A Boozy Boutique
There's no drink more synonymous with London than gin. In the mid 18th-century, around 10 million gallons were distilled in the capital annually and many Londoners were given gin as part of their wages. This potent love affair is still going strong and there's no better place to celebrate London's favorite spirit than at the world's first boutique gin hotel. The brand-new Distillery in Notting Hill is a four-story shrine to tasting, making, buying and appreciating gin. The property is owned by award-winning drinks brand, Portobello Road Gin and opened to rave reviews in late December 2016. We take a peek inside this boozy boutique.
Bed Down in a Gin Drinker's Paradise
Located on the corner of Portobello Road and Talbot Road in Notting Hill, The Distillery occupies a traditional pub that first opened over 100 years ago. Over the course of 9 months, award-winning drinks brand, Portobello Road Gin converted the ancient boozer into a stunning multi-functional space. The four-story building is now home to a working distillery, two bars/restaurants, a 'Ginstitute' (a gin museum and a gin-making experience), a shop and three guest rooms. The rooms are all located on the top floor to offer the best views of the bustling Portobello Road (Notting Hill's iconic street market) down below. Each space is individually designed with a mid-century style theme, vintage furniture and a handmade record player with a vinyl playlist curated by hip London record store, Rough Trade. Naturally, the drinks cabinet, filled with pre-made cocktails distilled on-site, takes center stage in each room. Breakfast is included in the rate and guests can order room service from the two on-site bars, The Resting Room and GinTonica. Room rates start at £150 per night.
Learn About All Things Gin at the 'Ginstitute'
Learn about the history of gin and understand the gin-making process at the Distillery's Ginstitute where the main room has been designed to look like a traditional Victorian gin palace. It features artifacts including the first-ever English cocktail book, vintage bottles of gin and first edition bottles of popular gins. One of the coolest things about the Ginstitute is the fact that you can learn how to make your very own gin using a unique blend of botanicals. You'll be able to take home a full bottle of gin on the day and the unique recipe will be kept on file in case you want to order more. The 'ginstructors' also teach cocktail-making masterclasses.
Order a Classic G&T at the GinTonica Bar
Order a classic gin and tonic at GinTonica, a Spanish-inspired bar and kitchen that serves drinks in Copa de Balóns, traditional 21oz glass goblets from the Basque region of Spain. The bar is based on a grand European apartment and the menu features 100 different gins from around the world. Many of the cocktails are finished with flavorful garnishes, tinctures , and bitters. Line the stomach with topnotch tapas dishes.
Pair Potent Cocktails with Hearty British Dishes
The ground-floor Resting Room serves an eclectic range of spirits created onsite by a master distiller and served from hand-built barrels suspended above the bar. The menu features spirits infused with quirky ingredients like avocado and horseradish. Pair drinks with hearty British-Mediterranean fusion dishes like ox tongue bruschetta and venison tortellini.
Get to Grips with London's Favorite Spirit
True to its name, the Distillery features an on-site distillery in the basement with 5 gin stills including a 400-liter copper still called King Henry and a 30-liter still called Copernicus the Second. The latter was used to launch the Portobello Road Gin brand in 2011. The gin was founded by four ex-bartenders and friends and the brand has since gone on to win such awards as the London Distillery of the Year at the New York International Spirits Competition and a Gold Award at the San Francisco Spirit Awards. In addition to the Distillery's bars, restaurants, guest rooms and Ginstitution, there's also an on-site shop so that you can buy a boozy souvenir to take home with you.