I love gin, gin loves me,
We’re just one big family.
With a bit of tonic here and a splash of elderflower there,
You should go to this gin fair!
Established in 2013, the Gin Festival that can be found travelling all over the UK was started by a Husband and Wife duo (Jym and Marie Harris) who just really, really, really liked gin.
They liked gin so bloody much that they were sick of the struggle that came with this not-yet-popular spirit in the plight to find a new fave. No kids, I’m not talking about Gordons.
They followed their love of the malleable spirit all the way to creating a safe space for them and their pals in Leeds to get safely shitfaced and make their way through a ton of different gins. I bet they couldn’t have dreamt that their idea for a good old piss up would prosper into sold out festivals all over the UK seeing thousands of people make their way around the different stalls and delights that await them throughout the venues.
They remind me of my partner and I… except really successful, pretty damn creative and head of an incredibly fun business empire. Okay, so all we really have in common is the fact that we all like gin! Jym and Marie, holla at your girl if you ever wanna go and drink some together!
How does the whole thing work then?
Tickets start around £16 and I would really try and snap them up quick if you see an event near you as they sell out super quick!
One thing that I couldn’t help but notice during my experience was the fact that everyone was so bloody happy, and that was really quite nice to be honest.
From the moment I arrived at the venue in St Albans arena I was met by a happy security person who moseyed on through my bag. Next came a happy bloke who led me to another happy bloke who gave us the run through of what was to come, alongside equipping us with our important and beautiful Copa glasses that our gins would go into, and also the little book of what gins we were going to choose!
Next stop is heading to the man with the plan over at the tokens booth and swap your precious pounds for some gin buying tokens. Drinks are £5 a go so you probably want to buy a fair few if you want to leave there as a gin connoisseur that can impress the pants off of anyone in a bar with your gin choosing skills.
Is there any fun or you know, unexpected news?
I don’t know if I just didn’t read the information on the website properly or if it just wasn’t stated. But to be honest, even if the answer is the former then I’m pleased because I enjoyed the surprise.
But anyway, all downstairs of the venue, there were lots of different tasters of gin. For those brave soldiers that are rearing to go, you can have your taster as a whole shot, but for others whom are not as brave, just like me – you can mix yours with some awaiting tonic.
For me, there was one gin that I didn’t take a picture of, and also didn’t note down the name which is a bit of a shame, but hey ho. The guy dishing out the goods absolutely revolutionised everything I thought I loved about a Bloody Mary by mixing tomato juice with his gin and even chucking in a bit of celery for good measure.
I would never in a million years thought to have strayed from my salty, spicy, hangover nursing drink – but I may well stand corrected in the fact that a Red Snapper may be the better Bloody Mary!
Here’s a totally unconnected gin stand that was yummy too and I did actually take a picture of… good blogger!
Next up was Tinker. Ooooh sweet Tinker, how I shall pine for you until we meet again! The best thing about Tinker for me was the wonderful Bernadette who you can find over at Under the ginfluence! 14/10 from me for the pun!
Bernadette was everything you’d want from a gin expect and more. She free poured you more free samples during conversation, you instantly wanted to best friend her and she actually genuinely loves what she does.
She really did make my gin festival experience, and I’m sure she made a lot of other peoples too!
Follow the unmissable sign…
To go and soak up some of that alcohol you little maniac!
I may have cheated a little bit by getting a Wagamamas before attending the festival because noodles and gyozas are my life and I won’t apologise for that, but the food did smell incredible and I could see a lot of happy looking campers tucking into goods from The striped pig company.
Additionally to the street food, there was a TUCK SHOP full of snacks and freshly popped popcorn that you can grab if you want something a little smaller.
Can we just have a moments silence to appreciate the fact that the Gin Festival have bought “Tuck shop” back into my life?! I’ve not heard that since I was in Primary school probably during the heights of panda pops and beer bottle sweets so that made me really happy!
I may have squealed a little and everything.
Were there any more really lovely details?
Oh my goodness, yes! The whole entire festival was just so wonderfully put together and creative. Every where that you walked around during the festival, and every where that you looked revealed another really thoughtfully put together small detail that I just would have never thought of putting somewhere.
This selfie machine is both everything good and bad in the world.
On the one hand, how much fun is it when you have the opportunity to snap away a couple of selfies that print out for you automatically at an event?!
On the other hand… well… you can see for yourself:
You can jive along to a jazzy band who manage to fit gin puns into more songs than they should be able to and that was super impressive.
Plus, what is not to love about jazz and gin?!
Check out how fun and important I looked with my Blogger badge!
And finally lets take one last look at the crowd at the St Albans event before you go and book a ticket at an event near you on the official gin festival website.
A huge and extremely grateful thank you to the lovely Laura Walsh over at the UK Gin festival for organising my entry and some drink tokens for me! Please note that while this event was a gift from those lovely folk, all opinions are as always my own.
Are you an avid gin drinker? What is your favourite and why? I’d love to hear in the comments below!