I like a gin, I like live music, I like food and I really like a good night out, so put it altogether and a Gin Festival has to be a winner!
The Gin festival was started back in 2012 by Jym and Marie Harris, who loved gin and wanted a festival to support it and why not there seems to be one for everything else these days. Over recent years the UK has had somewhat of a ‘gin renaissance’ , once considered the drink of the suburban over 40’s, and known as ‘mothers ruin’ it has become a trendy, cosmopolitan drink of choice with old and young alike. Gin Festival hosts events all over the country and due to the growing popularity, tickets for the Bristol festival were sold out long in advance.
Held at Bristol’s Paintworks event space, the festival has been well thought out. On arrival I was met by an enthusiastic knowledgeable host and presented with a badge, a stemmed glass and an invaluable book detailing the over hundred gins that were on offer. Each gin cost £5 for which tokens needed to be purchased in advance, makes queuing at the bar so much easier. Back to the stemmed copa balloon glass, I learnt from my handy little book that this is the Spanish way of serving gin. The broadness of the glass helps to lift the aroma of the botanicals and the space allows for large chunks of ice to keep the drink chilled. Each gin served came with its own specific garnish to enhance the taste and aesthetic of the drink. I have to say I don’t think I ever want to drink gin any other way ever again! My favourite gin of the night was in fact my last gin of the night ‘Sir Robin of Loxley’, deliciously smooth, infused with elderflower, dandelion and pink grapefruit, served with elderflower tonic and a garnish of pink grapefruit. I am also now a convert to elderflower tonic!
For those that are serious about their gin, there were industry experts giving timed talks on the detailed history of this juniper based drink ( Did you know junipers are full of antioxidants?) I preferred to listen to the live music of the talented duo Holder and Smith, who enthralled the crowd with their swinging jazz tunes. In addition to the well laid out room of gins from both UK and abroad, there was an expansive outside area, which was I am sure, great for the sunny daytime time sessions but on a mid May evening it was chilly and it could have benefited from some heaters. Which brings me onto the food. If there was one thing that let the night down it was the food. In line with the Spanish style gin drinking, Spanish food was served from a single hut outside, in a fast food Spanish kind of way, but not fast food prices! It was also limited in choice, cold and overall pretty tasteless………Sorry!!!! Chatting with some girls, they had gone upstairs to the Bocco bar and had pizza, genius idea, wish I had thought of that!
For more event information and online store: www.ginfestival.com Check it out, it’s great fun, it’s a total myth about gin and tears!
What did I wear: I dressed for being inside, I didn’t want to take a jacket as I knew it would get warm inside and juggling a jacket, gin and a camera would only end in disaster. These orange trousers are my latest find from Zara and I absolutely love the bright colour, for additional colour popping I added a high teal court shoe, LK Bennett (very old), to bring out the brightness of the trousers I topped them with my favourite white statement shirt from H&M, it’s currently sold out but there is a similar at M&S. The bright blue ring is Lalique,