Following the success of Portobello Road Gin, the company behind it is now launching the first ever distillery and gin hotel complete with gin museum, blending rooms, a Spanish-style Gintonica bar and restaurant and a specialist gin shop. It’s a thoroughly modern take on a Victorian Gin Palace, and we’ll see you there…
Words: Bethan Andrews
Portobello Road Gin Company has made quite the name for itself recently – and they are not content on stopping anytime soon. Having launched Portobello Road Gin a few years ago, they are now one of Britain’s fastest-growing premium gin brands and plan to transform this popularity into something altogether new.
Come December, they will launch a multi-million pound distillery on Portobello Road (of course), complete with three boutique hotel rooms to fall into after a night on the hard stuff. Sounds like a winning combination.
Co-founders of the company Ged Feltham and Jake Burger (who is also the head distiller) are pleased about the way in which they are returning home. ‘Our roots have played an important factor in the success of the brand and it’s incredibly exciting to be able to grow and continue producing in Notting Hill,’ says Feltham. ‘It will prove to be a Mecca for fans of the drink and will, we hope, become the finest address in gin.’
But how did Portobello Road Gin come about in the first place? ‘We took on the Portobello Star nearly ten years ago and we started off just as a bar, but had this idea of turning it into London’s smallest museum,’ explains director Del Jones. ‘This museum idea is now a part of the history sessions that we conduct in the Ginstitute to help us tell the story. Soon after, we decided to start making our own recipe, which Jake developed over a nine month period, and that’s where Portobello Road Gin was born.’
The success of the tipple may be due to the versatility of the drink – the attribute that many professionals and mixologists have claimed of it. ‘We kept traditional London Dry recipes in there, ensuring it had a long complex finish, but with an elegant bite to it too,’ says Jones. ‘It works well with a lot of drinks, like Campari.’
As the company expanded, we had to hand the gin making over to someone else, but we’d like to bring the production back to Portobello Road now and do it in-house, which is exciting and quite unusual. It’s a modern take on a Victorian gin palace
Perhaps the small-scale, speciality aspect of the brand also helps toward this and is something that the new Distillery will have at its heart. ‘It brought us to the new Distillery, through really wanting to bring it home,’ says Jones. ‘As the company expanded, we had to hand the gin making over to someone else, but we’d like to bring the production back to Portobello Road now and do it in-house, which is exciting and quite unusual. It’s a modern take on a Victorian gin palace.’
It certainly sounds boutique and, as Jones assures me, the offerings are wide ranging. This isn’t just any hotel or bar after all, but one that combines everything a gin-lover – or someone interested in the craft of alcohol – could ever want. Portobello Road will be more of a destination with this Ginstitute.
‘We want to offer people a unique experience, similar to when you visit wineries and you get to stay over, so we thought if we can offer people a whole package then maybe we’d be onto something,’ he says. ‘Not all the details have been finalised though, and it’s still very much a work in progress.’
The new premises will have four floors of attractions including a gin museum, blending rooms, a Spanish-style Gintonica bar and restaurant, a specialist gin shop, distillery and boutique hotel rooms
The new premises will have four floors of attractions including a gin museum, blending rooms, a Spanish-style Gintonica bar and restaurant, a specialist gin shop, distillery and the boutique rooms. ‘There’s one idea that we might have themes for each of the rooms, perhaps adding to the Victorian element,’ says Jones. Guests can, quite literally, work their way up from bottom to top of the space and end it there for an alcohol-induced, but good night’s sleep.
The Distillery will also become the new residence of The Ginstitute – the hugely successful gin experience currently based a stone’s throw away from the venue. Building on the success of the last five years, in its new home it will allow even more guests to visit and create their own unique recipe gin blend to take away with them on the day.
With only three rooms to be seized at the tastiest hotel in London, something tells me that you are going to have to be hot off the press if you want to experience this gintastic offering.
Find out more at portobelloroadgin.com