Last month I attended my first ever Gin Festival in Guildford. This festival takes place in loads of places across the UK such as London, Leeds and Manchester. It’s an afternoon or evening of drinking loads of gin, enjoying music and gin masterclasses. If you get hungry they have some great street food options to tuck into.
On arrival you receive a lovely gin glass which is yours to take home with you. A gin explorer booklet which has all the gins on offer and whether it is at bar A, B,C or D. It also recommends which tonic to add to it, they had a bar in the middle where you could top up with different flavours of Fever Tree tonics.
You also have the opportunity to sample some gins at the stalls. The festival has a cashless system where you go up to the top up station scan your wristband and top up your wristband. It costs £5 for one gin and tonic or £10 for a cocktail.
My favourite drink was the Pinkster gin which was garnished with mint and raspberry this had a soft fruity flavour. My boyfriend Sam went for the Tinker gin flavoured with botanical such as elderberries and garnished with pears, this was fruity with a smooth aftertaste. I also tried a Fuddled Daisy Cocktail served with prosecco and lemon. Sam had the Boe Violet gin with floral notes of lavender and berries, this reminded me of the parma violet sweets.
The festival had a free photo booth so you could take home a Polaroid of you and your friends to remember the day. It’s also possible to buy a bottle of the gins you enjoyed. The Gin Festival was a really fun event with a buzzing atmosphere. The gin festivals can sell out quite fast so if your a gin fan I’d definitely recommend getting tickets.
Last month, Mum and I went for a day trip to Arundel Castle. We had such a nice time exploring the old medieval castle and wandering around the beautiful gardens.
The restored medieval castle is based in Arundel in West Sussex. Founded at the end of the 11th century the castle was originally home to the Dukes of Norfolk. I was unable to take photos of inside the castle as photography is not permitted there, but the architecture’s lovely and is worth a look around.
I would definitely recommend visiting the gardens too. There’s lots of different areas to explore such as the rose garden and glass houses. My favourite area was the collector earls garden. This garden is full of pretty flowers, water fountains and a unique floating crown.
Address: Arundel Castle, Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 9AB
Pay and display car park opposite the castle
1 hr 20 mins from London Victoria to Arundel station
10 min walk to castle from Arundel station
Prices start from £11.00 with options to pay more to see all of the rooms, it costs £20.00 to see everything.
Last week I headed to the East London Liquor company for a fun Gin tasting event. The event was in collaboration with UNiDAYS and Virgin Experience Days. Keep reading for a 20% off discount code for Virgin Experience Days at the bottom of this post!
I’ve been wine tasting before but never been in a distillery for gin tasting so this was pretty exciting. Alex our host took me and the other bloggers down to the cellar. Going down the stairs you’re hit with a super strong smell of alcohol! The cellar was full with ageing whisky casks, we each took a seat at the bar and our first tasting drink was vodka. I’m not a huge vodka fan so didn’t enjoy this that much and definitely felt the burning sensation you get when you drink strong spirits.
We then moved onto my favourite part the London dry gins! Alex told us information on the spirits and some of the ingredients. The ingredients included juniper, lavender and cardamom and many more. We passed some of the ingredients around the room to smell. You could smell the juniper in the gins that we tasted. I enjoyed tasting the gins as they had a botanical fruity taste to them. Gin Batch No.1 had pink grapefruit peel and Darjeeling tea this gin in it and would be great in a gin sour cocktail. The London dry gin was my fave! It has a fresh taste with flavours of citrus making it perfect for a gin and tonic. The last spirit we tried was a navy strength rum. Navy strength is a rum with over 57% alcohol, the alcohol was made strong to make it gunpowder proof. By the end of the tasting we were getting used to the spirits so didn’t feel the burn as much. We then headed back upstairs for a cheeky gin and tonic.
I had a great time at this event and this experience would be a great present for any gin lovers!
A visit to a trendy London distillery
A gin and tonic
Several tastings, including East London Liquor Company’s British Wheat vodka and rum, as well as three world gins
Experience gift pack including personalised voucher and message card
UNiDAYS is a discount website and app for students. When I was a student I used it a lot for discount on clothes such as on Missguided and ASOS. They also have a lot of great discounts for restaurants. It’s quick and free to sign up, you can check out there website here.
