As soon as my Work Wife (this is actually what we call each other) mentioned to me that Sipsmith & Ham Yard Hotel were collaborating on something called the "Hot Gin Roof", I was sold. I took a look at a few photographs online of some sparkly lights and read "rooftop bar" and we'd suddenly bagged ourselves some tickets before even really looking into what it involved. 

Something that's worth noting is my Work Wife is an absolute gin obsessive. I think this may be rubbing off on me a tad. I have very little knowledge about gin but I do know that I am acquiring the skill of tucking the odd G&T away quite nicely.

Before the day we didn't really read much about it. We opted for a Sunday ticket that included a 3 course meal at Ham Yard Hotel in Soho - it is definitely worth the extra cost if you are torn between a gin roof ticket priced at £18 or the meal ticket at £38 (Sundays & Valentine's only).

On the day we met up beforehand to sample a few cocktails about town - whet the whistle and all that jazz. As the evening drew darker we took a wander through London to get to our destination.

London at night is so beautiful.

As we passed by chinatown and into a few side streets that didn't appear to offer much excitement... in the distance I could see the twinkle of lights that promised something more. The entrance to Ham Yard is beautiful. A tiny little courtyard tucked away but not lost.

After being greeted inside by two very polite doormen and a stroke of some crazy woven wallpaper, we hopped into the lift and chuckled away as it climbed to the roof - not really sure what to expect at all.

The lift opened to a tiny little desk, unmanned, with the only evidence of a pop up event being the Hot Gin Roof stationary on the side. We waited, hoping somebody would arrive to greet us, and pretty quickly in popped a lovely gent to introduce the evening.

Once checked in he led us to some glass doors and out onto the roof terrace. As we stepped out, we discovered what the evening had in store.

The terrace was beautifully lit with lanterns and candles, dotted with sofas and chairs draped in grey fluffy blankets and squishy pillows. With a warm welcome to our seat and brief introduction to the event, our bums barely made it to our lavish seats before another lovely gent came along with our welcome drink - a hot G&T. Absolutely delicious!

The concept pays homage to gin cocktails from the 1920's, back in a time before central heating where hot gin was served to keep Londoners warm. This tasty delight has since been lost. Sipsmith brings back to London an old concept reinvented with 'The Classics'.

As we cosied up and sipped away, we read through the menu of cocktails on offer. It was difficult to chose our next drink. The menu is really interesting and boasts a variety of both hot and cold gin concoctions. The menus were beautiful and they were ours to take home (I've said it before, I really like stationary).

Mr B & the W.W (Work Wife) were pretty pleased. Pleased with the event itself, the delicious drink they were chugging away on, and with themselves. By this point impressed that they were still compos mentis enough to appreciate the creativity that had gone into developing each individual recipe.

The team here were more than accommodating. They talked us through the concept of the night, the choices in the menu, recommended their favourites and even stopped for a chat a few times over. The vibe was relaxed and friendly and they welcomed you to wander to take photos - something I didn't need telling twice.

Lots of lovely garden heaters lined the terrace keeping us toasty and setting a really cosy mood.

We all made use of the branded blankets on offer. I have an extra appreciation for an event that not only styles itself successfully but takes that next step, adding little embellishments to tie it all together. If my bag was big enough I would have loved to sneak one of these bad boys out!

As our glasses drained, we placed our next order. Mr B went for a "Smoking Cardinal" whereas W.W went for "The New Proof". After a final browse of the menu I spotted "espresso" and "pharmeceutical" in one description and I was captivated - it had to be a "Hot Pharmaceutical" for me.

Even Mr B got all cosy in the blankets. I think an evening with the girls drinking gin encroached on his sensitive side.

With our new drinks in hand we had a chat with Marcus, Sipsmith's Brand Ambassador, about his favourite cocktails. By the end I am sure he listed them all but to be fair, if it was my job to wander the rooftop gin in hand, I'd choose them all too. 

The super chatty staff were a nice touch and they were all so friendly and relaxed - it really made the whole evening that bit more fun.

The winner of them all. The Hot Pharmaceutical! I want to be able to make one of these. Just wow. A sexier take on the espresso martini. Smoother, creamier and totally superior - Mr B & W.W had to order one too!

With some smoke in the distance, I spotted some flames at the bar so of course I was straight over to find out what it was all about. It was a pretty epic display. I'm not quite certain on his name or job title even (I blame the wonderful array of cocktails) but I am going to call him the master builder. ;P He was pouring flames like I'd never seen.

The idea behind it: The Royal Navy would pour spirit onto gunpowder when buying them. If it ignited it was at least proof (57.4% abv in today's language). If it flared, it was over proof. This cocktail is created by pouring flaming drinks between two containers to develop its flavours. An absolute delight to watch I can tell you.

Rosy-cheeked with a belly full of tasty treats, we sadly gave back our cosy blankets as we headed back inside for our meal with Ham Yard Hotel. I could have stayed on the rooftop sampling cocktails all night!

Ham Yard Hotel was stunning and the meal was to die for. Absolute value for money within our ticket price.

After finishing our evening with 3 courses of total yummyness, we wrapped up warm and headed back out into the streets of london.  Merry, full to the brim and totally starry eyed from an evening of twinkling lights and gastronomical delights.

An absolute must do. A perfect date night, a brilliant night with friends or the perfect idea for a Valentine's Day treat. If you've missed tickets this time be sure to look out for them next year. I hope it returns just so I can go back!

Well done Sipsmith. My favourite 'day out' in 2017 so far!

- MTWP xxx

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