Hump day in London… The day that has us all desperately clawing our way over the midweek slump and towards the light at the end of our tunnel, otherwise known as ‘Friday’.
I don’t know about you, but my Wednesday evenings are usually consumed by one of two things; a few episodes of Gilmore girls and an early night, or a glass or two of wine at the nearest bar. Granted, neither of these things are necessarily exhilarating uses of my time, especially in such a diverse and exciting city as London.
So this week I decided to break away from my boring weekly rituals and celebrate hump day in a way that would leave me with a story to tell. And so an Irish Whisk(e)y tasting at Merchant House came to be.
Whiskey is by no means my tipple, and I actually struggle to recall a specific time I’ve drank it, at least that I know of anyway. But when I heard of the subtle and hidden Merchant House of Fleet Street with their quirky interiors, passionate Whiskey connoisseurs and over 500 bottles on display, this sounded like one of those positive ‘out of comfort zone’ experiences that I had to try out.
We entered the unassuming doors feeling slightly nervous that our Whiskey tasting peers might be a) mostly male or b) quite a lot older than us. But to our surprise we were greeted by a group of about 15 trendy, young men and women who looked to be in exactly the same boat as us. Phew!
We sat at an atmospheric, candlelit table and felt like we’d stepped back in time. We quickly had a sweet and delicious Whiskey infused cocktail in front of us, delivered by our masterclass professional; a passionate, bolshie Irishman who dropped the ‘F’ bomb after approximately five seconds and had us in stitches by six.
Each of the five Whiskies we tasted had its own fascinating history and embodied different smells and flavours. This alien spirit suddenly had different identities and tastes that I didn’t even know existed or would think I’d have especially cared about. After a few tasters, the fifteen strangers became a group of friends, joking and laughing with each other and discussing our new-found knowledge and awoken taste buds.
The stuffy experience we had nervously anticipated completely exceeded our expectations. We were in stitches for one and a half hours straight, met some great people and had a night out that we’ll be reminiscing about for weeks to come.
So, looking to tick another quirky London experience off your list and move away from your normal weekly hangouts? Then grab a friend and head down to Merchant house for one of their Gin, Rum or Whiskey masterclasses. Trust me, my sides are still aching!