I really love gin. Gin and tonic, sloe gin and bitter lemon, gin and cranberry juice, gin and orange juice. Among my favourites are Tanqueray, Hendricks (this one always with cucumber, not lime), Bombay Sapphire and Beefeater. So when some friends invited me to join them at a bar called Gin Palace a little part of my life was immediately completed. In true Melburnian style, Gin Palace is tucked away down an alley called Russell Place off Little Collins street. The only marker is the rather small ‘GP’ sign above the door which sparkles at night.
It’s a great bar to visit during winter with it’s cushions and cosy armchairs. When you first walk in it’s easy to presume this place is pretentious, but trust me it isn’t. The staff are lovely and very down to earth, and they’ve got enough knowledge to whip you up a gin surprise that isn’t on the menu. The menu itself feels somewhat like a beautifully presented short story book.
|Leigh perusing the menu …. ‘Hmmm, so much gin so little time!’|
|The amazing cushion bath, I was VERY tempted to hop in but I held back|
|The main interior|
The first time I came here I’d had a couple of glasses of wine and didn’t want to mix so I asked for a non-alcoholic cocktail. What came back was a totally delicious twist of a ginger julep. This time round I started off with a Tanqueray and tonic and then moved on to the cocktail list.
I personally find it mildly irritating when you go to a nice cocktail bar and all of the cocktail makers are men and all of the floor staff are women. So I was really pleased to see some women behind the bar here. All the staff were incredibly friendly and professional at the same time – they will bring you round a tray of water if you’re sitting down for a while. I like that, you feel looked after.
|Look at the luscious sofa!|
My cocktail was an aperitif and also extremely strong. I didn’t manage to drink it all (I’m a low tolerance kind of person) but it was delicious! Had I not already had a couple of drinks I would have finished it off no problem.
The prices here are a little higher than the Melbourne standard, but not extortionately so. I feel it’s the sort of place to drink less and savour the gin flavours anyway! Well worth a visit if you’re short on time in Melbourne and want a night out with a bit of city luxury.