“We want to be the people who changed Leicester’s taste buds”

Leicester’s new premium wine and Champagne bar, 45 St Martins, is the latest launch by the 45 Bar Group. We caught up with the team behind the launch to find out more…

Who are you?
We are the 45 Bar Group, an independent outfit that includes 45 West Bottle Shop & Bar and the newly opened 45 St Martins Vintners & Bar. The 45 Group is the brainchild of Phil Burley and Graham Veitch, lifelong friends from Leicestershire who spotted the need for more premium venues in the city centre to satisfy the ever-increasing demand of the people of Leicester.

45 St Martins is close to your other bar, 45 West. Why did you want to be so near?
People do not usually stay in the same venue all night but also do not necessarily want to travel far between venues. Also, the St Martins area where both 45s are situated is the most vibrant and up-and-coming district within Leicester city centre. It is becoming renowned for the best independent bars and restaurants and we wanted to continue to be right at the heart of the scene.

What can visitors expect from 45 St Martins? 
A premium experience of both food and drink, with cold platters available throughout opening hours. Pairing wines with food is important. We will be offering delicious food from both the local region and worldwide. And we will hold plenty of events too – the venue concentrates on wines and Champagnes and, thanks to lessons learned at 45 West, we have a packed diary that we’ll be shouting about soon.

Three people walk into the bar: a wine connoisseur, a gin lover and a Champagne nut. What should they each order?
Great question! Each should try the other’s tipple and give their opinion on what they have just tasted… the second round would be their preference of tipple to compare their peers’ taste!

What is the story behind Burleighs Gin, 45 Gin School and the 45 West Bars, and how are the brands linked?
The whole drinks industry fell upon us rather than us going looking for it. Working in the engineering side of the drinks industry, Phil Burley, the creator of Burleighs Gin, saw an opening for a super-premium Leicestershire-inspired and distilled gin. He just so happened to acquaint himself with Jamie Baxter, the world’s best distiller of white spirits.

The first bottle of Burleighs sold on July 1, 2014, and the business has continually gathered momentum. The Gin School and initially 45 West Bottle Shop and Bar was conceived to help bring attention to Burleighs Gin. However the success of these businesses in their own right has led us to this point.

What does the future hold?
To build on our successes. Above all we want to put Leicester and Leicestershire firmly on the map as a destination for all to come and enjoy truly exceptional food, drink and unique experiences. We want to be acknowledged over time as the people who changed Leicester’s taste buds.

Matt Wright
The author:

Matt founded Great Food Club in 2010 and is editor-in-chief. He loves to brew his own beer and unearth food and drink gems, and lives in Leicestershire with his wife, two kids and jack russell terrier.