Tag Archives: Gin Festival

A little catch up – March 2018

Last month I wrote a little catch up post and I really enjoyed writing it and I think people liked reading it too, so here I am again with all our news from March.

On paper March was supposed to be quite a peaceful month with not much going on. By the end of the month I was wishing it would all be over soon and hoping someone would let me find a dark room to lie down in for a few days.

It’s not all been bad, in fact most of it has been lovely. Mother’s Day was a peaceful affair. We just chilled out at home, I got a card and some flowers and that’s all I wanted and needed. The boys know I’m a woman of simple tastes, thankfully.

After a year of mostly hibernating and hiding from the world, I booked two social events which I knew would be good for my old soul. The first was an afternoon at the Gin Festival at Manchester’s Victoria Baths with my good friends Karen and Jen. It was a really lovely afternoon of good food, good gin and great company. It was just what I needed.

A little catch up - March 2018

The second trip out was an evening at an embroidery workshop at a new craft shop in Didsbury. It’s called Crafts and Makes and is on School Lane. I made a really cute Scandinavian Fox and learned lots of things about embroidery – something I’ve not really done since school. It’s a great little shop and one I hope to visit again very soon. I do love a good craft workshop!

So that was the good, now for the not so good. Last weekend my son who has glue ear woke up in lots of pain, soon after one of his eardrums perforated and he was really quite poorly. We tried to get him antibiotics but the GP wouldn’t prescribe them.

Two nights later his other eardrum perforated, the infection had spread and he started vomiting; he had an aversion to light and his skin went all grey and mottled. We instantly went from quite worried about our poorly son to OH MY GOD LETS GET HIM TO HOSPITAL. The Doctor was brilliant, we were seen pretty quickly too. He was given a really good check over and we were sent home with a list of red flags to watch out for and some antibiotics.

It’s been four days since our hospital adventure and his infection seems to be clearing up. I am glad we’re off school for the next two weeks, he’s absolutely shattered. He’s sleeping 14 hours a night and too tired and weak to do very much at all during the day. It’s hard seeing my normally bouncy boy like this.

One thing which has cheered him up was a visit from the Easter Bunny. Like most things with us, Easter was a pretty low-key affair. My boy was too ill to be dragged about doing stuff and a quick Easter egg hunt in the garden was about as much as he could manage.

A little catch up - March 2018

I’d spent most of the previous week inside looking after the boy, so I took the chance to escape to church for a really special Easter service in the church yard. It was well worth the 5am alarm and creeping out of the house in the dark. I got home again about 7.30am and grabbed the dog and took her for a really long walk. I was loving the fresh air, the bright, clear spring day and the fact that there was no one else around. We walked for miles and I managed to tire her out, a virtually impossible task. I felt so much better for getting out and having a bit of space to myself.

So that was March, a gin filled, crafty little month. I think in time I’ll look back on this month mostly remembering my heart being in my mouth when my son was being checked over by the Doctor. Lets hope April shows significant signs of improvement!

What have you been up to this March?

Review: The Gin Festival Blackpool 2017, Blackpool Tower Ballroom

In recent years gin drinking has enjoyed something of a renaissance. Although gin has been drunk for centuries, gin distillers have been tapping into the growing trend for small batch, artisan and craft gins for a little while now.

In 2012, in celebration of all things gin, the Gin Festival was born. Since then the Gin Festival has been popping up in fabulous locations up and down the UK. The Gin Festival is a fantastic travelling festival; full of vintage flair and with all the gin you could possibly want. It’s a great place to go and try new gins, meet the makers, sample some new things and pick up a new favourite.

Last year I went to the Gin Festival Manchester and absolutely loved every second. This year I went a little further afield and spent an afternoon at the first ever Gin Festival Blackpool.

Review: The Gin Festival Blackpool 2017, Blackpool Tower Ballroom

Photo Credit: Bob Bardsley

Set in the stunning Ballroom at the iconic Blackpool Tower, it was the perfect venue for the inaugural Gin Festival Blackpool. The festival took place on Friday 10th March and Saturday 11th March, I went along to the Saturday afternoon session and had a ball!

