Preview: Secret London Gin Run

It’s not something I shout about (anymore) but I’m a bit of a runner. I used to be a lot of a runner – in 2015 I completed 15 races including The London Marathon – but things (and I!) have slowed down a bit since then. Last year I managed a half marathon but 2017 is looking very quiet on the running front. It was, in fact, one of my new year’s resolutions to get out running more regularly, and what better motivation than a gin run?!

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Opening: The Distillery, 186 Portobello Road

One of the most anticipated openings this year has been that of The Distillery on Portobello Road, London, home to the gin of the very same name. I was blown away to receive an invitation to the opening night, and not just any invitation but a stunning box with ‘The Distillery’ emblazoned on top, containing a gilt invitation and empty bottle of Characterful Vodka to be filled up on-site on the night! And first impressions definitely lived up to expectation. The Distillery is located at the Ladbroke Grove end of Portobello Road, in an imposing building, proudly bearing the logo of Portobello Road Gin, and it promises an exceptional experience.

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Preview: The Spirit Show, London

imageGin-lovers rejoice! The Spirit Show, the UK’s first consumer show for the premium spirits market, is taking place in London next month, offering the perfect opportunity to pick up ideas and gifts for Christmas and New Year. Ticket holders will be able to take advantage of unlimited tastings of over 200 of the world’s finest rum, vodka, whisky and, of course, gin.  In addition to this, everyone who attends will receive a limited-edition Spirit Show tasting glass, a meal voucher redeemable at the Street Food Village and a free download of the showguide and tasting notes app.

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A Bimble Around The Bimber Distillery

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My father grew up in Acton but I’ve had no reason to return to his roots. Until now. At London’s Gin Festival I was lucky to meet Oscar Dodd, Brand Manager at Bimber Distillery, who invited me to visit their site in North Acton. After following the central line train tracks, which run incongruously though a peaceful cemetery, one descends into Park Royal Business Park; the largest in London occupying about 500 hectares. The park is home to McVitites and Heinz alongside a number of smaller industrial firms, as well as Amathus Drinks, Speciality Drinks and, of course, Bimber Distillery founded in August 2015.

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Preview: The Epicurean

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As the public’s appetite for gin continues to grow, so do the number of events devoted to the tasting and consumption of the spirit. Junipalooza and Gin Festival (both in their third year) are two such events which are, quite frankly, a gin lover’s paradise. What they are not, however, are events to which to take your friends who do not share your juniper obsession. This is where The Epicurean may step in; an event which takes some of the best elements of both Junipalooza and Gin Festival but which celebrates a wide range of high-quality wine, beer, spirits and food.

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High Spirits at Gin Festival London

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Beer festivals have, seemingly, been around for ever with Oktoberfest, generally recognised as the world’s largest beer festival, originating way back in 1810.  Nowadays  there’s a festival to cater for all passions, from cheese to chicken wings, but as recently as 2012 there was no festival devoted to gin.  Gin lovers, and husband and wife, Jym and Marie Harris decided to change all that and Gin Festival was born.

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Small but Mighty; making gin at Half Hitch

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“Micro-Distillery”: the clue really is in the name but, nevertheless, I was surprised by quite how small Half Hitch‘s premises in Camden are.  From the exterior one can enjoy tantalising glimpses of the distillery in action.  Step inside and the first thing you are likely to notice is quite how small the distillery is; the room is barely large enough to swing the proverbial cat and is totally dominated by its beautiful copper still.  What’s left of the room is taken up by the considerably smaller vacuum still, a tasting bar and a lot of gin!  It just goes to show what you can achieve when you put your mind to it.

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