Below is a code for students to get 20% off Virgin Experience days. They have so many amazing days out with plenty of things to do in London. They have the view from the shard, afternoon tea and up at the O2 experience.
I love walking tours and Harry Potter so thought I’d try out the See your City Harry Potter walking tour in London. We started the walking tour outside the Palace theatre where they are currently showing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, I’d love to see this but its super expensive and is selling out really fast!
Our tour guide came round with a hat and asked everyone to pick out a card to allocate which house they would be in. We then were asked Harry Potter questions throughout the day to see which house would win. I was in the Slytherin house but we didn’t get many points.We then set off exploring the filming locations in London.Magic Money – Harry Potter notes.
The tour ended at Kings Cross Station where you can get your photo taken outside platform 9 3/4 but there was a massive queue and I didn’t want to wait an hour. I’ll try go back early one morning when the queues less busy.
I really enjoyed the walking tour, our guide was very knowledgeable and funny!
Departs at : Tues & Fri @ 2pm, Sat – Sun @ 10:30am & 2pm
This tour lasts 2 hours.
There was a stop on the tube so make sure you bring your Oyster card or contactless card.
See your city have a bunch of other walking tours which all look pretty good such as a ghost walking tour and a coffee tour.
Last week I went to Shaftesbury theatre to see Motown the musical! I went with my mum and we had great seats in the Royal circle. We went to the 7.30 pm show which is available Monday to Saturday. On Thursdays and Saturdays they have a matinee at 2.30 pm.
The show is about Berry Gordy who founded Motown records launching the career of Diana Ross and the supremes, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and the Temptations and many others. The show explains the struggles of starting Motown records and the romance and rocky relationship between Berry Gordy and Diana Ross. The musical touches on racial and political issues of the time which impacted Motown music being played on the radio. The story line is good but the show is focused more on the music.
The show has over 50 Motown hits with songs such as “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” – Marvin Gaye, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” – Diana Ross, “Do You Love Me” – The Contours, “I Want You Back” – Jackson Five, “You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me” – Smokey Robinson & The Miracles.
The first few songs were a bit too loud and pitchy but after that it sounded amazing. The choreography was also spectacular. The boy who played little Michael Jackson had an amazing singing voice! Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson were also brilliant.
Before heading to the theatre we went to Cafe Mode which was a few minutes walk from Shaftesbury Theatre. The restaurant has an evening meal set menu with 2 courses and a glass of prosecco for £14.99. I started off with bruschetta and my mum had bread and olives. For my main I had carbonara which was really creamy and tasty. My mum had the mushroom risotta which was also really nice!
You can book Motown the musical here until the 24th of February 2018
On my recent trip to Tenerife me and my parents spent the day exploring Loro Parque situated in the north off the island. We started of the day with the discovery tour. Our friendly tour guide showed us round and explained all about the zoo. They work with many different projects to protect endangered species and to help protect the environment. Loro means Parrot in English and Loro Parque actually started off as a refuge for Parrots. They still have loads of parrots there and breed them there. The zoo previously won the Tripadvisor’s travellers choice for zoos and aquariums and came number 1 in Europe and 2nd in the world. The zoo is amazing and there’s so much to see and do!
On the tour we went to the Penguin enclosure its amazing you stand on a moving platform and can see them dive into the water. There’s also a machine to create snow falling from the ceiling.
For lunch we stopped off at Casa Pepe which serves Canarian specialities tapas-style. I would recommend the cheese with Mojo sauce for a starter. They also have a selection of meat dishes such as chicken skewers and a variety of sausages.
The shows are well worth seeing! Its amazing what the animals can do. I would recommend trying to see as many of the shows as possible. We missed the parrot show as we had to get back on the coach. Try and get to Loro Parque early as there’s so much to see there.
There are six Orca Whales at OrcaOcean who perform, even a deaf one who receives guidance through special hand and light signals. Bear in mind if you sit near the front you’ll get soaked.
The Dolphin show is brilliant and all of the shows give you information about the animals.
My favourite show was the Sea Lion show. One of the sea lions wanted all the attention. Every time the trainer went to do something with the other sea lions it would jump down and get in the way.
I loved this zoo there’s so much to see and the animals are treated well. It’s easy to see how the zoo has won so many awards. If I visit Tenerife again I’d love to go back as I didn’t get to see the bird show and could have spent longer exploring the zoo.