The Gin Festival Blackpool served up over 100 gins to the eager Blackpool crowd, including many new and exclusive gins. There were masterclasses with distillers, cocktails, hot mulled gin and toe tapping live music.

With so many gins on offer, my companion Bob and I tried our best to sample as many of them as we could. After consulting “The Gin Book” we were given on arrival, we variously tried Daffy’s, Poetic Licence – Old Tom, Wicked Wolf Exmoor Gin, Wight Mermaid Gin, Inverroche Amber Gin, Isfjord Gin, Masons Tea Gin, Whitley Neill Quince, we also tried some hot mulled gin and a brand new gin from Yorkshire, Tinker.

Each gin was served with plenty of ice, a perfectly matched garnish and you could top it us with one of the six premium Fever-Tree tonics and mixers which were freely available.

Review: The Gin Festival Blackpool 2017, Blackpool Tower Ballroom

Photo Credit: Bob Bardsley

Our stand out favourite was a British made, Spanish style gin called Tinker. Tinker is a move away from traditional, juniper gins and is a fresh and innovative gin. Light on the palate and bursting with juicy berries. It is made by distilling juniper, coriander, orange, lemon, cassia, cinnamon, orris, angelica, liquorice, nutmeg and elderberries to create a contemporary classic. It’s one to watch out for in the future, that’s for sure!

Update: The Gin Festival has now gone into administration.

Win 4 tickets to the Gin Festival Blackpool

In recent years gin drinking has enjoyed something of a renaissance. Although gin has been drunk for centuries, gin distillers have been tapping into the growing trend for small batch, artisan and craft gins.

In 2012, in celebration of all things gin, the Gin Festival was born. Since then the Gin Festival has been popping up in fabulous locations up and down the UK. The Gin Festival is a fantastic travelling festival; full of vintage flair and with all the gin you could possibly want. It’s a great place to go and try new gins, meet the makers, sample some new things and pick up a new favourite.

Win 4 tickets to the Gin Festival Blackpool

Last year I went to the Gin Festival Manchester and absolutely loved every second. This year I’ll be going a little further afield and spending an afternoon at the first ever Gin Festival Blackpool.

The stunning Ballroom at the iconic Blackpool Tower is the perfect venue for the inaugural Gin Festival Blackpool. It takes place on Friday 10th March and Saturday 11th March. Tickets are selling fast, so if you want to get in on the gin action, grab your tickets now!

Win 4 tickets to the Gin Festival Blackpool

The UK’s biggest and oldest Gin Festival will be serving up over 100 gins to the Blackpool crowd, including many new and exclusive gins. There will also be masterclasses with distillers, cocktails and live music. The Gin Festival Blackpool is an event not to be missed!

If you can’t make it to Blackpool, why not book tickets for the Gin Festival in Glasgow, Manchester, Nottingham, Swansea, Torquay, Bournemouth, Bristol, Ipswich, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Gloucester, Stoke-on-Trent, Leeds or Oxford.

For more information and to book tickets, visit the Gin Festival website.

WIN 4 tickets to the Gin Festival Blackpool

To be in with a chance to win 4 tickets to the Gin Festival Blackpool, redeemable on the Friday 10th March evening session only, simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

Check out our other giveaways over on our competitions page.
Terms & Conditions:
1. The competition is open to residents of the UK only aged (18) and over.
2. The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.
3. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter widget above, complete any mandatory entries and any optional entries you would like.
4. The winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
5. The winner will receive 4 tickets to the Gin Festival Blackpool, redeemable on Friday 10th March evening session only.
6. The closing date for entries is 11.59pm GMT on 5th March 2017.
7. The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date.
8. The winner will be asked to provide a full UK postal address with postcode for delivery purposes.
9. The winners name will be available on request
10. Address details will be passed onto an agency to post the prize out to the winner, and is therefore beyond my control. I cannot be held responsible for prizes being lost in the post although I will endeavour to liaise with the agency.
11. Your email address may be passed on to to the promoter for marketing purposes, you may unsubscribe at any time.
12. Entry to this giveaway confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
13. HodgePodgeDays decision is final in all matters relating to this giveaway.

