"born in a gin-palace"

Gin Palaces were large, ostentatiously-decorated bars where gin was bought and drunk, mainly by the urban working class.  Their gaudy decoration (see the examples pictured), with plenty of etched mirrors, gilding and bright lights, and the seedy reputation of gin made the other strata of Victorian society consider gin palaces vulgar.

The Red Lion
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe Red Lion - Credit: Steve Cadman
Crown Liquor Saloon
Creative Commons AttributionCrown Liquor Saloon - Credit: Chad K