Just under a week ago when I was back in Sussex visiting my family for Christmas & New Year, I visited the Gin Tub on Church Road in Hove, with two of my oldest friends. I hadn’t actually heard of the place before this (despite being quite a big gin fan – which you may remember from my Hotel Chocolat post), but apparently it’s only been open for a few months. For those familiar with Brighton & Hove – it used to be called Bar 76. The Gin Tub is a lovely little place, with some fun quirks, so I’m very pleased my friend suggested it.
First of all, if you prefer going to places with good signal and/or wifi then this isn’t the bar for you. There’s no signal inside due to the installed Faraday cage, designed to make phone signal weaker. The sign outside the bar clarifies that there’s: no wifi, and no signal, “just good old fashioned chit-chat!” which (despite my pang of anxiety on arrival) was actually very refreshing!
“We like our patrons to enjoy the company of the people they are with not the online people they are not with. We are trying to bring back the art of conversation.”
The bar serves over 60 gins (inc. gin cocktails) and 20 tonics, as well as a range of beers (inc. craft beer), and other spirits too. On the menu some of the prices are including tonic, and others aren’t, it depends on the brand of gin as to whether it is/isn’t included, so make sure you double check. There are some gins that the staff advise to go with particular tonics eg. the flavour of the gin you’ve chosen works well with elderflower, but they do advise on this when you order your chosen drinks. They also have some of the usual bar snacks (olives, peanuts, etc), but they had run out of pistachios when we went. Sad face.
Although there is table service (in that your drinks are brought to your table by a waitress), you don’t order in the usual way of waiting for a member of staff to come to you. Simply pick up the vintage telephone on your table and dial ‘0’. In the menu there’s also a floor plan of all the tables and their numbers so you can call others drinking in the bar. We didn’t try this ourselves, but I think the idea is quite fun!
Overall I really loved the vibe of the place, and the clear inspiration they had taken from the Prohibition era was classy, without going to over the top. Being “unplugged” for a few hours was a nice change and meant none of the usual distractions from messages popping up/social media notifications. My full attention was on having the well needed, long overdue catch up with two of my old friends.
If this sounds like the kind of place you fancy visiting for a “good old fashion chit-chat” over a delicious glass of gin that you have to order on the telephone, you can check out the Gin Tub’s website here with group booking options and contact information. The bar doesn’t have any presence online in the form of an official Facebook Page, or regularly updated twitter, so the contact page on the website is the best bet for questions or queries!
Beneath the Gin Tub is another bar called The Rum Cage, which I’m hoping I’ll manage to visit sometime this year!
If you enjoyed this blog, why not check out previous posts about when Kraken had a black Christmas in East London, or ABQ London – the Breaking Bad themed bar where you cook cocktails in a fully kitted out RV.