Premium gins and impeccable service from this boutique Birmingham bar
I love gin. I don’t like it, I love it. Whilst I will never be a big drinker I have been well and truly converted to its delights several years ago after years of avoidance and am now a big fan. Thankfully, it seems the rest of the world has moved on too and now the range of Gins is growing and far more accessible than ever before. Having done my time behind the bar serving endless pensioners a Gordons and Schweppes tonic with a slice of Lemon as part of the ‘Diamond Club’ (a cut price dinner menu involving mostly mashed potato, gravy and custard that was marketed to the over 50’s where I worked previously) my memories of gin are not overly positive- the strong, mineral like smell of that classic concoction remains off putting even now. Either way, whilst I am ecstatic to see so much Gin on offer it is often served with little care or attention, detracting from its wonder.
This is why 40 St Pauls is worth the visit every time. Not only does it offer a small, speakeasy style setting but from the moment you arrive it feels like a treat, soft flocked wallpaper, elegant lighting cosy seating makes it feel as if you are swimming in luxury. With an impressive range of 140 individually selected gins on offer, it could easily be overwhelming but whether it is the ever useful ‘Gin Bible’ which can be browsed through by category giving serving and flavour notes or the supremely knowledgeable staff who can pluck up the perfect concoction based on the very loosest of ideas (such as my ramblings about ‘wanting something savoury but not spicy that would surprise me- The answer being Polugar which reminds me so much of roasted cacao nibs that I now order it on every visit) the whole experience is one of relaxed decadence. Add in some homegrown nibbles from local producers and you are set for night of contentment.
Yes, I know I can get a Tanqueray No.10 and Tonic at Wetherspoon’s for half the price but it’s just not the same. Each drink is prepared with care and presented with an appropriate flourish, the ratio of ice is always balanced, the tonic is matched to the gin in question and the garnish is fresh and aromatic. If this still doesn’t excite you then there are some killer cocktails on offer too. This should never be a regular haunt as to trivialise it would take away its charm, instead it will always be one of those much loved places that feels special. Give them a call and book a table- you won’t be disappointed.