With 100 gins on the menu, in-room cocktails and the chance to join a three-hour tasting, don’t expect a stay at London’s first gin hotel to be hangover free. At least it’s not far to stagger to bed
I first went to the Ginstitute in 2012. Back then, it was a tiny room above a pub on Portobello Road, west London, where a handful of people could squeeze in to gen up on gin. After decades in vodka’s shadow, gin was finally starting to come back into fashion. This diminutive drinking den was run by four evangelical ex-bartenders who were flogging their new London dry, named after the road on which it was distilled.
Fast-forward five years, and gin is massive – and so is the Ginstitute. In December, it moved a few doors down into a gorgeous new four-storey gin palace, the Distillery. Tasting and distilling now take place in the basement; there is a sleek cocktail bar, the Resting Room, on the ground floor; a bright G&T emporium, GinTonica, above; and three bedrooms at the top. It is London’s first gin hotel, and I couldn’t wait to check in.