Roving gin bar Unexpected Guest started life inside a 1972 Kombi Lowlight (a tangerine dream named Gertrude), serving from a makeshift bar on the vehicle’s tray at markets, festivals and private events. These days it's trading in a former mechanic’s workshop, revamped with a flashy copper still, a terrazzo-tiled bar and plenty of cosy places to sit.

Built around the working distillery, the warehouse space reflects the personality and creativity of the brand. A vivid strip of sunset orange – the same that dresses Gertrude – does a half-lap around the room’s perimeter, while quirky furnishings and retro art adorn the walls and shelving. It’s a look that takes its cues from Unexpected Guest’s four-strong line-up of gins: Clementine’s American Gin, Young Tom’s Bathtub Gin, Bobby’s London Dry Gin and Disco Flamingo’s Pink Gin.

Cocktails are classics with quirks, and you could be sipping on a Tom Collins laced with a yuzushu Black Market Sake next door, a caffeinated Negroni mixing Campari steeped in coffee beans, and a dirty Martini with a stuffed olive.

Snacks include “dip and bickies”; a charcuterie board with truffled salami, bresaola and bread; and serves of green Perelló olives. The finisher is the Disco Cheesecake, a Basque beauty topped with Disco Flamingo raspberry coulis.

The room is split into different seating areas, each based on a character. There’s plush seating and art covering the walls in Clementine’s corner, and there’s a record player surrounded by comfy seating in Young Tom’s digs, forming a makeshift drinking den. The bathrooms? Hot pink for Disco Flamingo. Gertrude is on display at the back, and still hits the road for events.

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Updated: October 18th, 2023

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