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Be inspired and amazed by real-life tales of adventure at Mr Fogg’s Explorer Series

Lucy Shepherd is one of the explorers taking part in Mr Fogg’s Explorer Series

This spring, be entertained and amazed by the stories of three inspirational adventurers. As part of Mr Fogg’s Explorer Series, travellers will be sharing their epic tales of adventure from across the globe. Each evening features a talk, followed by Q&A for guests to ask questions, as well as opportunities to try Mr Fogg’s Tanqueray No.Ten gin cocktails, inspired by the world.

  • Monday 24 February 2020 : Ollie Phillips

First up is former England Rugby 7’s captain and Guinness World Record holder Ollie Phillips, who will share his inspirational story of resilience and overcoming the odds. After sustaining a serious calf injury, Ollie’s professional rugby career was halted, so he decided to take part in the Clipper Round the World yacht race, coming 2nd with his GB teammates despite no sailing experience. He has gone on to complete a 100-mile trek across the Arctic, hiked Kilimanharo, cycled across America, driven a rickshaw across India and gained several Guinness World Records along the way.

– For tickets and more information on an Evening with Ollie Phillips, click here.

  • Monday 23 March 2020 : Lucy Shepherd

Mountaineer, arctic and jungle explorer Lucy Shepherd has travelled to some of the world’s most remote spots. Having led solo and team expeditions, Lucy was made a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society at just 23 years old. She has solo skied across the Norwegian-Russian border, mountaineered across the High Sierra Range and climbed Tajikistan’s terrifying peaks. She’s currently planning an expedition to cross Guyana’s mountain range – which has never been achieved before. During her adventures, Lucy also films her discoveries as she aims to highlight the climate crisis and how it impacts the places she visits.

– For tickets and more information on an Evening with Lucy Shepherd, click here.

  • Monday 20 April 2020 : Stephen Fabes

Adventurer Stephen Fabes recalls his amazing six-year expedition across six countries and 75 countries by bike. Having trained as a doctor before his journey began, he was able to use his medical training along the way, visiting remote clinics and helping to raise money to fight tropical diseases.

– For tickets and more information on an Evening with Stephen Fabes, click here.

During each talk, mixologists can whip up some travel-inspired gin concoctions, including ‘To the Ends of the Earth’ (Tanqueray No. TEN Gin, Fermented Banana Shrub, Coffee Liqueur and Lime), ‘Eastern Horizons’ (Tanqueray No. TEN Gin, Belsazar Rosé Wine Aperitif, Sake and Pollen) and ‘Pole to Pole’ (Tanqueray No. TEN Gin, Passion Fruit Juice, Toasted Rice Mirin, Vanilla and Fresh Lemon).

  • Mr Fogg’s Residence, 15 Bruton Lane, Mayfair, W1J 6JD. Nearest station: Green Park or Bond Street. All events have a 6pm arrival for a 7pm start time. Free entry. For more information, visit Mr Fogg’s website.

For a guide to what’s on in London in March, click here.

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Creative cocktails, Japanese snacks and blossom backdrops at Mr Fogg’s Winter Light Festival

A special new winter experience has arrived at Mr Fogg’s Gin Parlour and Tavern. The Winter Light Festival launched on 23 October and runs until 24 November 2019. The neighbouring venues of the Gin Parlour and Tavern have transformed into a Japanese-inspired, illuminated oasis, serving House of Suntory cocktails and tasty fusion cuisine.

Visitors will be brought on a sensory journey to the Far East, with sights, tastes and sounds of Japan. After walking through a red Torii, guests can grab a chair and enjoy the photogenic, pink Japanese blossom surrounding the bar. Alternatively, you can follow the lantern trail upstairs to the Gin Parlour.

The two menus features Japanese-inspired cocktails made with Toki whisky, Haku vodka and Roku gin.

