It’s not news to regular readers that the HWO household are gin lovers. Everyone recognises the Bombay Sapphire distinct blue glass bottles and has been a firm favourite of many for several decades. Relocated in 2014, Bombay Sapphire distillery is now located in Laverstoke Mill.
The Mill used to be site which produced bank note paper for the Bank of England and British Empire. At the moment there is a cafe being developed in what used to the paper mill staff’s living quarters. All buildings are Grade II listed so the cafe development has been a little slower than anticipated.
We did the Hosted Experience but there is a self discovery tour which includes an interactive leaflet which has embedded technology to wake up the ‘whispering walls’.
Our tour started with the Botanical Dry House whereby you could ‘sniff’ all the different botanical ingredients such as juniper berries, cassis bark, liquorice & coriander. Once you have established which you like, you mark your card. This will then determine which cocktail would suit you best.
We then moved into the Dakin Still House where you can see two of the Stills, Thomas and Mary, which are still used today. You get to learn how the gin is infused and how methods changed to produce the London Dry Gin. It is these two Stills who help to produce the thousands of litres of Bombay Sapphire gin from the site every day. There are only 2 Distillers within the company that know the secret recipe…and yes, they’re not allowed to travel together!
Probably the highlight of the tour are the iconic glasshouses. These were designed by Thomas Heatherwick. Inside the two glasshouses you will find the ten botanicals that make Bombay Sapphire in their natural state plus some beautiful butterflies.
At the end of the tour, you are offered a cocktail based on your choices from the Dry House which was included in the entry price. I went for the English Garden which included ginger ale and apple juice – delicious!
There is a total of 7 different experiences at Bombay Sapphire so there is something for everyone and everyone’s pocket.