I started this year with a big list of things that I wanted to do throughout 2018, and on my list was attending some Gin Festivals, wine tastings or beer tours. I have never been to anything like it before, so I was excited to be invited along for the Ipswich Gin Festival!
The festival started at 6pm, however we arrived a little later at 7pm. We were ready for our first proper night away drinking since having our little one, so we splashed out on a meal and hotel too.
When we arrived, we were directed to a friendly lady who explained how the Gin Festival worked, as this was our first time attending one. We were given a large gin glass each, a tote bag and a guide on where to find all the stalls, gin masterclasses etc.
Given the sheer amount of gins that were on offer the lay out was pretty good once you figured it all out. They had downstairs for buying tokens, the food stalls, the main seating area and a couple of gin bars. Then upstairs were the gin masterclasses, cocktail bar, boutique bar and two other gin bars.
Whether you are a big fan of gin or have never tried it before, there truly is something there for everyone. So it would make a great evening out for a group of friends or a couple, regardless of how much you actually drink gin yourself.
We headed to get our tokens first and then headed to the gin shop, as we were quite overwhelmed with the lay out so wanted to have a flick through the guide. However, we ended up chatting to the lovely lady in the shop about what to expect, how to get the most out of the night and where to find everything.
How the system works is that exchange cash for tokens, and you pay in tokens at all of the bars around the festival. You can top up throughout the night which we recommend as you can’t exchange them back if you don’t use them.
From there, we headed up ready to try some samples first, but we were a bit disappointed that only two stalls were there to give out samples. Once we had those two tiny shots of gin, there weren’t anymore going around. We were very much looking forward to trying out a few different gins but sadly this wasn’t on offer.
After having the samples, we headed to get a cocktail each which cost £20. Cocktails are £10 each and a glass of gin is £5 (yep, I’m with you on that one!)
The gin masterclasses were running all evening, so we attended two. My favourite masterclass was the one for Tinker, his masterclass comes with a content warning which is my kind of thing!
The Tinker gin was absolutely lovely and was the cocktail I had too. We both liked it so much, that we bought a bottle of their pink gin in the shop downstairs before leaving.
All in all, it was a great night out and we would definitely consider attending again – but when we have a little bit more money to splash out!
Disclaimer: I was gifted some tickets and free drinks in return for an honest review.