As part of my Christmas present my in-laws got me a Gin Parlour Experience in London which involved drinking gin. Which everyone knows is one of my favourite activities. As it involved gin we needed to stay in London which meant we were going to make a weekend of it! I’ve written about our day at London Zoo so here is a round-up of the rest of our time.
Given that gin was the order of the day I was very excited!
Before we got to the zoo we headed to a bookshop I’d read about that specialised in travel literature. The Marylebone store of Daunt Books was the closest to the zoo, I was glad we made the trip. It actually ended up being the first of two travel bookshops we stopped at but it was the prettier of the two. Filled from top to bottom with travel books, new and second hand it was a travellers paradise.
My dream one day is to have a huge travel book collection but today neither of us wanted to carry anything heavy so reluctantly we left without our body weight in books.
To get to the zoo we walked by through Regent’s Park which was lovely, if not a little covered in Saturday morning runners!
Read my round-up of London Zoo here!
To get to our hotel for the night we took the tube from Camden Town to Holborn where the aparthotel was just around the corner so not much walking for our tired legs.
I enjoy staying in aparthotels mainly because you get more for your money and it gives you more options if you’re on a budget. We have stayed in a couple of Airbnb’s in Amsterdam and Budapest but this one was booked via booking.com.
I’m trying to get better at taking pictures and commenting on places we stay along with the cities and countries they are in. So here are some shots from our studio apartment. The building itself was much posher than I expected and was relatively good value for money. If you want a slightly more budget friendly place to stay near Covent Garden I would recommend Citadines Holborn.
After a short amount of foot resting we spruced up a bit and walked the 10 minute walk to Mr Fogg’s Gin Parlour. It is a quirky pub with a upstairs “parlour” that has many many gins for you to try. Our ticket was for 6:30pm and after a short talk from an eccentric man on the door we headed upstairs.
The parlour itself is small so I can see why there is a time limit on the tickets of 90 minutes as otherwise I imagine people would stay all evening. The room was kitted out to look like a parlor of the past which really added to the atmosphere. The one thing I would say, if you have bad back or find stools hard to sit on then you may struggle.
Our experience gave us 2 gin’s to try, the first a Tanquary and the second a gin of our choice. We took recommendations for the second two and were not disappointed. Stuart went for a Spring Gin and I opted for a Filliers Dry 28 Tangerine edition. I loved the garnishes and giant glasses that the drinks were served in.
Of course once you start on the gin it is hard to stop (which I imagine is how they make their money on these experience tickets), with a menu containing hundreds of gins we partook in a final one for the road. An Opihr and a Ferdinand’s Quince gin. Very pricey but worth it! The whole experience is great fun, Covent Garden has a great atmosphere on a Saturday night. The bar downstairs was packed with people, reinforcing that gin is a drink of the times! We were peckish by this point so we were focused on finding some food then partying. Initially we wanted a steak at Flat Iron but they had a 2 hour wait so we went for a Byron burger instead. Nothing to write home about but a nice burger.
The evening was fab from start to finish. It’s so nice to be able to spend time a couple doing something we enjoy that is zero fuss. Sure we spend every evening together and work in the same building, plus we do do a lot of things but it was quality time to chat and drink gin! Something we should do more of.
Sundays in London are strange for us as nothing (well shop wise) seems to open until midday so we spent the morning wandering round and drinking coffee before restocking Stuart’s Uniqlo jean collection and visiting Stanford’sStanford’s bookshops for some more travel browsing.
We did want to visit the new Lego store in Leicester Square however there was queue and I am not one to queue to get into a shop so that will be one for another day!
The rest of our day we spent with some friends watching street performers in Covent Garden (in a hailstorm at one point) and eating Korean food. It was good to catch up with them after such a long time. It is true when they say that growing up makes it much harder to keep those connections going. One of the saving graces of the internet in my opinion.
I love London, it’s quirky, interesting, full of culture of exotic people and things. It overwhelms me with it’s vast amount of people and things to see and do but it never stops me returning. A 2 hour train journey from our house it doesn’t take too long (although you can get to Nottingham in the same amount of time which is double the distance from London) and always surprises me. I can see why SO many tourists have it on their must visit list.
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