Two of my favorite things in life are travel (no kidding!) and discovering a culture’s drinks. When I can combine them, say when Lindsay and I headed to Kentucky to sip our way through the Bourbon Trail, it’s the ultimate for me. I call it tipple travel. With the opening of Bombay Sapphire’s swanky new distillery sixty miles outside of London in a cool, old paper mill, there’s yet one more distillery on my bucket list to visit.
If you’re headed to London and you’re a gin fan or just a general spirits geek like me, it’s definitely worth the side trip. Here are some of the highlights from an article I wrote, published in Four Seasons Magazine:
Since the House of Bombay began nearly three centuries ago, the distilling process has been under wraps—until now. On October 1, the Laverstone Mill, a 10th-century paper mill turned state-of-the-art distillery opened to the public. It is home to all three Bombay expressions: Bombay Original, Bombay Sapphire and the newest—Bombay Sapphire East.
“This marks the start of a new legacy for Bombay Sapphire gin. For the first time, we are opening our doors to the public and inviting them to explore the story of Bombay Sapphire,” says Nik Fordham, Master Distiller of Bombay Sapphire.
Sixty miles (100 kilometres) outside of London, set among the rolling hills of English countryside, the distillery is poised to become one of Hampshire’s most visited attractions.
For architectural buffs, the property boasts 40 restored Victorian- and Edwardian-era buildings. At the heart of the distillery, in contrast to the antiquities, two strikingly modern greenhouses stand, housing the exotic botanicals (think juniper, orris root and cubeb berries) that give Bombay Sapphire its trademark taste.
On the self-guided, seed-to-sip tour, visitors can observe the revolutionary vapour infusion process in the Dakin Stills, learn of Laverstone Mill’s rich history in the Heritage Room, pick up souvenirs of limited-edition Bombay gins at the Gin Shop, take a gin cocktail class and sip on a craft cocktail at the Mill Bar overlooking the River Test.
Bombay Sapphire Distillery Visitor Info
Self-Guided Tour: £15.00 (includes one gin cocktail); Reserve online HERE
Cocktail Masterclass: £35.00 (Brush up on your gin cocktail-making skills, 1 hour)
Gin Workshop: £25.00 (Learn to make your own gin, 45 minutes)
October to March 11:00 – 18:00
April to September 10:00 – 20:00
For more ideas of what to do when in Hampshire, England, visit www.visit-hampshire.co.uk.
Photos courtesy of Bombay Sapphire.