Marylebone holds a special place in the hearts of Craft Gin Club founders Jon and John. A stone’s throw away from Craft Gin Club Towers, we head to this fabulous part of London to talk, drink and experience the best gin joints in this part of town!
With the sun shining and the streets abuzz with Londoners enjoying the warm summer weather, we hit the town and head to the beautiful Langham Hotel. Inside lies the award-winning Artesian; named the ‘World’s Best Bar’ four years in a row, it’s sophisticated, but also very relaxed, welcoming to any thirsty cocktail lover to take a seat and enjoy. “It's the world's best bar – right here in Marylebone,” says Jon. “Where else to start a gin tour?”
Jon and John opt for a bespoke Marylebone Gin cocktail, after they spot the blue beauty stocked behind the bar. Sweet, with a fantastic glimmer, our evening begins with a bang.
Learn more at artesian-bar.co.uk
The Kings Head
A short walk away from the Langham lies the Kings Head, one of Jon’s favourite pubs. “When I moved to Marylebone back in the day,” he explains, “I set about a concerted approach to try every pub in Marylebone so that I could find ‘my pub.’ I stumbled across the Kings Head and thought, 'I found it.' It was friendly, warm and welcoming, and I love that it hasn't changed since the 1970s.” Located on one of the area’s quiet side streets, it’s a great spot to escape from the hustle and bustle and sip a classic G&T in the summer sunshine.
No gin journey through Marylebone would be complete without a stop at the home of July's spectacular Marylebone Gin! The first thing you’re sure to notice inside is the bar area itself – large mirrors and shelves stocked with only the finest spirits set the backdrop for 108 Bar’s mixologists, hard at working shaking up the best tipples in town. We wait by Isabella, the copper still responsible for the bottle of Marylebone Gin in July's Gin of the Month box, while bright cocktails are mixed up right before our eyes. While we eagerly await, Jon and John tell us a bit more about Marylebone’s charm. “Marylebone is really varied, and it does a good job of being nice without being overly ‘posh’, if that makes sense,” John explains. And the gorgeous but also incredibly friendly atmosphere of 108 is a testament to that. After a few delicious drinks, we tear ourselves away to discover something slightly different.
Learn more about the home of Marylebone Gin at 108brasserie.com
Where the Artesian and 108 are bright and airy, the Purl is located below ground level, in what used to be 19th century wine cellars. With its brick-lined walls and dim candlelight, this speakeasy joint is the brainchild of renowned mixologist Tristan Stephenson. The drinks here are served on a ‘multi-sensory level’, designed to transport the discerning drinker to another time and place. With an impressive list of cocktails, Jon and John opt for the 27 Shades of Negroni, one of their all-time favourite tipples. With plenty of other jaw-dropping creations to choose from, it’s a unique and enjoyable experience for any drinks fan looking to try something slightly different.
Learn more at purl-london.com
After a few swanky spots, our gin-soaked evening ends at the Golden Eagle, a small pub on the corner of Marylebone Lane and Bulstrode Street. Ale enthusiasts sip their brews in the sun outside, but what Jon and John brought us for were the harmonious melodies of Tony Fingers. Tony “Fingers” Pearson has been a staple at the Golden Eagle’s piano for years, and each Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evening he welcomes the bars attendees to join him for a traditional sing-a-long. After a pint and a riveting rendition of ‘Uptown Girl’, our evening comes to an end. But head to Marylebone on some other warm summer’s eve, and perhaps you’ll be get to join in a sing-a-long with Jon, John, and Tony Fingers yourself!
More of Marylebone
For Jon’s favourite fish and chips…
The Golden Hyde
For light afternoon reading…
For the butcher’s best…
For all of your cheesy needs…
For a light sandwich or snack…
Paul Rothe & Son Delicatessen