Tin of Sardines Gin Bar, Durham

Tin of Sardines Gin Bar Durham

Everyone loves something a bit different, right? Only open a week, Tin of Sardines is Durhams newest and smallest bar. With a dedicated Gin menu, this is going to be the place in Durham to be.

The Shakespeare always had the city’s rep for being the smallest pub but the team behind Tin of Sardines have taken that to the next level. We heard a girl telling her fella that it’s called Tin of Sardines because they used to sell fish. I think the old saying rammed like a tin of sardines was a bit lost on her! It is very apt!

Tin of Sardines Gin Bar Durham

Tucked in to an old sandwich shop on Elvet Bridge the whole bar, seats and bathroom all fit in to a space that people would liken to a box room or even a porch.

Tin of Sardines Gin Bar Durham

Does it work though? Yes. The unique open fronted bar area works as a solid display area for the 150 gins on offer. From the usual brands you’ll be familiar with to names, flavours and colours you’ve never seen before. There’s something for everyone.

Tin of Sardines Gin Bar Durham

The trained and informative staff can guide you through the A to Z menu and help you find the perfect tipple. We took their lead on our visit and the recommendations were spot on. I love their natty uniforms too, bit of eye candy for the ladies while drinking!

Tin of Sardines Gin Bar Durham

Barman Connah (L) + Owner Ben (R)

The Malfy citrus gin with Fever Tree Lemon Tonic was light and citrusy but it didn’t end there. The fancy imported mood sprays added to the top of the glass really did elevate the drinking experience. It was like all the lemons in the world were crammed in to my glass!

The Aviation Gin was a sweet mix of star anise, sasparilla and lavender, with the menu offering recommended tonics and garnishes you don’t need to do any thinking.

At around the £5-£7 mark for a gin and tonic it’s certainly not as cheap as a cheapy from Wetherspoons but the level of knowledge and cosy atmosphere really does make Tin of Sardines well worth a visit. If you can shoe horn in.

During our visit we table shared with a Californian ex pat and 2 students from Leeds. Grab a perch, fill up on gin and enjoy the experience!

I can’t wait to go back with my camera and capture all the bottle labels and little details!


  1. 19th May 2017 / 12:09 pm

    There’s 14 of us from work going here next week. God knows where we’re going to fit!

    Cat x

    • Katie
      22nd May 2017 / 7:21 am

      Well full capacity is 16, so 14 + bar staff…. you might just do it…. just don’t move once you are in! ha ha!

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