Manchester Gin Festival 2016

Over the Easter weekend Manchester played host to the Gin Festival, a touring two day festival of all things gin. I’m a gin enthusiast but not an expert, so I went along to sample the delights of the festival and hopefully sample a few new gins along the way.

Arriving at Victoria Baths, a building I’ve not set foot in for nearly 30 years, my memories were of a rather grotty municipal swimming baths, but I was very pleasantly surprised by its beautifully restored Edwardian features.

Gin Festival

Once through the door, I was handed a large gin glass (horrah!), a gin guide and pointed in the direction of the gin. My first stop was “The Brand Room”, a room where lots of gin brands had set up stands where gin lovers could go and sample their wares, as well as learn a little more about each gin. It was an interesting room to find out a little more about gin and to suss out any which warranted further tasting and investigation later on.

Gin Festival

Moving on to “The Gin” which was a huge room with four bar areas which housed UK gins, International Gins and Fruit Gin Liqueurs and other novelties. This was where you could consult your gin guide and make your selection. It works just like a beer festival, you buy a number of tokens on a card and when you buy your G&T a token gets crossed off. Each token cost £5 and I bought three.

Gin Festival

My first port of call was to try a Daffy’s and Indian tonic, garnished with mint and lime. A gin drinking friend had recommended Daffy’s as the best gin they’d ever had, so I had to try it on pain of death. It was a very excellent G&T, the tasting notes say it is woody on the nose with lively juniper and citrus flavours and a buttery finish. It was one of those incredibly refreshing G&T’s and I was sad to finish it.

After consulting the gin guide (I fancied everything in the gin guide, but I had to ration myself), I opted to try Curio Cornish Gin, which contained hand foraged botanicals from the Cornish cliffs including rock samphire. The tasting notes suggested that it would be reminiscent of the sea, gentle and citrussy with an aniseed finish. It was paired with Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic and garnished with chopped fennel, not something I’ve ever had in a G&T but it was a delicious and almost savory combination which I enjoyed tremendously.

Gin Festival

Needing a sit down and something to set me up for a bit more gin, I headed to the “Still & Stove” area which had a number of food stalls offering the now ubiquitous pulled pork. I opted for a hearty Spanish stew of spinach and chickpeas served with cous cous which was very tasty.

Suitably replete I was ready for a masterclass in gin. I opted to find out more about Masons Yorkshire Gin, having sampled their three quite different and quite beautiful gins earlier in the brand room. I was especially taken with their gin which had been infused with Yorkshire tea, which was delicate and unusual and possibly my favourite gin at the festival.

Gin Festival

Held in another beautiful room complete with stunning stained glass, a full room of gin lovers listened to the history of Masons gin as told by their brand ambassador Sophie. Sophie then passed around samples of the gin to an approving crowd, many of which I’m sure headed straight for the shop in the gin hall and bought a bottle (or two) to take home.

Gin Festival

I had one G&T token left so I had to choose wisely. On the recommendation of Laura, one of the Gin Festival team I selected the Edinburgh Rhubarb & Ginger Gin Liqueur, a beautiful and delicately flavoured gin which was garnished with apple. I was told to try it first before adding soda water because the flavour changed when diluted, and I’m glad I did, it was gorgeous. I regretted adding the soda water as it really watered down the delicious liqueur, I’ll know better next time.

I can’t actually think of a better way to spend a Bank Holiday Sunday than in the beautiful surroundings of Victoria Baths drinking and enjoying gin. It’s such an amazing venue for the Gin Festival. The Gin Festival itself was very relaxed, well laid out with the stands and bar areas having plenty of space around them for the gathering crowds of gin lovers. I can’t fault the selection of gin on offer and I’ve discovered a gin or two I’ll be searching out in the future.

I’ll be watching and waiting for the Gin Festival to swing back into town again, it was so interesting and a lovely social and civilised afternoon, if you like gin then this is an event not to be missed. This weekend was a sell out so you do have to book your tickets (£7.50) early to avoid disappointment.

To find out more about the Gin Festival and to see if there’s one in your area, visit their website for more information.