checking in: the distillery
London’s first ‘gin hotel’ opened its doors on Portobello Road in December 2016, with 4 floors dedicated to drinking gin. The Distillery is home to a 400-litre gin still and The Ginstitute; a place where you can learn about the history of the tipple and blend your very own.
The ground floor is familiar, it’s a pub called The Resting Room and you can sample the spirit from the barrels suspended from the ceiling, which is pretty amazing given that their Negroni is flown in from Puerto Rico and poured straight from barrel to the glass – it’s the only place in London where you will find this. You’ve also got a bar menu that caters for food and that important Sunday Roast (try the pork!).
The first floor brings together food and booze with Spanish bar & restaurant, GinTonica. Not only does it look like a place you want to spend hours but the food is insanely good too, the black pudding in particular and the salt cod grilled on the josper with pil pil sauce and muy muy bueno.
The bright boutique bedrooms are nicely decked out and have within them your very own cocktail bar, with shakers, garnish, ice, glasses and of course GIN! You’ve also got a record player, and with music being a key part of the Notting Hill area they have Rough Trade onboard curating the selection of vinyl which has plenty of classics. At the time of writing the guys were working on introducing tea and coffee to the rooms and breakfast, which isn’t on offer in their restaurant currently…but stay tuned.
Taking our gin loving to the next level, we paid a visit to the The Ginstitute for an education. Split into two parts you first take a seat in their History Room to learn about the times of past, uncover some shocking truths and genuine baffling facts about gin, and it’s affect on London while sipping cocktails, the irony. The second part is more hands on and you are introduced to the botanicals that will go into distilling your very own blend of gin. Yes, there is a London On The Inside gin available, made up of wormwood, pink grapefruit, cassia bark, lime and fennel seeds…it has a spice to it alright. The Ginstitute is super fun and priced at £110 for 3 hours.
Made for you to drink, eat and sleep it off, The Distillery is what we’ve all been waiting for.
186 Portobello Road, London W11 1LA