In case you missed it, Listers, self-proclaimed Duke of Juniper, Hamish Goonetilleke (of Rum Diary Bar renown), has opened his second Fitzroy venue, G&Tea Gin Garden, on the Kerr and Brunswick Street intersection, neighbouring the Evelyn and The Fitz. With the help of ‘creative botanicalist’, Andy Griffiths, the concept was delivered in a mere thirty days. It’s enough to make you want a drink, really…
And this is certainly the place to indulge! Upon visiting G&Tea Gin Garden, I was overwhelmed with the seventy speciality gins immediately on offer—a number that both Hamish and Andy (no, not those guys) insist will grow.
With the help from up-and-coming interior designer, Meg Milton, the site has been invigorated with pops of colour both inside and out. Turquoise rendered walls feature inside, while statement red furnishings provide a comfortable and uplifting setting. Cleverly, the inside feels like a chic café, contrasting with the rustic but breezy outside drinking area. A personal favourite? The pink and purple flamingo feature wall.
As the name suggests, G&Tea has a subtle focus on gin and tonic variations. The simple concept is given a refreshing twist with exotic ingredients like yuzu and green capsicum, plus dandelion and wormwood tinctures. Flavour captain, Griffiths, has also constructed a summer-loving cocktail list, starring both cocktails for sharing and personal imbibing. Flavoursome carafes are available, with the French 750 being a notable stand-out. A quince and green tea laden gin is matched superbly with citrus and chardonnay before being carbonated and served ‘a la champagne’—cheeky and delicious. At G&Tea Gin Garden, you’ll find classics like the Negroni, but also home grown heroes like Gin Disley and Hello Sailor. A concise beer and wine list round out the drinks menu.
A selection of savoury and sweet food items are also available through a high tea inspired menu. Gorgonzola, walnut and roasted pear tarts are given a delicate edge with mascarpone and a dash of black lava salt, while smoked salmon crostini is served with avocado mousse and merlot salt. While no gin garden is complete without cucumber sandwiches, the ones at G&Tea are first soaked in the juniper botanic before being matched with clouds of creamy goats curd.
G&Tea Gin Garden provides an eclectic pop of colour to what is already a fruitful intersection. The charismatic little venue promises to provide the perfect Sunday afternoon session or a quick stopover as you sashay through the streets of Fitzroy. The perfect place to take the girlfriends, G&Tea Gin Garden promises to refresh perspired palates.
Image Credits: Tash Sorensen.