Travel, fashion, food & cocktails


Friday, May 11, 2018

Food & Drink: Love Gin? Here's Why You Need To Attend The Gin Festival!

Press at Gin Festival 2017
Gin festival in Surrey Guildford Cathedral Marquee
Gin festival 2017 at Guildford Cathedral Marquee
Gin supplier menus and ballon glass
Black tomato gin at the gin festival in Guildford
black tomato gin
Brockmans gin at gin festival in Guildford
food and drink festivals in the UK
Live music at Gin Festival Guildford
Gin themed merchandise at the gin festival\
The boutique gin bar at the gin festival
cocktail bar in action at gin festival
Juniper Breeze gin cocktail
Making a Deset Cooler cocktail gin
Gin cocktail bar at gin festival 2017
nachos or pizza gin festival
Gin festival 2017 balloon glass

Love Gin? There's A Dedicated UK Festival Just For You! 

In recent years, the popularity of drinking Gin has grown and grown, don't get me wrong, there has always been a huge fanbase of loyal gin drinkers, however, I've noticed that gin and tonic and gin cocktails have been much more mainstream with young millennials in the last couple of years, so much so, there is now a dedicated UK festival for gin lovers, for all ages, far and wide! 

I previously attended the Gin Festival when it arrived at Guildford Cathedral's Marquee for a four-day gin-fuelled pit-stop! 

To give you a little bit of background, The Gin Festival was founded five years ago in 2013 and is now on a mission to introduce the best craft gins to as many people as possible, while supporting both homegrown and international gin and tonic brands. 

I was kindly invited along as press for the evening, to experience and see with my own eyes what the festival has to offer and of course, sample plenty of gin along the way :)

For the festival, everything was neatly arranged inside a large marquee outside Guildford's iconic cathedral, with plenty of gin distillers dotted around the outside of the tent, a gin cocktail bar at the back, a couple of different bars with different gin and tonics to purchase, a live band and a couple of food stalls outside, one, in particular, serving homemade pizzas from a wood-fired oven and the other nachos!

Inside the marquee, tokens = power! Basically, everything (food and gin) are purchased via tokens. When you arrive you need to exchange cash for tokens. As a press invite, I received 20 tokens free to share between me, my dad (a huge gin lover) and my husband, Alex. 

However, you don't have to pay for everything, there are plenty of gin distillers to meet in person who is showcasing their creations, who you can chat to and try free samples. 

Throughout each night they also host a series of gin masterclasses, run by some of the gin distillers. If you like a little bit of education, with lots of free samples thrown in, attend a masterclass! 

One of the most memorable samples we tried was a Black Tomato Gin at a whopping 42.3% volume. It's a unique concoction, as it's made from signature black tomatoes which are grown near the distillery in the Netherlands. They even go so far as to add a splash of seawater to the mixture! Sampled on its own, its a bold mix of sweet and savoury, however, what is most unusual with this gin, is that when you mix the black tomato gin with tonic water and rub basil around the outside (as demonstrated by our stall host), hands down it tasted exactly like a bloody Margherita pizza! Delicious!
My next stop? The cocktail bar of course! As a fairly new gin convert, I first discovered my liking for gin a few years ago through its pairing with different ingredients in its most lethal, cocktail-form! On the night, cocktails could be bought in exchange for x 2 drinks tokens. 

I opted for the Juniper Breeze first which muddled Jenson's Bermondsey Dry Gin with St Germain Elderflower liquor, grapefruit juice, lime and cranberry juice and second Fuddled Daisy - Adnams Copperhouse Dry Gin with cranberry juice, Creme de framboise raspberry liqueur, prosecco and a squirt of lemon juice. 

Gin, tasty food, fantastic music, entertainment and a community of gin lovers alike, what's not to enjoy? 

We had a great night and I'd like to say a huge thank-you to organisers of Gin Festival for inviting me along. I look forward to attending my next location :)


(*) My entry into the Gin Festival was provided on a complimentary basis in exchange for an honest review on my blog. All opinions expressed here are my own (*)

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