Top Pubs to Indulge Gin Lovers
The nation’s love affair with gin continues unabated and here we share with you our Top Pubs to indulge the gin lovers’ amongst you. Cholmondeley Arms, Cheshire This former schoolhouse, now a pub and hotel, is a textbook example of how cherished historic buildings can be converted to serve their community in a new, imaginative…
The nation’s love affair with gin continues unabated and here we share with you our Top Pubs to indulge the gin lovers’ amongst you.
This former schoolhouse, now a pub and hotel, is a textbook example of how cherished historic buildings can be converted to serve their community in a new, imaginative way. As well as an extraordinary number of gins (400 and counting), you’ll find Cholmondeley Best (from Weetwood) plus a seasonal house ale such as School’s Out, along with guests from the likes of Hobson and Snowdonia and a farm cider on handpump, and a dozen wines by the glass on a knowledgeably chosen list. A sizeable lawn (which drifts off into open countryside) has plenty of seating and there’s more in front overlooking the quiet road. Cholmondeley Castle Gardens are nearby.
Licensee Simon George has such an encyclopaedic knowledge of beer that this comfortable red-brick pub has become a place of pilgrimage for connoisseurs of Britain’s brewing scene and he’s a dab hand at cooking up a curry too. There are around 11 constantly changing real ales from all over the country, sourced and kept with love, among them the new brews from Salopian, Thornbridge and Red Willow, plus three interesting keg lagers. You’ll also find dozens of unusual bottled beers, ciders, perries and farm cider, 140 different whiskies, 100 gins, 20 vodkas, 22 rums, carefully selected soft drinks and a dozen wines by the glass from a good list.
This grand two-storey pub has a real air of elegance with its large rooms with plush armchairs, built-in bookshelves and ornate chandeliers. That’s not surprising, considering it was originally an Italianate-style courthouse. Friendly young staff serve St Austell Brunning & Price Traditional Bitter plus guests from breweries such as Cotswold Lion, Goffs, Hop Shed, Prescott, Purity and Wye Valley on handpump, 26 wines by the glass, 60 rums, 70 malt whiskies and a marvellous 144 gins. Outside, a few tables and chairs are set out on the front pavement.
This fine 16th-c village pub is ideal for walks along the Cotswold Way and on Selsley Common. The three interconnected bar rooms have beams, a woodburning stove and an open fire, wood-strip floors and modern dining chairs and tables in polished wood, with high chairs at the blue-painted bar counter. There’s Stroud Budding, Wickwar BOB and a beer named for the pub on handpump, several wines by the glass including champagne, 18 malt whiskies and 100 gins, they have gin tasting trays, regular gin evenings and even offer overnight gin experiences. Service is friendly and helpful; the pub dog is called Bacchus. The garden room dining extension has retractable glass doors leading out to the terrace where picnic-sets enjoy spreading valley views.
Set back from the road, down a long drive surrounded by lawns and pleasant country views, this sprawling former country pile features a mix of cosy nooks and large, airy rooms. Friendly, cheerful staff serve a fantastic range of drinks that includes Phoenix Brunning & Price Original plus guests such as Brightside Amarillo, Conwy West Coast Pale Ale, Cwrw Ial Limestone Cowboy, Hopback Crop Circle, Lancaster Black and Red and Oakham Inferno on handpump, 21 wines by the glass, 123 malt whiskies, more than 100 gins and ten farm ciders. At the back of the building there are terraces with good quality wooden chairs and tables under parasols, and steps down to picnic-sets around a fountain.
An excellent range of drinks, coupled with an enticing menu and a lovely setting means that our readers greatly enjoy their visits to this golden-stone inn. Friendly staff serve two quickly changing ales on handpump, a couple of draught ciders, 47 good wines by the glass from a fine list, more than 150 gins, a good choice of other spirits and cocktails. The pub’s springer is called Alfie. The garden, with views of open countryside beyond, is charming: there are seats beneath large parasols on a terrace, picnic-sets on grass and a boules pitch. Good walks from the door.
There’s a lot to see near this sizeable pub, making it a great choice for lunch or an evening meal. In fine weather, customers like to make use of the seats and benches among flowering tubs and raised flower beds on the spreading terrace behind the pub, overlooking a lake. From the long counter, friendly, helpful staff serve Phoenix Brunning & Price Original and Wye Valley Butty Bach with guests such as Greene King Escapade and XX Mild, Salopian Oracle, Titanic Plum Porter and Weetwood Eastgate on handpump, 16 wines by the glass, 100 whiskies, 120 gins and 80 rums. There’s a rack outside for cyclists, and a circular walk from the pub to help you work up your thirst or appetite.
The large main bar in this much extended, characterful pub is the focus of its many charms. Friendly staff serve St Austell Brunning & Price Traditional Bitter plus Harveys Sussex Best, Surrey Hills Shere Drop, Timothy Taylors Landlord, Wantsum Montgomery and Westerham Hay Today on handpump, 24 wines by the glass, more than 120 gins and 80 whiskies. Outside, a large paved area with raised flower beds has good quality tables and chairs under big parasols and there are picnic-sets on . Dogs are warmly welcomed with a bowl of water and maybe even a biscuit or two.
A large modern fire pit inside and sunny garden with deckchairs outside provide a warm welcome at this beautifully restored golden-stone inn, whatever the season. Built in 1770 to take advantage of what was a busy turnpike road, it’s now part of the Brunning & Price group. Friendly young staff serve St Austell Brunning & Price Traditional Bitter and several guests such as Hook Norton Hooky and North Cotswold Green Man IPA on handpump, real cider, 20 wines by the glass, more than 100 gins and numerous malt whiskies. The large garden has good quality seats and tables under a gazebo.
A Grade II-listed watermill (the wheel was restored when Brunning & Price took on these delightful old buildings), and a pleasure to explore. There are several linked areas on the main upper floor with its heavy beams, plenty of welly spaced tables in different sizes and styles, coal-effect fires in pretty fireplaces and a profusion of often interesting pictures. A section of floor is glazed to reveal the rushing water and mill wheel below, and a galleried section looks down into a dining room, given a more formal feel by panelling. St Austell Brunning & Price Traditional Bitter plus guests such as Ascot Racecard, Delphic Level Crossing, Longdog Lamplight Porter, Old Pie Factory Pie in the Sky and West Berkshire Golden Age on handpump, 40 malt whiskies, 20 wines by the glass, more than 100 gins and local farm cider. Lovely grounds surround the building, with lots of solid tables and chairs on terraces and picnic-sets on grass ‘ and the mill pond is a fabulous place for nature spotting. Handy for the M3.