If there’s an iconic scene that transcends genres, it’s the one where the main character is sat pensively at the hotel bar, mulling over recent events with a glass in hand. At The Distillery, you can live out this sequence amidst the opulent surroundings of the Hilton London Bankside hotel, sipping on world-class gin cocktails. Hey, the last couple of years have been like something out of a film, so what better time…
The Distillery is home to over 100 varieties of gin from around the world: Estonia to Peru, Japan to Scotland, vintage favourites to new flavours from London-based artisan distilleries. The bar even has its own brand of gin, one of which uses honey harvested at the hotel itself – Hilton London Bankside boasts four beehives onsite. Their signature cocktails include the Bankside Colada with pineapple gin, and the Alexander Royale with Remy Martin VSPO (plus gold glitter and white chocolate!) While these sounded tasty, our favourite was the French 75, combining Jensen’s Old Tom gin, lemon, sugar and Lanson Pere et Fils Brut champagne. If gin isn’t your bag, there are a range of other spirit-based cocktails – their rum options were particularly special – wine, champagne, and non-alcoholic options.
The bar’s food is just as impressive as their drinks menu. In the day, you can dine on sharing platters and light nibbles, and come evening, dinner is a more hearty affair. British classics are the name of the game. For winter evenings, we recommend the warming duck confit and savoy cabbage croquette, with carrot puree and black truffle and Jerusalem artichoke vinaigrette to start; the steak for main course – it was cooked to melt-in-your-mouth perfection – and the chocolate délice for dessert. The staff are super accommodating, especially when it comes to allergies, whipping up delicious alternatives to your dish or drink of choice.
Located on the award-winning hotel’s ground floor, The Distillery is perfectly placed for residing guests and external visitors alike. As you take a seat under the mirrored ceilings, you’ll be moments away from iconic London attractions, including the Tate Modern, The Shard and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. The bar is a destination in itself too, housed in what was once the site of Stevenson & Howell’s Fragrance Factory, an 1800s establishment that distilled essential oils and manufactured essences, flavourings and garnishes. The bar honours this history with its industrial style, adding a sophisticated, modern twist. Think a brown, black and cream colour palette with soft lighting (and softer music).
Elsewhere in this flagship Hilton, you’ll find modern guest rooms, 11 unique spaces – including a multi-sensory meeting room – and restaurant OXBO Bankside, which also serves up delicious British breakfasts and brunches. If you’re quick, you’ll be able to bag a spot at the restaurant’s last festive bottomless brunch of the year, taking place on Boxing Day. The menu features brunch classics, alongside a range of seasonal sweet treats.
As for The Distillery, the impeccably attentive staff are ready to welcome you year round, a gin cocktail in hand.