Mother and son duo, The Northern Niche, headed to Gin Festival Newcastle to see what it's all about. Did they enjoy themselves? What do you think?
Gin. If you don’t drink it, you’re probably in the minority. Every new bar opening these days seems to have gin as a focal point; often boasting about their massive collection. Flavours seem to diversify by the season with offerings such as Strawberries & Cream and Dark Chocolate now available. Both of us at The Northern Niche love gin and were thrilled to be invited as guest bloggers to Gin Festival Newcastle. Created by a husband and wife team, Gin Festival started in 2012 and now hosts events for 4000 people over a few days across the UK. Newcastle’s event is held a stone’s throw away from the city centre with about a 10-minute walk from the train station.
On to the event…
Upon arrival you’re provided with a lovely Gin Festival goblet glass which has a handy guide to all of the gins available aptly titled ‘The Gin Book’. The guide gives about fifty words on each gin with the recommended garnish and flavour pairing of Fever Tree tonic; who are actually the wonderful sponsor of the event! It was also explained to us that there are four bars titled A to D. A and B feature British gins, C international gins and D sloe gins.
After ditching out winter coats at the handy cloakroom we gravitated towards bar C; the international gin section. I had Nordes gin which was paired with Fever Tree Mediterranean flavour tonic and a lime and mint garnish. The other half of The Northern Niche blog, my mum, had Bobby’s Schiedam Gin which was paired with original Fever-Tree tonic and garnished with orange and cloves. We both loved the gins but a tip would be to read the book a little bit more before going to a bar as we didn’t really know which to pick initially. Luckily, if you talk to one of the bartenders, they will recommend based on your preferences. We both said we liked something fruity but not too strong and the gins we had were perfect!
As well as so many gins to sample, the event also holds ‘Gin Master Classes’ and we decided to go to the Poetic License one, run by head distiller, Luke Smith. Luke gave us some insight into the back story of the Poetic License distillery and gin history itself. We also got to try a couple of their gins including their brand new ‘Fireside’ flavoured gin, designed to be something to cosy up with on winter nights flavoured with hints of mulled winter fruits. Gorgeous. Poetic License are also a North East based company so we love them even more for that, based just down the road in Sunderland.
At the event there is also a chance to meet some of vendors and we got talking to a lovely lady at the ‘Gin Explorer’ stand; a monthly subscription box which delivers the finest collections of gins and tonics and nibbles to go with them. They’re definitely a perfect Christmas gift even if it’s just for a one-off.
After sampling a few more of the gins on offer we decided to move on to cocktails just as the fantastic live music was starting up on the stage. I went for the Singapore Sling which is STRONG and mum went for the Rhubarb Rumble which was both of our favourites out of the two. It tasted exactly like the classic rhubarb and custard sweet but just a liquid version. Scrummy.
All in all, we absolutely loved the event and recommend it for anyone from gin virgins (HOW?) to connoisseurs. We would have loved to stay and watch more of the live music but we had a train home to catch. The event wasn’t at capacity but was definitely busy; I think it may verge on being too busy if any more guests attended. It was just the right sort of ambience. We would highly recommend you look out for a festival near you in the future. It was a brilliant evening and we look forward to attending again!
The Northern Niche is a generation spanning blog written by a mum and son duo. We’re passionate about everything Northern and write about the places and people of the North of England with a penchant for the North East where we live. We have a shared passion for social media, entrepreneurship, creative writing, a good business story, eating food, drinking cocktails, fighting over M&Ms, face swapping on Snapchat and most of all belly laughs. Because, let’s face it, life is all about sharing the fun.
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