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).
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).