Ever the gin fan, when the Gin Festival team got in touch and invited me down to Tobacco Docks for the Gin Festival London, it was an offer I couldn't refuse.
So, on a sunny Bank holiday Saturday, I headed down to East London with my housemates to experience our regular G&T catch-up in quite a different way!
On arrival, I was greeted by the Gin Festival team, who presented me with my all important souvenir gin glass, entrance badge, The Gin Book - the ultimate bible to all the gins featured at the festival and a guest blogger pack.
Walking through the beautiful Tabacco Docks with the sun beaming it was discovery after discovery, as we kept unearthing food areas, music areas, a deck-chair seated area by the docks and of course the various gin rooms - all with a retro feel to them.
The main room contained a selection of bars, which were alphabetically broken down and featured within The Gin Book. Which made it easy to swat up on the gins on offer and navigate to them easily.
Here are the different gins I enjoyed trying out throughout the day:
Wight Mermaid Gin - paired with Fever-Tree Indian Tonic and garnished with cucumber and juniper, Wight Mermaid Gin is of course made in the Isle of Wight! - flavour-wise it was a smooth and citrusy gin, perfect for kicking off the proceedings.
Blue Bottle - paired with Fever-Tree Indian Tonic and garnished with pink grapefruit, Blue Bottle, created in Guernsey offered cubeb pepper, nutmeg and gorse floral notes.
Gin Mare - paired with Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic and garnished with cucumber, this one was one was uniquely different from the first two, offering a burst of pine, olive, thyme and basil and an abundance of fresh coriander and herbal notes.
Warner Edwards Victoria Rhubarb - paired with Fever-Tree Indian Tonic and garnished with lemon. I wanted to try a flavoured gin and being from the garden of England, Kent, I couldn't resist going for a rhubarb option and I didn't regret my choice! - very quaffable.
Aside from the vast array of gins on offer, there were a few street food stalls located in the outdoor area, offering food from hog roast burgers to Spanish tapas and even a 'Gin Festival Tuck Shop' selling various types of pork scratchings.
We enjoyed the live music stage, with talented musicians covering such classics as Breakfast at Tiffany's and Dance the Night Away, as well as poking our heads into the workshops to learn about the various gin distilling methods used to create some of the gins on offer throughout the festival.
All in all a fantastic Bank holiday event in a location I wish was utilized more due to its space and beauty. Thanks again to the Gin Festival Team for inviting me down - I'll definitely be marking this on my calendar for future years.
However, if like me you can't wait until next year let me introduce you to the Gin Explorer Club - a monthly subscription box containing four gins, snacks and a few other surprises along the way. If you sign up now and use code TAKEOFF you can get £5 off the normal monthly price of £25 - what's not to love.
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