59-63 Botanic Avenue,
Go to House Belfast to start 2019 as you mean to go on, with a gin cocktail in hand and adventure in your heart!
When it comes to our favourite spirit, House Belfast has a wonderful variety. According to their director Michael Stewart, the number of gins gracing their shelves is “just under the hundred mark at the moment”. As he explains, this mirrors the “huge growth of the gin market in Northern Ireland”.
While Michael supports a bounty of British distilleries, Belfast House looks unexpectedly exotic. With leafy touches of jungle green and tropical motifs, this boutique hotel has an attractively wild décor. As Michael explains, “Every time we introduce a new element, it evolves.”
He continues: “It’s really an evolution of the original House brand, represented by House Dublin. Because they have a bigger space they have actually got a greenhouse. Meanwhile, we’re on Botanic Avenue, and at the top of the road is the Belfast Botanic Garden.” The Botanic Garden’s phenomenal array of tropical plants and birds of paradise has influenced House Belfast’s plant-filled balcony, garden and three bars, including their Botanic bar.
What’s the perfect gin tipple to swill amidst House Belfast’s beautiful plants? When it comes to cocktails, Michael himself sticks to the classics. He says: “Occasionally, when I’m in the mood, I’ll have an Espresso Martini. I got a taste for them from Dick Bradsell, who I knew when I was in London going to bar shows, around the time when he invented the Espresso Martini.”
If you fancy a first-rate G&T, you’re also in luck. Michael says, “We know what has come to the fore in recent years is the proliferation of premium tonics. There are so many different styles!” Sip their classic cherry blossom tonic – elevated with a splash of gin – under the Cherry Blossom tree around which the main bar is arranged.
With the hotel about to celebrate its first birthday, it’s positively brimming with the freshness of new beginnings. Michael explains, “We opened House Belfast on the 12th of January, 2018, after a £1.8 million renovation.” The future is filled with the promise of further growth and evolution. Michael reveals, “We are actually - as we speak - about to embark on the next renovation which will focus on turning our basement into another bar, which will take us over the £2 million mark”. House Belfast is rapidly blooming, becoming the place to be for gin lovers in 2019.