You can probably all imagine my excitement when the email dropped in my inbox, inviting me to Blackpool’s Gin Festival for an afternoon doing one of my favourite things; sampling a range of gins (just look how happy my face is)! I’ve been aware of the Gin Festival brand for a couple of years now after seeing the events happen in London when I’ve been commuting for work, but I hadn’t known of any happening in the North West until now. Blackpool is on our doorstep, so attending was a no brainer for me!
I’ve visited a couple of gin festival-style events over the past few years, but never anything on this scale. The event took place in the Blackpool Tower Ballroom which is a huge space, and such a lovely setting to spend a couple of hours. I mean, just look at that ceiling!! The walls were lined with bars stocking hundreds and hundreds of gins from around the world, all ready to purchase with a nifty cashless wristband system. We were kindly gifted our first few drinks, and after a swift visit to ‘top-up’ our bands we were ready to roll.
The choice of gins was absolutely insane – we were so spoilt for choice! Dan and I both like our gins with a hint of fruit flavour and also those with a more unusual taste, so amongst the ones we tried were Tinker Pink which had a sweet strawberry flavour, Skully Wasabi, which was surprisingly smooth with a nice hint of spice, and my favourite of the day – Boe Peach & Hibiscus gin, sweet and fruity with a hint of floral – delish! All were served with recommended Schweppes tonics and mixers.
We were super happy to chill out in the stalls of the ballroom, drink in hand, watching the buzz below and soaking up the surroundings of the gorgeous venue, but for those who wanted to get a little more involved, there were a series of workshops taking place throughout the day hosted by various gin brand ambassadors, as well as a photo booth, live entertainment and music from some great bands taking place on the ballroom stage.
If you were looking for something a little more special than just a gin and tonic, then the cocktail bars would definitely be the place for you! There were lots of gin based drinks to be enjoyed, shaken and stirred by some skilful mixologists who’s tricks I tried to capture on camera a few times but they moved far too fast for me to keep up! We also tried out two of the food stalls which were both brilliant, one serving delicious noodles and bao buns, and the other serving pulled beef and pork sandwiches.
One of the many things I loved about the event was the fact that there was a Gin Festival shop on site too, where you could purchase some of the gins you’d tried at the bars, along with other gin related goodies. Had we not been saving hard for a wedding, I could have spent some serious money in here and added a good few bottles to our collection! You can actually buy a lot of these online too in the Gin Festival online shop.
We had a lovely afternoon at the Blackpool festival and will definitely be keeping our eyes peeled for when it returns to the North West next time. If you missed out on this one, be sure to check the Gin Festival events as there are still lots more dates around the country from now until the end of August, including Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle, London and many more. Tickets can be purchased online, so make sure you don’t miss out and book early!
Thank you to Gin Festival Blackpool for having us and for such a great event!