I’ve been to a couple of gin festivals before so know the drill, but also know that can be run with varying degrees of success.
The Gin to My Tonic festival was held over three days at the Assembly Rooms in Newcastle at the end of April and I’m pleased to say was one of the better run festivals I’ve been to recently.
The festival brought together over 100 different gins from across the UK and beyond. Each gin stocked behind the bars has been selected based on outstanding craftsmanship, delightful flavour and the most enjoyable drinking experiences. The festival is here to take you on a journey of gin discovery! What’s more, the gin is served in 35ml serves (as opposed to the average 25ml) as standard (big tick for me right off the bat).
The entry price (£15) a head gets you entry to the festival, a free gin glass, tote bag and pen and stainless-steel straw (very trendy), which although is a canny haul, it would have been a nice touch to at least get your first drink included in the ticket. At £5 a drink it could end up being a costly little night if you’re not strategic about your choices.
The Assembly rooms is the perfect venue for this kind of thing and I’ve always been a fan of the old Georgian building when I’ve been to parties there before. There’s a tasting room where you can walk round and speak with all the distilleries and sample all the gins of the rainbow. Then a separate bar where you can spend your tokens. What struck me was the excellent selection of representatives they had there. With supermarkets awash with Gordons. Beefeater and Bombay Sapphire derivatives, it’s nice to speak with local organisations who are passionate about what they do.
Safe to say we had great fun walking round chatting and sampling everything. The stands aren’t stingy with their samples either which is nice, you don’t feel bad about asking to try a selection of everything and everywhere had all the right tonics to act as an accompaniment if you needed them. There were two stand out stalls for me; Locksley Distillery (not least because of my well known obsession with Robin Hood) and the Arbikie Highland Estate – who are so devoted to gin making they even grow their own potatoes. Definitely two to watch out for in the future!#
I do sometimes think that things like this create too much of a captive audience and you end up spending way more than if you just tried to work through the Gin Palace in Wetherspoons, however it is nice to meet with more local organisations and support local businesses. The world of gin looks set to only get bigger so might as well ride the crest of the gin wave!
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Disclosure: All Reviews have been provided by gifted opportunities or press access offered to us in return for an open and honest review. All reviews are subject to the opinion of the reviewer.
Review Written by Helen Newman from https://honestlyhelen.com/
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