  • Mr Fogg’s Tavern have created a menu themed around locations in Japan:

– YAGOSHIMA (£10): Suntory Roku gin, Bergamot Liqueur, Fermented Cucumber Juice, Sichuan Pepper Syrup, Egg White and Cherry Bitters.
– OSAKA: Suntory Haku Vodka, Coffee Bean-infused Alipús San Andrés Mezcal, homemade Jasmin Syrup and Coffee flavoured White Tea.
– KYOTO (£10): Suntory Toki Whisky, Elderflower Cordial, Lemon Juice and topped with Ginger Ale.
– KANPAI (£20 / £38) Punch Cocktail (two to four sharing): Suntory Roku Gin, Green Tea & Hibiscus Liqueur, Lavender Syrup, Pink Grapefruit Juice topped with Fentimans Oriental Yuzu Tonic Water. Read the rest of this entry

Dirty Martini Summer Drinks review: Enjoy a colour injection in your gin with ‘Pink’ or ‘Orange’

Limited-edition menu sees competing gin cocktails with House of Pink vs House of Orange.

Dirty Martini summer drinks gin © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2019

A Strawberry Pink gin and tonic (left) and a Blood Orange gin and tonic from Dirty Martini’s Summer Drinks menu

I’m a great believer in drinking to suit the seasons – I would never dream of mulled cider in summer and an Aperol Spritz must always be accompanied by warmth and sunshine. So whenever I hear the words ‘summer drinks’, I don’t need much convincing. Furthermore, when I heard that Dirty Martini were using my tipple of choice – gin – in their new summer menu, I didn’t need much incentive to try it out.

This summer, the cocktail bar chain has created a contrasting summer drink menu, featuring the competing House of Pink vs the House of Orange. Each ‘house’ features three cocktails each, with the common ingredient being either Beefeater Blood Orange or Strawberry Pink Gin. I’m fairly well acquainted with pink gin, but not so much with the blood orange so was keen to experiment. I’ve only been drinking gin regularly for a few years and often find friends declaring they ‘don’t like it’. However, I’ve always insisted that a cocktail or a flavoured gin will be far from their memory of gin, as its such a versatile drink. On my visit, I was accompanied by one of those said friends who didn’t think she liked gin, but was open-minded. With my encouragement, she tried a ‘Strawberries & Dreams (strawberry pink gin, pineapple, strawberries and a coconut foam), which she was pleasantly surprised by how sweet and lovely it tasted. Meanwhile, I opted for a ‘Summer Lover’ (Blood orange gin, passoa, fresh passion fruit, vanilla, citrus, egg white and Prosecco), an even fruitier twist on the Pornstar Martini, which I really liked.

Dirty Martini summer drinks gin © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2019

A Summer Lover – Dirty Martini’s twist on a Pornstar Martini with Blood Orange Gin

My friend had soon developed quite the taste for the pink gin, as had I for the blood orange, so we let those ingredients dominate our next cocktail choice. My pal decided on the ‘I Lychee Like That’ (Strawberry pink gin, watermelon, lychee and strawberries with dehydrated dragon fruit), with the lychee and dragon fruit giving an exotic twist and refreshing taste. However, I went for the uber delicate ‘Life’s a Peach’ (Blood orange gin, Frangelico, peach, peach schnapps, eucalyptus, citrus and egg white), which was a surprisingly boozy and fragrant drink. Finally to finish, we kept it simple with pink and orange gin and tonics. Having stuck to blood orange cocktails, I mixed things up and went for the strawberry pink gin served with pink grapefruit and mint, which was sweet, but light. Meanwhile, the blood orange gin is accompanied by orange slices and fresh rosemary, with the herb really elevating the gin flavour.

Overall, the summer menu is a treat for gin lovers and even those who think they don’t like gin… you may be surprised! I’ve been back to the St Paul’s branch to enjoy the summer menu more than once, and I’m sure I’ll have to squeeze in one last visit before the season ends.

