The Colonnade, Brighton (The Good Pub Guide 2017 p. 801)
A drink in The Colonnade is a luxuriant affair. This ornate, richly restored bar, situated beside the Theatre Royal, is Brighton’s answer to the recent gin craze sweeping across England. Surrounded by shining brass, plush banquettes and velvet swags, customers can enjoy their drink in decadent style. The bar’s Gin Boutique boasts an outlandish and unconventional selection of gins, including flavours of cinnamon, rose petal and mandarin. You can also go international with gins from Sweden and the Black Forest of Germany. What’s more, each team member at The Colonnade knows about every gin on offer and you can speak to them for expert advice.
Earl Spencer, South London (The Good Pub Guide 2017, p. 959)
Our readers enjoy their visits to this sizeable Edwardian pub very much. There's a cheerful, chatty atmosphere and it's very well run. With cushioned, wooden and leather dining tables alongside modern art and an open fire, a drink at Earl Spencer is a particularly charming experience. The back bar has long tables, pews and benches while stools line the U-shaped counter. Considering the pub’s diverse selection of whiskies and cigars, it is no surprise that Earl Spencer also stocks 50 different gins. These range from more well-known brands to artisanal gins such as Sipsmith and Portobello Road No. 171.
Pint Shop, Cambridge (The Good Pub Guide 2017 p. 115)
Pint Shop is clearly named after its craft beer, but the pub also specialises in gin. It has been serving the locals and students alike for only three years, but the building itself is a magnificent Georgian townhouse near the market square. Spread across two floors, the former University offices have been revamped with parquet floors, simple furnishings and pendant lighting to create a very relaxed atmosphere. On summer days, customers can even sit outside in the patio garden. Pint Shop’s gin menu offers around 60 different drinks, with a wonderful variety of foreign and local gins. Some of the more exciting options include Masons Yorkshire Tea Gin and Truffle Gin!
Pour House, Leeds (The Good Pub Guide 2017 p. 931)
Moving north, this canalside pub is based in the old Granary building, a Grade II listed warehouse from 1776. You can immerse yourself in Leeds’s rich industrial history while enjoying the warm and relaxing atmosphere of this trendy pub. Pour House is very unique in that it is divided into two distinct floors with different themes: you have to go downstairs to the basement for Beer Street, and upstairs for Gin Lane. On their Gin Lane menu they offer around 20 gins, their most expensive being the Junipero gin with its traditional, heavy juniper flavour.
Gin Trap, Norfolk (The Good Pub Guide 2017, p. 544)
The Gin Trap Inn is a cosy and traditional way to enjoy your gin. Close to the Peddars Way, this is an attractive 17th-century coaching inn with friendly licensees. Refurbished in 2015, the original beamed bar has farmhouse and mate's chairs around solid pine tables on bare boards, yellow tartan window seats, pub photos on the walls, horse tack, coach lamps and a wood-burning stove. You can also find a back snug with red-painted walls and old floor tiles. The pub offers around 30 gins, including Adnams Copper House Dry Gin. “For any serious gin drinkers”, Gin Trap write on their website, “this is divine”.
C.O.L.D. Bar, Blackfriars
Perhaps the king of gin bars in the UK at the moment, the City Of London Distillery (C.O.L.D.) sells 180 different kinds of gin. For almost two centuries there wasn’t one gin distillery in London, but this came to an end in 2012 with the founding of the City Of London Distillery. Situated right beside the copper stills, the underground C.O.L.D. bar provides a cool setting in which to explore their truly dazzling array of gins. The choice is overwhelming for most, but the bar’s friendly, knowledgeable and well-dressed staff can help you decide. The highlights from the menu are certainly the distillery’s very own gins, including their richly-coloured Sloe Gin, made with blackthorn berries, and their Christopher Wren Gin, flavoured with liquorice and coriander.