I love a Mr Foggs location. I will always remember the first time I ventured down that eery back street in search of the secret location of the first one. For the bouncer to knock on the door and let us in. Since back then, they’ve opened so many more. Each with its own theme, I get so excited every time I go to one. The House of Botanicals is so pretty and all pastels, and The Society of Exploration was super immersive and fantastic – it’s said to be turning into a safari this summer! So when I heard about the Gin Adventure at Mrs Foggs Maritime Club & Distillery, I couldn’t contain my excitement.
Mrs Foggs Maritime Club & Distillery is right in the heart of the city, in Broadgate circle. Mrs Foggs is inspired by Fogg’s Indian wife, Aouda, and the Victorian steamship that they travelled home to London on. As expected, the interior was amazing. You do feel as though you’re stepping back in time, walking onto a ship! The maritime theme runs throughout the bar. The ground floor features lots of woods, posters on the walls and flags hanging from the ceiling. There are plenty of nautical objects, deck chairs and even a boat making up a booth seat.
There’s a first class section on the side too, the Ragoon Steamer. This additional bar space is gorgeous, with plush velvets and old-fashioned patterned carpets. This is where Chris and I sat for our welcome cocktail, an EnGINe Room Gin, before heading ‘below deck’ to where IT all happens.
The EnGINe Room Gin was a lovely twist on a classic G&T, with Bombay Sapphire gin, chilli-infused St-Germain elderflower liqueur and tonic water. It’s light, with a touch of floral and really refreshing. How else could you start a gin adventure other than a fancy G&T?!
Time for the Gin Adventure to start…
… and the grumpy Engine Master, came up to stamp our boarding passes and take us downstairs. The Engine Master was absolutely fantastic from the get go. Hi presence filled the bar, and he kept the act of a gin-ius from a past-time so well. A little grumpy, perhaps a tad tipsy/rowdy, humourous, constantly making jokes or taking the mic out of people in the group (in a light heated fashion). Cary, who played the Engine Master when we visited, really was awesome and made it exactly what it was.
Once downstairs in the Engine Room, you’re surrounded by noises of the ship, lots of rumbling and background noise. It’s fully immersive. You coat up in a boiler suit or apron, and all gather into a little room. There we spent about 15 minutes or so, learning (whilst laughing) the history of gin, how it all started, how it changed and what actually makes a gin.
You then head back into the ‘below deck’ bar, find a spot with tasters and various other bits in front of you. You grab your first taster and crowd back round the Engine Master next to what looks like a small stage. Here we learnt even more, tasted a small shot of very potent gineva (the first gin) together, before finishing it up and heading back to our spot for further tasting.
The two tasters which followed were more the style of gin we’re used to here today – a little more smooth and less fiery. The Engine Master taught us how to taste gin properly, with the help of the group on deciding how we usually say hi to a person. Yes, we actually double-cheek kissed the glass thanks to Chris’ suggestion. It was hilarious. After swirling and tasting, we all discussed the gins before thinking about what ingredients we really liked to feature in our own gin.
You then get to make your OWN gin recipe.
There’s a board of ingredients which the Engine Master goes through roughly (which make a gin smoky/sweet/etc). You’re then set loose on starting to build our recipe. You get a little help and direction on quantities and additions to get the gin to taste exactly how you imagine it to for The Engine Master. Everyone heads back into the little room where the flavoured distillates live, for our flavoured gins to be measured out into a beaker.
We got to smell the distillates too, which was really interesting to see which were potent and which a little more subtle. It makes you realise why you nly need a touch of some to make the flavour shine through.
Back at the bar with the beakers, and it’s time to decant. 200ml goes into a little bottle to take away, whilst you get a taster glass to try your gin straight, and a balloon glass for a G&T. Chris and I were so happy with our creations. We couldn’t believe we got to actually make our own gin recipes. Both very different in flavour (one very orange and smoky, the other more like an apple pie flavour), yet so tasty in our G&Ts.
We sat and enjoyed our G&Ts, soaking up the experience just a little more before heading off, with our little bottles of our own gin in hand (well in a paper bag). What an experience.
- Price: £60pp – including a welcome G&T, three tasters, a 200ml bottle of your own recipe gin to take away and a G&T to finish, plus THE experience. Totally worth it for a special occasion!
- Drink: We did really enjoy the welcome G&T (The EnGINe Room Gin), but loved our own gin even more. Well, it’s more special when you’ve created it!
- Fun?: So much fun! We laughed so much, had a fab experience and learnt lots too. Best bit you get to take your gin away too!
- Atmosphere: Pretty relaxed, but funny – lots of laughs!
- Service: The actors were amazing! Kept in the act all night, and just had fun. They made the experience what it was – absolutely fantastic!
- Booking: The Gin Adventure a Mrs. Foggs Maritime Club & Distillery runs every Tuesday at 6.01pm, and Saturdays at 1.01pm or 3.31pm. You can book a spot online.
We really do recommend this for any gin fans. Or even gin newbies looking for something a little different and fun to do. It’s such a fantastic experience.
Have you been to any masterclasses like this before?
*I was invited along to review as part of the ELG team – all views my own.