Sure, every bar in the city could say they’ve got an intriguing selection of gins but if you haven’t got a whole bar dedicated to the stuff, we aren’t interested. The Gin Palace at Strand Palace Hotel is a hotel bar we’re happy to have on board. Their mixologists have been busy at work creating a big ol’ range of bespoke cocktails and traditional ones, and their number uno, the berry 372, is bloomin’ tasty!
Where: 372 Strand, WC2R 0JJ
Pollen Street Social isn’t just a pretty face… These guys certainly know how to posh up some grub, having been awarded a Michelin star just six months after opening, and their gin menu is just as superb. The various gins are separated into categories depending on their flavours whether you’re more of a floral fan or love a juniper heavy note. Have a wander down yourself and see which gin is star of the month…
Where: 8-10 Pollen Street, Mayfair, W1S 1NQ