If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you may know by now that my drink of choice is either Prosecco or a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. I’m a creature of habit when it comes to most things, and alcohol is no different.
I’ve only ever tried gin a couple of times before, and I didn’t overly enjoy it. I think this is largely due to the tonic, rather than the gin itself, as I like it in cocktails.
When I was invited along to the Gin Festival, which was in Bournemouth last weekend, my brother, who is a big fan of gin but drinks it with lemonade, suggested that I skip the tonic and I might prefer it. With this in mind, I excitedly went along to the festival last Saturday during the glorious heatwave we experienced for bank holiday with my friends Emma and Sealy.
When we arrived, we were presented with a comprehensive brochure, full of information on all the gins they had on offer during the day, and information about some of the brands that were exhibiting. We were also provided with a lovely big glass, which would be used to drink from at the festival, and was then ours to take home at the end of the day.
We headed straight into the hall of the BIC (Bournemouth International Centre), where the festival was being held, changed up our tokens for the gin (these are priced at £5 per drink), and decided on which stand to visit first.
We all went for a strawberry flavour first, Emma and I both had the 5th Gin Fire and Sealy opted for the slightly more adventurous Copeland Gin – Raspberry & Mint, which smelt gorgeous! You were able to choose which mixer to add to your gin from a variety of infused tonics and lemonade (all Schweppes).
As it was such a beautiful day, we headed outside to the terrace area to enjoy our drinks in the sunshine. It was so lovely to be able to sip on our drinks whilst looking out to sea, with Bournemouth pier in the background – we could have happily stayed there all day!
With our glasses empty, we headed back inside for our second drink. This time, the others decided to go for something a little different but I stuck to the strawberry flavours and had a Poetic License Strawberries & Cream Picnic Gin. I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the first one, but it was still nice, and I’m glad I tried more than one.
After drinking the first one a little too fast, I paced myself with the second, and sipped at it whilst we walked around the hall, stopping to listen to the exhibitors, and tasting samples of their gins as we went. The exhibitors all really knew their stuff, and I was impressed by how much they had to talk about when it came to their brands! There were masterclass talks on throughout the day, but we didn’t end up going to these.
As well as plenty of gin (they also had gin cocktails on offer for £10 each), there was live music playing, and food on offer for those who were peckish, or who perhaps wanted to soak up a little of the alcohol!
There was also a shop on site, selling bottles of the gins and mixers on offer throughout the day, as well as a whole range of souvenirs. I loved the slogan mugs!
There were also a couple of photo booth stands, which provided a bit of additional entertainment, and a lovely stand at the entrance which we happily posed in front of for photos.
It was such a lovely day, and we really enjoyed ourselves. You can find other gin festivals near you via Eat Drink Seek.
We were invited along to the Gin Festival in Bournemouth and provided with complimentary entry and some drinks tokens for the purpose of this post, however all opinions and photos are my own.