Secret Gin Garden at The Royal Horseguards Hotel, Westminster
Finding somewhere to drink outside in London during the summer is a problem. It’s not that there are any shortage of great bar terraces and pub gardens, it is that they are always absolutely packed. Even with two of you, it is pot luck that you’ll be able to be spontaneous about finding a table anywhere. However, I was invited to a party showcasing a gin garden in Westminster last week that is so well hidden that even now I’ve let the cat out of the bag you’ll still be able to head along for bathtub sized G&T’s and some rather excellent tapas. Hidden out back of The Royal Horseguards Hotel in a back street behind Whitehall (I used to work in Westminster, and I still needed a map to find it!) Fever Tree have created a Secret Herb Garden.
The menu is simple; a selection of different gins are paired with Fever Tree tonics and bespoke garnishes (I was a particular fan of Beefeater paired with lime peel, fresh chilli and basil), and the menu provides an additional, optional herb addition to each, encouraging you to pick your own herbs from around the garden to add to your drinks. Okay, so the G&T’s start at £13 each, and I was drinking Bathtub and Fever Tree in the same nice glasses for £7.90 each in London Bridge on Friday night, but for the nice atmosphere, additional garnishes and the smell of herbs on a summer evening, I think it is worth a bit extra!
While they brought in some extra dishes for the party, most of what we ate from their tapas selection is available every day, and it was all utterly delicious. Of course I am always happy whenever there are fresh oysters around, but I need to give a particular shout out to the rich and smoky prawn and chorizo skewers, and the baby aubergines served with a cumin-scented tomato sauce and crumbled feta. I may or may not have eaten way more than my fair share…
I think the best gin by far they have on offer is Monkey 47, but as those G&T’s are £15 each it is well worth arriving between 5-7pm for a drink, especially if you don’t have any firm dinner plans as they have a special happy hour offer where you can order two Monkey 47 G&T’s and a selection of tapas for £20. There are your weeknight drinks planned as we speed towards the second May bank holiday weekend!
Do stop by for a drink, and don’t forget to let me know what you think! I’m also still on the hunt for great places to drink outside in London this summer (though Rose did put together a great list) so I’d love to hear your recommendations. Though, I’m not telling you where to find my local pub garden is, because I like being about to head over there with no make up on and soak up the sun with a good book and one of their giant, fantastic Aperol Spritz or glasses of Pimms!