The organisers over at Gin Festival got in touch and asked if I’d like to attend their weekend festival in Bristol. This is a nationwide festival and looked to be really interesting so obviously, I jumped at the chance.
Gin Festival is the original and best Gin festival in the UK. It welcomes anyone and everyone, from novices to connoisseurs, to discover their fabulous variety of Gins, learn the history of Britain’s favourite spirit, meet industry experts and enjoy fantastic live music. This event was held over 3 days in the brilliant Paintwork Event’s Space in Bristol.
It’s worth noting that I am a complete novice when it comes to Gin. I have a good few members of my family who are really keen on it, but I’ve never really tried it, so Gin Festival Bristol was all a big learning curve for me and really opened my eyes to the world of Gin. I decided to attend the Friday evening session, which was the first one of the weekend. I wanted to get in there nice and early to see what it was all about. Sadly, the friends I invited dropped out at the last minute so I ventured the alone.
Upon arrival, I was greeted by the lovely Laura, who gave me my Gin glass, drink tokens, a badge that allows you in and out of the festival, a Gin book that educates you on all of the different types of Gin on offer, as well as giving you hints and tips on how to serve them. Finally, she explained the event layout and concept to me.
Then it was left to me, I wandered around, scouting out the room and deciding what I’d like to try first. After taking some pictures and having a few chin wags I went for my first drink. The staff there were all super friendly, so I asked what they’d recommend, as well as, how many Gin Festival events they were working at and ultimately which football team they supported (as a few of them were from Liverpool). They recommended I try the ‘Eccentric Citrus Overload’ with Fever-Tree Tonic Water and some Lemon and Thyme to finish it off.
I found very quickly that I wasn’t a fan of Tonic Water but never fear, their staff were on hand to put everything right! Next, they recommended I try Brockman’s Gin with Ginger Ale… By gum was this a lovely drink, I’d definitely found the one here! Around this time, the event was really kicking off and the room was filling up nicely. The masterclasses began so I watched a number of talks from Adnams, Sir Robin of Locksley, Brockman’s and Pinkster. These talks were brilliant and really taught you a lot about Gin. I especially liked how they educated you on the different types of Gin (London Dry, Distilled, Value Gin etc.) and what effects they could have.
In between these talks I wandered around the room and chatted to a few more of the Gin brands which is where I had a lovely, long chat with Stephen (founder of Pinkster Gin). I really felt connected to their brand ethos and loved their slogan ‘Agreeably British Gin’. This had caught my eye earlier on in the evening as this is what my blog stands for, we love anything that is ‘Best of British’. After tasting this lovely, smooth and fruity Gin I quickly decided to order a full one and this soon became my favourite Gin of the festival, closely followed by the unique and rather cheeky ‘Brockman’s Gin’.
Oh, and did I forget to mention? Whilst all of this was going on, Gin Festival added a great touch to the event by having two magicians that also turned into musicians! They were popping up around the room setting wallets on fire and leaving punters ‘wowed’ with their mind-boggling tricks! They also took breaks from the tricks and played some nice tunes on their Violin and Guitar. Everyone seemed to enjoy sipping on their G&T’s whilst listening to the rendition of Frank Sinatra, I know I did!
The evening was now winding down and people were very merry so I decided to top it all off with a refreshing cocktail known as ‘Drunken Tulip’ that consisted of Pink 47 London Dry Gin, Pomegranate Juice, Fresh Lemon and Prosecco. This is the most popular cocktail at Gin Festival and as others put it, “You can’t go wrong with mixing Gin with Prosecco!”.
The Gins that I tried throughout the evening were: Eccentric Citrus Overload, Brockman’s, Addingham’s Cranberry & Orange (which is exclusive to Gin Festival), Pinkster and Sir Robin of Locksley.
I’d like to thank Gin Festival for inviting me to their event in Bristol. I will admit that I have been converted and am now a bonafide Gin lover! I would definitely recommend heading to a festival near you if you enjoy a nice, relaxed and calm event that boasts a huge range of Gin’s and lovely, approachable industry professionals.
You can find my Gin Festival Bristol Guest Post here.
Also, check out Gin Festival’s website here.