Cheeky and I were invited along to the new ‘Six Storeys’ on Soho by Camm & Hooper to experience a decadent evening of Gins, Vodkas and Rum; so we filled our bellies with food in readiness, took a deep breath and climbed to the third storey where we entered the ‘Decantery’. Inspired by Soho’s rich creative past, stepping into the ‘Decantery’ is like stepping back in time to the 1780’s. It is an intimate space with no traditional bar separating the the bar tender and the merrymakers. Instead one experiences a space where one can get up close and personal with the drinks, the ingredients and the ‘Chief Booze Engineer’ himself, Patrick Hobbs. Patrick is an artist when it comes to the firewater, his passion for pushing the boundaries and exploring the world of booze is something to behold. Like the celebrity chefs of the past 20-30 years who made gargantuan advances in gastronomy for all to appreciate and benefit; Patrick is a pioneer, paving the way for us to follow him into his eccentric world of booze.
No sooner had we arrived, there was a Gin & Tonic in each of our hands, what fantastic service. Once settled into this cosy environment which did not take long, we were seated and testing a collection of infused gins. This was of course without any tonic so that we could experience the full flavour and also because Patrick had created these gins so that one could drink them neat or on ice. First we tried the Plum gin which was delectably sweet and simple it’s its flavour, this was followed by a Pear and sage gin was was remarkably quaffable. Next up for tasting was a Lavender and Rosemary gin which was the perfect blend of both flavours, neither too strong or too weak, a subtle and pleasant taste; no hint of granny in the Lavender either. Cheeky tried the Hay and Camomile next, which she was not a huge fan of, however I took to the flavour and polished this one off.
The trick to getting a lot of these flavours right is the amount of time that the ingredients stay in the gin for, from one day to a whole month or more various flavours require different amounts of time in the gin. The next glass to come across our table was blue cheese gin!!!! Wow, this was unusual, it smelt of cheese, yet did not taste of cheese. Cheeky liked this gin, but then she is the cheese maister. Venison and truffle gin was the next tipple that we were to try. This was made with peppered venison sausage and had a very dry taste, this was very boozy and apparently it was best drunk as a martini. It had quite a unique flavour, though it did remind me of some modeling clay that I used to use as a kid weirdly enough. Oh how smells can transport you through time!
Suddenly, we experienced possibly the best smelling alcohol so far in the shape of chocolate and rose vodka. It smelt like liquid chocolate and we all began craving hot chocolates. Once we had all drunk as much as the chocolate and rose vodka, then it was onto the strawberry and basil vodka; this was sweet and luxurious, Patrick then made a cocktail with this vodka plus balsamic and cranberry called a Shrub, this was particularly scrumptious. I particularly love the history surrounding food and beverage and next cocktail called ‘Four Thieves’ had a fabulous backstory, allegedly four thieves were robbing from the sick and the dead during the European plague but they managed to stave off the plague through the use of Vinegar mixed with various herbs. When caught they exchanged their secret concoction in return from leniency from the judge! I do not know I now carry the antibodies to fight off the plague but the cocktail made with beetroot, cider vinegar, grapefruit and rhubarb vodka was sweet and pleasant and of course very medicinal.
As well as these delightful tipples we experienced other such as a germanic Rumtopf, a ‘My Tie’ and the very morish Buttered rum which seemed to me to be pure black magic in a bottle, what a delectable drink that one was. These were just a few tasters of what is available at the Six Storeys from the magician that is Patrick Hobbs. Whether you want a crazy night out, and intimate tipple or a divine dinner there are six floors with various styles and offerings, from smoky lounges of the prohibition era, Victorian style dining to a French style parlour and various intimate spaces that all have that exclusive private members club without the membership fee. Pop along to Six Storeys, you will not be disappointed.
11 Soho Square