  • Dirty Martini’s Summer Drinks menu is available from 3 June – 1 September 2019 at all branches. London branches include Bishopsgate, Covent Garden, Hanover Square, Islington, Monument, St Paul’s and Minories. For more information, visit the Dirty Martini website.
  • Dirty Martini’s Bottomless Gin Brunch is available from 7 June – 1 September 2019 at Bishopsgate (Fri, Sat & Sun), and St Paul’s, Hanover Square and Minories (Fri and Sat). Featuring Bottomless G&Ts, Prosecco, choice of three Martinis or beer for 90 minutes, alongside a birdcage of sharing food.

For more of Metro Girl’s bar reviews, click here.

Dirty Martini Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Gin lovers required! Help find the world’s best bottle at the Gin Off 2018

GIn Off Graphic Bar

Gin lovers should head to the Graphic Bar to help the judge the best gin

If you know your gin, then your taste buds are required to help find the world’s best gin. Graphic Bar in Soho are hosting the Gin Off 2018 awards to hunt down the finest ‘mother’s ruin’. Sixteen of the planet’s most exciting brands will be competing for the top honour in a series of heats.

Each gin brand will put forward a mixologist to create a cocktail that makes the most of their tipple. The rules state the cocktail must be served in a disposable vessel, so expect to see drinks served in quirky alternatives, such as an ice glass or hollowed-out cucumber.

The Gin Off has been taking place annually since 2015 and Audemus Spirits’ Pink Pepper Gin have reigned supreme for the past two years. For 2018, Audemus have stepped out of the competition, leaving the field open for a new champion. Brands big and small are taking part this year, including Haymans, Beefeater, Fords, Marylebone, Copperhead, Nordes, NGinious, Brooklyn, Scapegrace, Nicholson, Daffy’s, Vidda, Boxer, Thomas Dakin, Monkey 47 and Bols.

Round 1 has already taken place on 30 April, but there’s three more rounds before the semi-finals and final take place in November. For this exciting competition, it’s the guests who have the power. Each gin lover is given a polling card before going on to sample four different cocktails and voting for their favourite. The overall winner will be crowned with a Copper Still trophy and will be featured on the Graphic Bar’s 2019 cocktail menu. Graphic Bar is a stylish, contemporary bar located in Soho and boasts a selection of over 300 world-class gins.

The remaining fixtures in the 2018 Gin Off are:

Round 2: 21 May – Haymans, Daffy’s, NGinious, Scapegrace.
Round 3: 25 June – Bols, Nordes, Monkey 47, Brooklyn.
Round 4: 30 July – Copperhead, Marylebone, Boxer, Fords.
Semi-final: 24 September.
Semi-final: 29 October.
Final: 26 November.

  • The Gin Off takes place on Mondays once a month until November 2018. At the Graphic Bar, 4 Golden Square, Soho, W1F 9HT. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. Tickets: £10 (include 4 gin cocktails). From 6pm-9pm on relevant dates. Tickets available through Eventbrite or email info@graphicbar.com. For more information, visit the Graphic Bar website.

For a guide to what’s on in London in October 2018, click here.

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Gin-tasting and cocktail masterclasses at the Botanical Bar on the Floating Pocket Park

© Merchant Square

Go on a gin journey at the Botanical Bar pop-up on the Floating Pocket Park in Paddington

Alfresco drinking is one of the best things about London in the summer (in my opinion!). When the weather is good, there’s nothing better than relaxing with a cocktail in the fresh (fresh-ish – we are in London after all!) air. This summer, the urban scenic surrounds of the Grand Union Canal is playing host to a new drinking destination.

Setting up camp on Paddington’s Floating Pocket Park is a new pop-up venue from the team behind Lockhouse. The Botanical Bar will serve a range of gins and gin cocktails, with workshops and tastings on offer for dedicated gin lovers. Some of the signature concoctions on offer include ‘We’ve Got The Whole World Gin Our Hands’ (Beefeater 24, fresh lavender and lemon balm), ‘Dr Greenthumb’, ‘Monkey Business’ and ‘Island In The Sun’. Among the many gin brands will be Beefeater London Dry Gin & Beefeater 24, Plymouth and Monkey 47, while the mixers come from the London Essence Company. Non gin drinkers are also catered for with mocktails, Perrier ­Jouet Champagne, soft drinks and Cornish ice cream.

