A couple of weeks ago I went along to the Gin Festival Bournemouth and had such a good time. It was my second visit to the event, the last time being a couple of years ago when it was held at the Pavilion in Bournemouth, but this year the organisers had cranked it up a notch by holding the event at the Bournemouth International Centre (BIC).
I met up with my Bournemouth Blogger buddy Emma and her friend, and we headed down to the BIC for the afternoon session.
Founded in 2013, the Gin Festival seems to be going from strength to strength, with more brands getting on board each year, and more to see and do at the event. The festival basically goes ‘on tour’ around the country at tons of different locations, and each event is split into morning/afternoon/evening sessions.
There’s masterclasses and workshops where you can find out everything you ever wanted to know about your favourite gin, food stalls, live entertainment, the discounted gin and merchandise shop and of course, the hundreds of gin brands available to sample.
If you love your gin, then this is pretty much heaven on earth.
After signing in and picking up our blogger press packs which contained the festival guide, the all-important gin glass, and a few tokens, we headed to the bars.
(To save time no cash is taken at the bars, with tokens being used instead – each token is worth one drink, and you’re able to buy your tokens at a stand located right near the entrance. I love this idea and think it works really well).
There are five bars labelled A to E, and each bar’s selection of gin has been grouped together according to their blend. That’s pretty much all I know about the technicalities I’m afraid…. I’m still actually amazed at how many hundreds of different gins there are.
I went for a 5th Gin Fire with strawberry garnish and a crisp tonic to kick things off. It was delicious, sweet but not sickly, and the strawberries gave it that perfect fruity finish.
I liked it so much I went for a second, and I also tried the lovely and more famous Pinkster brand, as well as PJ Gin Raspberry which I hadn’t heard of before but was ever so slightly obsessing over after sampling a small amount neat. It was AMAZING.
I think three to four gins is probably more than enough on an empty stomach, which was good timing as we were quite ready to leave by the last token being exchanged.
A browse around the merchandise shop really tested my will power to not buy all the mugs and t-shirts (and gin-flavoured chocolate I mean COME ON people), but it was great to have a look at what was available).
Last but not least, no self-respecting event is ever complete without a photo booth and props, and so of course we had to have a go. I think I got off quite lightly with the straw hat…
It was such a great afternoon, the weather was absolutely beautiful and with gin and sunshine, what more could you want?!
I’d 100% recommend the Gin Festival Bournemouth whether you go alone, with your partner or with your friends. To find out more, check out their website here.
This post is in collaboration with Gin Festival, and my blogger pack was gifted in exchange for a review post on the blog.