45 West: Bottle Shop & Bar, Leicester

Well, it’s been a good year for this young blogger’s relationship with gin. Local gin, as it goes. I’ve tasted it, I’ve made my own and I’ve tasted some more (it’s important to taste a few times in case you weren’t paying proper attention originally). Yes, it’s really been the year of Burleigh‘s for me here at Extreme Housewifery, the best thing to come out of Nanpantan since, well, anything really. The outwoods are lovely though – and of course provided some of the inspiration for the botanicals that Master Distiller Jamie uses in his creations.

Now it’s even easier for us Leicester folk to enjoy this wonderful gin and more excellent drinks besides with the launch of 45 West, a bottle shop and bar on Hotel Street. We popped down to the press launch this week and were treated to some delicious drinks and very tasty canapes in the relaxed lounge environment.

It’s dark and ambient, with subtle lighting accents and tasteful decoration. There are plenty of nooks and crannies for you to take a comfortable seat – in essence its a wonderful place to escape the winter night.

They have an interesting range of wines on offer, naturally cheaper by the bottle to takeaway than to drink in and there is a good range of prices to suit all pockets. I opted to try the Los Tres Curas Chardonnay from Chile. While I have no idea of the colour because of the lighting in 45 West, I was impressed by the cherry blossom nose and full, balanced flavour in the mouth which has a good acid tang which fades into a lighter vanilla and gooseberry without losing the sharpness. I found it was a particularly good match with the earthiness of the pesto/grilled aubergine canape and a really easy drinking wine with interesting texture and mouth feel.

Of course we also had to have a signature Burleigh’s gin and tonic, but we mixed it up a bit by having the Distiller’s Cut (my absolute favourite) with Fever-tree’s Mediterranean tonic, to add extra floral notes at the recommendation of our very knowledgeable bar tender. It was garnished with pink grapefruit and rosemary and really hit the spot. I think Burleigh’s may well be my favourite gin in the world, but I will have to keep testing that theory, so I can make sure.

45 West also has a comfortable lounge in the basement which you can hire and rumour has it that they may focus it in the future as a cigar lounge, which would certainly be a unique offer in the city! All brown leather chairs and muted earth tones, this is definitely a much needed dose of masculine charm in terms of the hire spaces available in Leicester, although I for one would be more than happy to while away an evening with friends in there, it’s certainly not just set up as a boy’s retreat.

Welcome to Leicester 45 West! The only bind it puts me in is that I now have yet another beautiful watering hole on what is now a very long list of fabulous places that serve excellent drinks and have wonderfully well-trained, knowledgeable and friendly staff. Drinkers of Leicester, we are being spoiled. What a crying shame.


Bestselling author and freelance drinks writer. Champion of pubs and breweries. Occasional printmaker.

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