Botanical Bar © Merchant Square

Learn how to make the perfect G&T at a tasting or masterclass

Gin-tastic events @ the Botanical Bar

  • Gin Tasting (Thursday 20 July and Thursday 10 August)

Find out your perfect G&T as you’re guided through ‘beautifully balanced botanicals, tantalising tonics and gorgeous fresh garnishes’ so you can make one at home. Learn tasting techniques so you can detect the best quality gin. Tickets: £25pp.

  • Cocktail Masterclass (Thursday 3 August)

Learn how to mix up classic cocktails or Botanical Bar originals with talented mixologists. Event includes a welcome drink, before you take part in a fun, interactive masterclass. After you’ve learned your skills, there will be a farewell shot to finish. You can also enjoy 15% discount of a meal at Lockhouse. Masterclass lasts 90 minutes and costs £25pp (inc 5 drinks).

  • Botanical Bar @ Floating Pocket Park, Paddington Basin, W2 1JS. Nearest station: Paddington or Edgware Road. Open Thursday and Friday until 18 August 2017 from 12pm-9pm. For more information, visit the Merchant Square website  or Lockhouse website.

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Drink your way around the world at Mr Fogg’s Safari Camp at Taste of London

Johnny S photography

Mr Fogg’s Safari Camp comes to Taste Of London this summer
© Johnny S photography

This month sees the return of Taste of London, a celebration of food and drink at the capital’s Regent’s Park. The team behind Mr Fogg’s bars will be setting up camp, bringing their inventive drinks and a bit of 19th century chic to the festival.

Hakuna Ma-Tanq-a, Good Fellow! (Tanqueray No. TEN gin, fresh lemon, banana puree, cherry liqueur, pineapple juice and soda water)

Hakuna Ma-Tanq-a, Good Fellow! (Tanqueray No. TEN gin, fresh lemon, banana purée, cherry liqueur, pineapple juice and soda water)

Mr Fogg’s Safari Camp will recreate the nostalgia of Mr Phileas Fogg’s African adventures with British colonial-style tents and world-class drinks. Inside the tent will be an array of antiques, vintage maps, globes and taxidermy collected on Fogg’s voyage Around The World in 80 Days. Guests will be transported to the wilds of Africa with flora, fauna and botanicals. Outside the exotic camp, there will be alfresco drinking opportunities with parasols for those who wanted to sink a cocktail or two under the sun.

Among the cocktails on offer will be A’Frican Good Time (Don Julio Blanco tequila, fresh lime, pear purée and homemade lemon verbena tea syrup); Rum-bling Around the Serengeti (Zacapa 23, coffee cream, camel milk and vanilla syrup); Rye Brettania (Bulleit Bourbon Rye whiskey, ginger liqueur, fresh lemon, chilli honey, sprayed with Islay whiskey); and Hakuna Ma-Tanq-a, Good Fellow! (Tanqueray No. TEN gin, fresh lemon, banana purée, cherry liqueur, pineapple juice and soda water).

For those who like their tipples a bit simpler, there will also be a separate Gin & Tonic bar for the traditionalists. Fogg’s barmen will be giving lessons in how to mix the perfect G&Ts, with the choice of Tanqueray No. TEN or London Dry gins, several flavoured tonics and botanicals, including juniper, coriander, grapefruit, chamomile and lime.

  • Mr Fogg’s Safari Camp will be at the Taste of London from 15 – 19 June 2016. Tickets start from £16/£28. Regent’s Park, NW1 4NR. Nearest station: Regent’s Park. For tickets, visit the Taste Of London website or visit Mr Fogg’s website.

