A four-star deluxe hotel in the heart of London is not the kind of place you would expect to find distilling its own gin, but the St Ermin’s Hotel in London’s St James’ Park has done just that this year with the help of a Berkshire distillery, creating a small batch home-grown gin made exclusively using botanicals handpicked from the hotel’s kitchen roof garden, and where they have also added a touch of honey from their resident Buckfast bees who are also housed on the roof garden.
This particular gin is a London Dry gin, infused with mint, lemon verbena, lavender, blue basil and geraniums. It has been created by the award-winning Hawkridge Distillers, who use traditional techniques to produce a high-quality spirit.
The St Ermin’s Hotel home-grown gin initially offers heady citrus flavours followed by a juniper heart through to late, refreshing fruit notes, which are all then smoothed with a hint of the honey that is harvested from the hotel’s hives on the roof garden.
At 40 percent ABV, this new home-grown edition gin is available to enjoy at The St Ermin’s cosy Caxton Bar which is adjacent to the Caxton Grill restaurant. The best way to try it is of course in a traditional G&T paired with Franklin & Son’s Tonic or even in a Vesper Martini, which as many of you will know, was created for James Bond by Ian Fleming, who used to frequent the bar.
You can also mix your own cocktails in the comfort of your own home, as 70cl bottles of the St Ermin’s gin are available to buy at the hotel.
If you have not been to the St Ermin’s before, it is well worth a visit, as it has a rather glamorous heritage made famous during World War II, eclectic styling, comfortable rooms and suites, a large first floor terrace plus their superb signature restaurant, The Caxton Grill. The hotel is also dog-friendly, so you don’t need to leave your pooch at home.
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man On The Ground, former member of The British Guild of Travel Writers and professional photographer.
Photographs courtesy of the St. Ermin’s Hotel