Lonely Planet Writer

Pack your bags, London is getting a hotel for gin-lovers where guests can learn about the beloved spirit

If you love gin, it’s a good time to head to London, as Portobello Road Gin has announced the opening of its new complex, where guests can drink gin, learn about it, and then head back to a guestroom to empty a mini-fridge filled with fancy spirits.

Gin and tonic.
Gin and tonic. Image by The Distillery

The Distillery is a new project that includes, naturally, a distillery, as well as two bars, a museum, an off-licence shop, a gin-making experience called the ‘The Ginstitute’, and three boutique guest rooms overlooking London’s bustling, iconic market street, Portobello Road.

A rendering of the building.
A rendering of the building. Image by The Distillery

The three guest rooms have each been individually designed by Portobello Road Gin’s founding directors and inspired by the culture of the local area. Naturally, for gin-lovers, the best part of the rooms will be the minibar, which will be packed with exclusive spirits made on-site. The price of each room starts at £125.

The Felix Martini Portobello Road Director's Cut.
The Felix Martini Portobello Road Director’s Cut. Image by The Distillery

For those who want to learn more about what they’re drinking, the Ginstitute will let visitors make their own unique blend of gin, and be led through a historic journey by instructors, who will teach visitors about the “miserable gin craze of London in the 1700’s, taking curious guests right through the juniper spirit’s 300 years of heritage right up to the recent ‘ginaissance’.”

Worcester Bloody Mary.
Worcester Bloody Mary. Image by The Distillery

To get deeper into the history of one of London’s favourite tipples, the museum will contain items like the first-ever English cocktail book, and if you want to take something home to remember your trip by, there will be an off-licence shop filled with gin-related memorabilia and bottles to buy.

Gin and tonic.
Gin and tonic. Image by The Distillery

One of the bars at the Distillery, the Resting Room, will serve spirits created on-site by a master distiller. There will be gin blends, and they will be distilling other spirits like avocado and olive oil vodka, which will give visitors an experimental take on classic drinks and cocktails. There will also be a selection of international spirits aged in hand-built barrels suspended above the bar from which they will be served. When it comes to food, there will be a menu of “quintessential British dishes” made with local ingredients.

The 1888 Martini.
The 1888 Martini. Image by The Distillery

Another bar at the site is GinTonica, a Spanish-inspired bar and kitchen where guests can sip a gin and tonic, with a menu that is “another nod to Spain’s love affair with juniper”. Drinks will include innovative flavours and garnishes like cold brew coffee, cocoa bitters, orange, lavender, plum bitters, dehydrated lemon, grapes and mint. And naturally, there will be tapas. The project is billed as the first of its kind in the UK, and will open to the public on 16 December.