Having moved almost 17,000 kilometres away from home for a change of scenery, getting picked up from work in a London Taxi and ferried to an English gin-themed supper club was all rather surreal.
A red brick building nestled in a quiet leafy patch of Paddington, The Lord Dudley is a quintessentially English gastro pub. Its rich family history is rivalled only by that of Hayman’s Gin – no wonder the two teamed up to put on this fabulous event.
Greeted on the first floor by fifth generation distiller James Hayman, we were handed a fresh G&T to ease us into the boozy night ahead. The low-lit lounge style bar was lined with dark wooden framed paintings, soft green armchairs and red velvet lamp shades that almost had me believing I was in an English countryside pub. Compèred by Mike Enright of The Barber Shop, the evening instantly oozed a sense of quality that can only come from years of experience in the hospitality industry. The respect from ginthusiasts in the room was clear from the outset.
Led by James, we tasted our way through the history of Hayman’s gin. From the classic London dry to a feisty Navy strength (that’s 57% alc. FYI) and a softer, slightly less eye watering sloe gin. Hayman’s is a notably citrusy gin and holds its own paired with a good quality tonic or mix – Fever Tree is preferable, of course.
The night continued as we were marched down the winding staircase to the lower grounds Garden Restaurant. A stark difference to the main pub we found a contemporary dining room with exposed sandstone walls, a glass-house ceiling dripping with ivy and pressed botanicals on display that seemed oh-so-appropriate for the evening’s theme.
Each course came with an expertly recommended cocktail. As a thoroughbred carnivore, for me, the Pork & Veal Country Terrine to start followed by the Mirrool Creek Lamb Rump were a must. The lamb was beautifully tender & the perfect amount of pink, nestled into a bed of crushed peas & topped with sweet crispy onions it took centre stage. The sides of creamy mash, steamed broccolini and shoestring fries were perfect accompaniments to mop up the gravy left over. The Hayman’s French 75 and Mediterranean Spritz took my fancy on the cocktail front, I enjoy a long and subtly flavoured gin cocktail; both disappeared with ease.
Running from the 1st – 31st October, the Hayman’s Gin Supper Club is offering guests a choice of food & drink combinations to please a range of budgets. At $25 for an entrée & cocktail, $40 for a main and cocktail or $65 for the Supper Club Special which is one entrée, one main, and two cocktails – the setting and drinks alone are worth the spend.