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Gin Festival Blackpool 2017 By Jane Arschavir

In this review of Gin Festival Blackpool 2017 by Jane Arschavir, she enjoyed herself so much she forget to make it to any of the masterclasses!

Early Saturday morning (11th March 2017 if you want specifics), I hopped on the bus to Blackpool from Manchester. Being a northern girl, Blackpool is in my veins. No childhood summer went by without a donkey ride, a stick of rock and a visit to the Blackpool Tower. This visit would be somewhat different, I was heading to the first ever Blackpool Gin Festival.

Blackpool TowerPhotography by Tom Marshall

In recent years, Blackpool has had something of a spruce up. The promenade has been modernised and opposite the tower is a great comedy carpet with a thousand funny quotes from famous comedians. The Tower itself has been touched by progress, with interactive things to do and all manner of updates. Refreshingly, the ballroom remains entirely unchanged.

Gin Festival Blackpool BallroomPhotography by Tom Marshall

 

Over the weekend the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, the setting for Strictly’s northern edition played host to the Blackpool Gin Festival, which turned out to be the most perfect venue for this inaugural event. With over 100 different gins on offer, plus gin brands offering free samples, tasters and masterclasses, the festival was nirvana for gin lovers.

Glasses of Gin at Gin Festival BlackpoolPhotography by Tom Marshall

On arrival, you are presented with a large balloon gin glass and “The Gin Book”; a directory of all the gins available at the festival, their recommended garnish and tonic/mixer as well as tasting notes and a little potted history. It’s a handy little book to keep for future reference and it’s a great way to discover new gins you might not spot otherwise.

The festival runs on a token system, you buy tokens, then take them to the bar and exchange them for a gin of your choosing which is paired with the most suitable garnish. You can then top up your glass with as much Fever-Tree tonic as you like. The glasses are generous and the bar staff are very helpful.

Bar at Gin Festival BlackpoolPhotography by Tom Marshall

We put together a loose game plan, selected some gins we wanted to try, we had a quick tour of what was on offer and enjoyed the stunning surroundings of the Blackpool Tower Ballroom. As well as the four gin bars, there was also a cocktail bar where you could buy a gin cocktail for two tokens, each cocktail contained a double gin and was mixed by expert mixologists.

In the spirit of exploration, my companion and I variously tried Daffy’s, Poetic License Old Tom, Wicked Wolf Exmoor Gin, Wight Mermaids Gin, Inverroche Gin Amber, Isfjord Gin, Masons Tea Gin, Whitley Neill Quince, we also tried some hot mulled gin and a brand new gin from Yorkshire, Tinker. All expertly paired with premium Fever-Tree tonics and mixers. There were six different tonics to choose from and a ginger ale, if three-quarters of your drink is a tonic, then it makes sense to choose a good tonic.

Brockmans Gin at Gin Festival BlackpoolPhotography by Tom Marshall

We had grand plans to visit a Masterclass or two, but we found a cosy spot on the balcony, which was not too far from the bar. It was a great place to people watch and soak up the convivial atmosphere, so, regrettably, we missed the masterclasses (because we forgot and we were having a very nice time). To make up for that, we visited some of the makers and sampled their wares. Gins of particular note were Brockmans, Tinker and Poetic Licence.

The afternoon seemed to fly by. We discovered some new favourite gins and some great ones to watch for the future. The first Blackpool Gin Festival was a roaring success. How could it not be? Set in the stunning surroundings of the ballroom, a room filled with gin lovers doing what they do best, which is loving gin. The staff were helpful, very knowledgeable and happy to make recommendations when asked. It was an all-round perfect afternoon for gin likers, lovers and aficionados.

Jane Arschavir Jane Arschavir is from Manchester and has been blogging since June 2013. She stumbled into blogging following a life-changing injury and her blog grew from there. She writes about a whole range of topics on her blog HodgePodgeDays, including food and drink (especially gin), as well as family life, days out and travel. 

Gin Festival Blackpool 2017 By Jane Arschavir

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