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London is getting its first gin hotel this December; here's everything you need to know

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Rainbow bagels, oversized cake milkshakes, deconstructed coffee, quinoa; 2016 has seen some ridiculous food and drink trends, but the one we’ve been very satisfied with is the popular rise in craft gin.

It is tasty, it is low in calories, and it’ll get you rat arsed quicker than drinking a bespoke microbrewery IPA from East London. What’s not to like?

But someone has decided to take the public’s love for the spirit to a whole new level of fandom...with the opening of a gin hotel.

That’s right. Instead of drinking mother’s ruin and passing out on the street, you could fall asleep with a gin & tonic in hand in the comfort of a luxury hotel room thanks to Portobello Road Gin and the opening of their new venture, The Distillery, in London's Notting Hill, which will set you back £150 for night’s stay and breakfast (although you will be able to just pop in for a quick cheeky gin and not have a kip).

 

A License To... Not Spill with Portobello Road Gin & The Soho Hotel. On November 19th, join us for a once in a lifetime martini as we present the incredibly rare opportunity to taste James Bond creator Ian Fleming's authentic Vesper Martini, just like 007, following the discovery of a once thought lost key ingredient, Kina Lillet - an aromatised wine aperitif which was understood to no longer existed. Luckily for us we've managed to get our hands on a bottle & we want to share the experience with you! Cocktails & canapes in the Crimson Bar at The Soho Hotel will be followed by a talk & tasting of the unique cocktail and then an exclusive screening of Casino Royale (where the cocktail first made it's appearance) in the hotel's luxury screening room to mark the 10th anniversary of the film's release. This truly is a once in a lifetime chance to experience the iconic Vesper Martini as it was originally meant to be savoured by the man with the golden gun himself. There only a few tickets left so make sure you don't miss out on this exclusive event! Head to our Facebook for more info & to buy tickets.

A photo posted by Portobello Road Gin (@portobelloroadgin) on

 

Opening December 16 with 50% off food for its soft launch, the decadent hotel will boast three boutique guest rooms (which will have absolutely insane mini bars) overlooking London’s bustling, iconic market street, Portobello Road, as well as their own distillery, two bars, dining room, museum filled with boozy artifacts, off-licence shop and gin-making experience.

We spoke to the Director of Portobello Road Gin, Del Jones, to find out more:

Where did the idea for a gin hotel come from?

We already had a really successful gin-making experience, The Ginstitute, at 171 Portobello Road that we had outgrown, and so we wanted to expand on our original idea. We’ve kept the same intimate experience but expanded to a larger venue with more to offer.

The Distillery isn’t just a gin hotel – we have a distillery, two bars and eateries, a gin-making experience, an off-license shop, private dining, museum and boutique lodgings. It’s completely unique and nothing has been done like it before in the gin world.

Will the mini bar be as good as we think it is?

You can expect a mini-bar packed with some very unusual, creative and exclusive drinks that have been created on site in the distillery below. There will also be a selection of pre-made cocktails.

Another individual feature that I like is that every room has a bespoke handmade record player with a Rough Trade-curated vinyl playlist.    

What are you most excited about people experiencing in the Distillery?

There’s no one thing that I’m most excited about, there’s so many elements to enjoy. We expect people will have more than one visit to appreciate all the different aspects of it. If I was forced to pick - all the spirits in the Resting Room will be aged on-site in hand-built barrels suspended above the bar from which they will be directly served. Due to the ongoing ageing process, no two drinks will be the same – that’s pretty special.

Even if you aren’t a gin lover, we’ll be distilling some unique flavoured spirits including avocado vodka and olive oil vodka in the Resting Room too.

 

What do we have to eat there?

We have two different food options for guests. In the Resting Room, we’ll be serving great, no-frills British cooked in our Josper oven. Expect a bottomless brunch and Notting Hill’s finest Sunday roast.  

At Gintonica, our first floor bar, we’ll be serving delicious Spanish tapas to complement the extensive GinTonica Plus menu. We’ll be taking the traditional G&T spirit and mixer serve to the next level with innovative garnishes, tinctures and bitters expertly paired with a host of different gins. We also have a great chef’s counter so customers so customers can enjoy the experience in typical Spanish style.

What makes a good gin?

Versatility, balance and flavour.  

You’re also allowing guests to create their own gin. Are you expecting some absolute stinkers?

If we do our job right, we expect everyone to leave with an exceptional bottle of gin. We have had some mavericks ignore our advice and they’ve ended up with some questionable blends!

Was there anything you planned to put in the hotel that just wasn’t possible?

Yes. A gin slide from the top floor to the bottom. The dream lives on.

 

Finally, what’s your ultimate hangover cure?

A bracing Red Snapper made with Portobello Road Gin (a juniper version of the Bloody Mary).

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