Gin Festival York 2018

Last Saturday Bob and I organised childcare for the afternoon and took ourselves off to our very first Gin festival. Bob has been a fan of Gin for a long time but I’ve only recently started liking it after years of thinking it wasn’t for me. Turns out the Gin Festival explained exactly why I thought I hated it all this time… my husband and I have very different tastes when it comes to GIN.

*we attended the event for free and were kindly gifted a voucher in exchange for the review*

The Gin festival took place at York Barbican Centre between the 23rd-24th February in 3 sessions; one on Friday evening, one on Saturday afternoon and one on Saturday evening. We decided to attend the Saturday afternoon session as it meant we only needed childcare for a few hours instead of a sleepover (Freya’s only had one so far and is soon having her second but I’m a reluctant mama to give up her baby haha).

This is the UK’s first, biggest and best gin festival according to the website and gives you the chance to try gins from all over the world, enjoy live music and food as well as take part in masterclasses, meet the distillers and enjoy gin or gin cocktails.

We arrived at around 1pm on Saturday afternoon, picked up our press packs which included a voucher to be spent on drink or at the shop. We spoke to the team before entering who advised that the event runs on a cashless system meaning you need to top up your electronic festival wristband with funds before you start. This is a swift process to do online and we immediately topped up our accounts before going into the main area for Gin. As part of your ticket price, you receive a full guide breakdown about the event itself and a gin glass which is rinsed out between drinks when you go to the serving stations.

We walked into the main area and had a browse round the various stands before deciding to get our first drink. There were 5 main bar stations from A-E as well as pop up station from Brockman’s, Schweppes, and several others. The guide broke down where to find each gin and the different tastes you could expect from each one. A standard Gin and Tonic would debit £5 from your wristband however a premium Gin and tonic would charge you £6.50. There was also a cocktail station which cost £10.00 per cocktail.

Some of the Gin’s we tried out included Blackwood’s 60% Vintage Dry Gin, Pink 47, PJ Gin Elderflower and Ancient Mariner London Dry Gin. We tasted each other’s gins every time and this is how we discovered our opposite tastes. Bob likes a dry gin which I found too overpowering, and I love a floral gin or gin liqueur which Bob found too sweet or sickly. On a positive note, we will always have a bottle each at home as we are very unlikely to drink each other’s gins.

After trying out various drinks, we decided to use our voucher to purchase a couple of bottle of Gin’s from the festival shop as a treat. We purchased the Blackwood’s gin and a bottle of Brockmans gin which is one of my favourites.

We had an absolutely lovely time at the Gin Festival and will definitely return again next year. It is a fantastic way to try out new gins as well as speaking to distillers themselves. We enjoyed some fab live music whilst we drank our Gin’s and smelt some amazing food drifting from the food tents.

Thank you to the Gin Festival York for having us and see you next year.

Laura x

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