A visit to the Bombay Sapphire Distillery.
‘The gin and tonic has saved more Englishmen’s lives, and minds, than all the doctors in the Empire.’ – Winston Churchill
Gin is, and always has been, my spirit of choice. I inherited my love of gin from my dad. In the beige world of the Seventies, when a Watneys party seven was seen as a single serving of beer, he was ploughing his own furrow with a gin and tonic.
A lovely drive through the Hampshire countryside led us to Laverstoke Mill. This former paper mill was carefully and sustainable renovated. Bombay Sapphire transformed a 300 year old paper Mill with over 1000 years of history within a Conservation Area and a Site of Special Scientific Interest with patience and dedication. The River Test flows through the site creating unique wetland habitat throughout the distillery. The Test is the purest chalk-stream in the UK with many native species inhabiting the river and surrounding wetlands.
We were met at the distillery by Sam Carter, Bombay Sapphire’s senior Brand Ambassador. Sam spent time explaining to us all the finer details of gins and gin distilling before taking us on a tour of the distillery itself.
Even if you really are not a gin lover a visit to Laverstoke Mill is fascinating and informative. My favourite part of the restoration and renovation are the stunning Glasshouses designed by Heatherwick Studio. Filled with growing examples of the botanicals found in Bombay Sapphire gins, the glasshouses are truly wonderful.
Having toured the site, investigated which of the botanicals were our favourites and made no sparks whatsoever near the stills we went back into the bar for some gin tasting!
I learned so much during our tutored tasting. From how to cut your lime wedges to using a spoon to add the tonic into gin. I also now covet a very expensive ice machine.
One final treat was to top off the tastes of several cocktails with a cocktail all of my own. Made and enjoyed in the two storey bar area, followed by a trip to the gin shop, for a bottle to take home.
My companion was my 19 year old daughter, another recent inductee into our gin loving family. If you happen to be the designated driver, the alcohol free cocktails are delicious AND you can collect a gin and tonic pack to take home and enjoy at your leisure.
One plea though please, start distilling and selling Bombay Sapphire East in the UK soon. It is my most favourite gin ever!
Such a lovely day out. A beautiful, thoughtfully restored mill, with years of history and the most delicious gin cocktails too. Go, drink, enjoy!
This hidden gem of a place is well worth taking the time to visit. If you are too far away then please try to find a bottle of the Bombay Sapphire gin and enjoy that instead.
I was invited to visit Laverstoke Mill Bombay Sapphire distillery by 365 Tickets. All words and photographs are my own. I was not paid to write this post and all words and photographs are my own.