January Round-Up

January’s a pretty depressing month unless, like us, you’ve got a few cocktail-tastic tricks up your sleeve. Mr G had the time of his life perfecting his bartending skills at Squeeze Academy, then enjoyed a massage called the G&T at The Spa At Chancery Court. Some guys have all the luck…

There we were, dressed up to the max as we watched fireworks lighting up London’s skyline. Bye, bye 2008, hello 2009, we’re looking forward to all the fun you have in store. We know it’s going to be a good one as it started in such style – from the privileged vantage point of the rooftop of the Paramount Club, atop Centre Point, looking out over the city we both adore. Life is sweet. Of course we sipped champers and quaffed cocktails. And when we needed a break from that, we did some cheesy dad-dancing to a really good Frank Sinatra sound-alike.

The rest of the month belonged to Mr G. A few days later he pitched up at Squeeze Event Mixology for one of Duane Shepherd’s fabulous mixing masterclasses. Essentially Squeeze exists for the training and advancement of professionals in the mixing world but luckily Duane is eager to share the love with eager novices. Don’t think for a second that this is just for larks. As Mr G found out, it’s a full-on but nonetheless fun day which takes in the part Admiral Lord Nelson played in the invention of the cocktail (yes, really), the reason why if you want to make a really good cocktail you have to first learn to make lemonade, not to mention taking a turn behind the bar. Duane is really generous with his time and knowledge, guiding students through the making of, amongst others, Sours, Collins, Mojitos and Daquiris, on to that tricky little devil the B52. And just when he thought he’d learnt all he possibly could in one day, Mr G was asked to create a cocktail of his own. Great fun.

Most masseurs advise you to drink plenty of water after a massage. Not so at the Spa At Chancery Court. After its deeply relaxing, thoroughly original Gin And Tonic Treatment, a real G&T is the tipple of choice. Mr G got to try the whole package out – unfortunately, this one is strictly for the boys. Indeed the ingredients are pretty manly. The full body scrub takes in salt, oil and crushed juniper berries along with invigorating tonic water, followed by a whole body massage with warm juniper berry oil. All of this would have been good but any treatment that concludes with a large Tanqueray gin and tonic as an essential part of the treatment has to be the best idea in the world. At least Mr G thinks it is…

The G&T Treatment lasts for 1 hour, 25 minutes and costs £125. The Spa At Chancery Court, 252 High Holborn, WC1V 7EN. T: 020-7829 7058. http://www.spachancerycourt.com/.

Words to the wise (or just plain curious)

Back in the day (1662 or thereabouts) gin consumption reached epidemic proportions in the slums of London. It was sold everywhere, from shops and market stalls, in the streets and even regular basements, in fact it was more common to drink gin than water. Little wonder that the famous innkeeper’s sign “Drunk for a penny – dead drunk for twopence,” was used to boast its intoxicating charms.

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