City of London Distillery bar view, 2013-01-0814.41.45


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What a novel idea; a bar with a gin distillery attached.  Created by The London Bar Consultants Nate Brown and Lewis Hayes, the City of London Distillery Bar is the latest cocktail lounge to open in the heart of London’s financial district, with the added novelty of being the home of City of London Dry Gin.

The first thing you see as you walk down the narrow staircase is the serving area filled with over 150 types of gins;  well stocked with every other spirit a good bar should; and even their own beer fermenting behind the counter.  On the other end of the bar you’ll find the brightly lit copper stills, kept safely behind reinforced glass.  Comfortable chesterfield chairs, candlelight, and waitress service is what’s to be expected from C.O.L.D; with an emphasis on the cocktail menu.  If you love crisp, citrus gin, the London Negroni and Hemingway Collins are my recommendations, and at £9.50 each, are not badly priced at all.

Copper stills

Unlike most bars you’ll ever visit in London, C.O.L.D offers distillery tours daily from 12pm-3pm and we were shown the ropes by City of London Dry creator Jamie Baxter, who gave an interesting insight into the process (and a lambasting of Thames Water!).  As well as the tours, Nate and Lewis run gin masterclasses every Monday to Thursday, where they talk through the history of the 17th Century spirit, and offer tastings of gin evolution through the ages.  The odd couple’s natural charisma had me in fits of laughter throughout, and actually made learning fun (or maybe that had something to do with the shots of gin that were flowing freely!).  The masterclasses and distillery tour places are limited, so I highly recommend calling first to avoid disappointment.

C.O.L.D Bar creators Lewis Hayes and Nate Brown

For more information and bookings visit or phone 0207 936 3636.

City Of London Distillery Bar, 22-24 Bride Lane, EC4Y 8DT. Nearest tube: Blackfriars

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