From the team behind Crepe Vine, the newly opened Maisie’s Gin Bar and Restaurant is a charming and cosy establishment with a peaceful, welcoming atmosphere that caters for people of all ages. This family-owned business specialises in cocktail mixology, as well as having an aptitude for waffles. Before we get into that, however, let us tell you a little bit about this place.
Chase Pink Grapefruit and Pomade Gin, Whitley Neill Raspberry Gin paired with raspberry lemonadeMaisie’s, rather unarguably, stands out amongst the rest of the neighbouring establishments in Uplands. Although on the smaller side, they have worked hard to make it their own. To sum it up in one sentence, “you won’t find any place like it in Swansea.”
Décor wise, Maisie’s is rather enticing. You can really tell that a great deal of time and care has been put into making it feel inviting. The gin bar follows a quirky theme with stylish wooden furniture and no shortage of eye-catching features. Most notably, we sat across from a lovely wall feature of cascading bottles and shelves. Moreover, we were told they are always looking to add more character to the place – the most recent plan is to further brighten up the interior by adding fairy lights along the walls.
Now for what we tried. We were recommended the Chase Pink Grapefruit and Pomade Gin for its unique and refreshing taste, yet another popular option is the Whitley Neill Raspberry Gin for its fruity flavour. Those looking to try something new should definitely choose the former, but you cannot go wrong with the Whitley Neill either, which is well paired with raspberry lemonade to give an invigorating, floral flavour that we found reminiscent of elderflower. The frozen fruit was a pleasant added touch as well. The staff at Maisie’s go that extra mile with your gin, as each beverage is highly customisable, giving you the option to pair the gin with any variety of mixer. This choice is further made easier by attentive staff who can help you pick a pairing to suit your taste.
As for the food, all ingredients are locally sourced and everything is made from scratch. Two of the most popular items on the brunch menu are ‘The Canadian’ and the ‘Toronto Brunch’. As for the main menu, we were able to sample the vegetarian tagine and the Maisie’s fried chicken. The presentation was outstanding; there was a perfect balance between the sweet waffle and the savoury chicken and for the price the portion size was more than reasonable. The tagine was a dish that, as a non-veggie, I would still find myself ordering, perhaps even over a meaty one! Served with couscous fries and a crisp salad, the tagine had a full-bodied warm flavour with a hint of spice.
For those of you with specific dietary requirements, Maisie’s also provides both soya and coconut milk alternatives to dairy and what’s more, their menu offers a large variety of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. Being gluten-free himself, the owner has taken care to offer something for everyone. For example, a gluten-free order of pancakes can be substituted for any waffle-based dish at the restaurant. Lastly, with all that Maisie’s has to offer, we were surprised by that fact that everything on the menu was so inexpensive – with gins ranging from £2.90 to £4 – so it is a great option for those of you looking for a place to drink on a student budget. Not to mention that there is a 15% student discount!
So what can you expect in the future for this place? For all you gin fanatics out there, we were told that they are slowly trying to expand this aspect of the business to match their highly popular food selection. Moreover, those looking for a place to take that special someone in their life this upcoming Valentine’s Day could not find a more perfect place to visit, as they are in the process of creating a set menu for the big day. However, if you don’t want to wait that long, or if you manage to secure a hot date with your Swancrush admirer, on Thursday’s there is a special offer on two courses. Other nights including Tapas Tuesdays and a guest chef special on Wednesdays. We can safely say you will not regret giving this place a chance.
by Joshua Cole & Nathan Taylor-Kitching