That Gin & Cocktail Bar had been on my radar for a while, but like most businesses that had opened amidst the pandemic, I hadn’t quite made it there yet. Luckily, on a Saturday in early April 2022, that changed.
Booked in for an afternoon tea and gin tasting, we were greeted by the owner Steve Bazell who explained the concept of the bar and its product.
The bar sells all the mainstream gins, but that’s not what gets people coming through their doors. On the bar sits their own distiller which pumps out about a 90% proof gin. It’s then blended and watered down to make their own extra-special house gin. The bar then has a range of unique flavours on offer at any one time that is served in 35ml serves with your choice of mixer. The flavours range from citrusy flavours like Sicilian orange to super fruity passionfruit to some more unusual flavours like jalapeno and rosemary & thyme.
As standard, Steve informs every new arrival about what they have on offer and offers some samples for everyone to smell, to get an idea of how strong and unusual some of their flavours are. We were able to get a good whiff of the pineapple and cherry and almond.
As Steve explains, “Our passion lies in finding your perfect drink and everything we do is to help the customer find the right drink for them. We hope the customers enjoy the drinks as much as we enjoy making them”
Once we’d had a whiff of a couple of gins we were served our afternoon tea. The afternoon tea came with a selection of sandwiches, a pork pie, some quiche, a sausage roll, scones, and cakes. All of it was freshly made and there was a really nice balance of sweet and savoury - I’m more of a savoury fan and felt well catered for.
We then had our first gin. I opted for the pineapple with tonic and my guest went for the passionfruit with lemonade. I have to say, I loved how fresh and fruity my drink was and that it wasn’t sickly sweet like some liqueurs. My friend’s was very sweet. It was basically like a gin and tonic pornstar martini. Not to my personal taste, but loved by my friend. Clearly, we have very different perfect drinks.
After we’d munched through our sizeable afternoon tea, we had a second. This time, I wanted to try something more unusual, so decided to try the rosemary and thyme with tonic. Steve made me have a smell and try this more unusual flavour before he allowed me to have a whole glass. My friend went in the polar opposite direction, sticking to sweet and switching it up with the Sicilian orange and lemonade. We both decided that the second drinks we chose were our favourite. I loved the really deep and earthy aromas of mine, whereas my friend felt she’d found her new drink. We both left really pleased with our decisions.
For us both, the highlight was definitely the drinks themselves, and although the bar offers a range of cocktails and wines, the gins must surely be the highlight. We were even both impressed by their stainless steel straws which even came with their own filter on the end to prevent botanicals getting stuck - I definitely need to get my hands on some of those!
The food was lovely but no different to any other mid-range afternoon tea on the market, although I would say you got plenty of food for the price point.
While there we were also shown around and discovered their outside space and their private hire area - it would be a great place for a party with fellow gin aficionados.
We also asked about the accessibility of the space, as my guest has a physical disability. There is access from the street, and a variety of tables and chairs to suit a lot of needs. The only area lacking was a narrow toilet, but Steve is incredibly friendly and we are sure he would send videos and talk visitors through the space before they visit. As it’s such an old building, these challenges are completely understandable, and unavoidable, but the team have done a lot to make it the most accessible business they can.
Found your perfect drink? 500ml bottles are available to buy for £27.95, and you even receive a 10% discount for re-using your bottle - so some extra added sustainability points!
Afternoon tea is just £24.95 for two (or £14.95 for one) and includes tea and coffee. To switch this for something alcoholic, which Steve said everybody does, you then get 50% off your first drink. The gins we tried were all made on-site and were £8.95 including a mixer so our first one would have sat at £4.50. Not bad at all! If you’re interested in doing the same you can book in via email or telephone.
[Items in this article may have been gifted to Chatting Food. No financial payment has been made to feature in this article, and entries to the feature are made independently by members of the Editorial Team. This page contains affiliate links and we may receive a small commission for purchases]
Chatting Food Contributor: Alice Hargreaves
For Alice, the thrill isn’t just in the eating but also in the creating, cooking, baking, pickling, and preparing of food. Having lived in Sydney, Australia and London, UK for a number of years, Alice is now based in the West Midlands.
Follow Alice @alice_ate_here