When the Gin Festival announced that they were planning to make a return to Torquay this year, I knew I needed to get a ticket!
Last year I was invited to the festival as a blogger and was privileged to be asked back this year!
So was it any different this year? YES! The location was different, which was really nice, the tonic supplier was different and the gins were different but the event itself was the same. Great atmosphere and a variety of gins to choose from, with live entertainment and food on offer, as well as Masterclasses to attend if you really want to get underneath the base notes!
This year the Gin Festival was held within the historic Town Hall of Torquay which has large glass windows, marble staircases and a vintage decor for the eyes to feast on, which I think perfectly complimented the theme that the Gin Festival has set.
On arrival each guest to the festival is given a Gin Festival gin glass and a bag which contains a choice booklet. The booklet has a quick list in of all the gins on offer. They are then sectioned off into A, B, C bars etc so you know which bar to go to purchase your desired gin. Also in the booklet is a description of the individual gins along with a recommendation of which garnish should be served with it.
The tonic supplier this year was Schweppes. Who knew that they produce such a variety of tonics? I certainly did not! They not only do the traditional Indian tonic water but now also do crisp lemon, cucumber, salty lemon, pink pepper and lavender & orange blossom.
Gin purchasing is done by a ticket system. It is very simple, each ticket is £5 – that will get you a gin of your choice with garnish and tonic. Gin cocktails are two tokens each (£10) and the mixologists were very impressive with all the swag!
After we had settled into the festival and had sampled a few gins, we decided it would be nice to make our way to one of the Masterclasses that was on offer. I am so glad we did! We were ushered into a large room and at the top of the room was a man wearing an apron and rocking a very impressive beard and collection of tattoos! Next to him on the table was a tray of small sample glasses filled with gin! Then I noticed the large banner next to the table advertising a brand called ‘Tinker’.
This foul mouthed, quick witted yet charming scouse was Dan. Dan is the founder and producer of the small batch gin, Tinker. Dan talked us through how he came to become the founder of Tinker gin, what the process of making gin is and how a slight change in the botanical ingredients can change a gin entirely. I think we were in the room for about 30 minutes, but he was brilliant and so good in fact that we found ourselves running back to Bar A to purchase a Tinker! Absolutely delicious! Served with a slice of pear to garnish, it has citrus accents running through it and it just divine! So much so I have ordered a bottle for at home, you know for when I have a really bad day!
All in all, the Gin Festival is yet to disappoint me! Last year was brilliant and this year was just as good. It will give you a chance to enjoy a variety of gins with bar staff and producers there to demonstrate a wealth of knowledge on any questions.
If you see the Gin Festival coming to a town near you, make sure you book a ticket, you will not be disappointed!