For a guide to what else is on in June, click here.

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Victorian Bath House review: Step back in time for exotic cocktails in one of London’s subterranean hideouts

Victorian Bath House © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

The Victorian Bath House is a new bar in a 19th century Turkish bathhouse

I’m always on the lookout for something a bit different when it comes to London nightlife. The latest new opening in the City definitely has that unique feeling. Situated in a churchyard just off bustling Bishopsgate is a 19th century Turkish bath house, now open as a new bar, restaurant and event space called Victorian Bath House.

Victorian Bath House © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

Bottled From The Lost City Of X (left) and Craven & Dunhill Ceramic Duo, served with a mini bottle of Peanut Butter Rum to add

The bath house was originally built as an underground palace of relaxation and hygiene, opening in February 1895. Designed by architect G Harold Elphick for Victorian entrepreneur James Forde Neville and his brother Henry, the bath house was narrow so it could fit between two 19th century office buildings – now long gone. With Turkish baths being all the rage at the time, the Bishopsgate ones were a huge hit with the public, who loved their marble floors, hot rooms and mosaics. The tiles were designed by Elphick and specially made at Craven Dunnill in Shropshire. The baths managed to survive the Blitz, but closed in 1954. Over the decades, the Grade II-listed building was used for various restaurants, a nightclub and storage space, before it was reopened as the Victorian Bath House in April 2016.

Today, the space is used primarily for special events, with the bar open ‘By Appointment Only’ from Thursdays to Saturdays. Last month, two friends and I booked a table on a Friday night to experience a night of decadence down below the streets of London. Walking into the courtyard, your eyes are immediately drawn to the Moorish pavilion entrance to the Bath House with its onion-shaped cupola and terracotta tiling. It certainly stands out among the modern, uninspiring office blocks surrounding it. After checking in our coats, we stepped down the winding, tiled staircase to the main bar – split into two rooms. A lot of the original tilework is still in situ, with the modern, Moorish-style furnishings complementing the interior. Low glass lamps and oil burners certainly made the bar very atmospheric.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

The interior of the bar still features the original tile work and mosaics

 

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

Rhubarb Flip (Egg Yolk, Rhubarb Vodka and Granulated Sugar)

The menu features a range of wine and cocktails inspired by Victoriana with a modern twist. Of course, gin being the 19th century tipple of choice, it features prominently on the menu, with different flavoured gins available so you can mix your own cocktail. In a throwback to the building’s original use, the ‘Wash, Rinse… Repeat’ is a mini bath tub served with mini cocktail bottles to make your own boozy bath water. However, I started with the ‘Craven & Dunhill Ceramic Duo’, two versions of Peanut Butter Rum to mix to your own taste. Despite being a fan of peanut butter and rum separately, I wasn’t sure how well they would work together, but it was sweet and had a nice kick. Clearly I was in the mood for something sweet, so next I ordered the ‘Rhubarb Flip’, a smooth combination of Egg Yolk, Rhubarb Vodka and Granulated Sugar, which was thick and delicious. Meanwhile, my friends tried the intriguingly named ‘Bottled From The Lost City Of Z’ – a glass bottle filled with Coconut Water, Sugar Cane Rum infused with Almond, Pink Peppercorn, Rose Water and Fresh Pineapple, which they said was nice and refreshing. Served in a bottle with a straw reminded us of drinking school milk.

The evening was thoroughly relaxing with the setting really bringing a different dimension to what would be a typical Friday night social practice. The service was excellent and we found the waiters very informative and friendly. The drink menu was certainly imaginative and unique, which would really put cocktail and gin aficionados in their element.

  • Victorian Bath House, Bishopsgate Courtyard, EC2M 3TJ. Nearest station: Liverpool Street. For more information, visit the Victorian Bath House website.

For more of Metro Girl’s bar and restaurant reviews, click here.

By Appointment Only Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Museums At Night at the Horniman Museum: Gin, bossa nova and dance at a garden party