WITH LOVE ...
The Bombay distillery
Gin! I’m not the biggest fan, I’m more of a bubbles kind of girl. But Mr H is a huge fan – so a gin tour seemed the perfect idea for our anniversary celebrations. It’s alcohol after all, I was sure I’d enjoy it.
The Bombay distillery has always been on our ‘get away from the kids’ list (we love them honestly). So I set about finding the best deal I could. Hours went by as I compared hotel facilities, prices and of course made sure that our accommodations was within ‘affordable cab distance’
I settled on the lovely, rather grand looking Oakley Hall. With just a five minute drive to the distillery and beautiful recently refurbished rooms. As I’ve said in previous posts… hotel hunting is actually a hobby of mine!! Sad but true, I just love to plan a trip. I need to get out more 🤦🏻♀️
So we dumped (I mean dropped off) the kids with my mum and escaped… wohooooo! We were free! There is always mixed feelings at this point. Sheer elation mixed with a teeny tiny bit of guilt. Just a tiny bit.
The journey took a couple of hours, Costa drive through was heavenly, uninterrupted music – greatest showman didn’t make an appearance once. The journey was blissful…
In no time we were pulling into the long driveway and ahead we could see the beautiful house. A loud oohhhh left my lips … I was impressed. So grown up and grand. We parked up and headed in through the modern glass doors. I do love it when they mix old and new – with huge glass doors set into the old brick porch.
A huge smile greeted us from behind the desk – Mr H signed in while I soaked up all the lovely interiors, had a little nose around the wood clad rooms and soon found the bar… of course.
Check In was complete and we made our way to our room… eek the most exciting bit of the day. The door opens and the room is beautiful. All the usual amenities and a gorgeous bathroom all overlooking the stunning grounds. They had spoiled us with a handwritten anniversary card and hand made chocolates. Such a sweet personal touch.
That evening we visited the restaurant, it was a ‘fine dining’ experience. We enjoyed what we had, the service was ok but the overall experience didn’t match the high prices. I just wish they had had table cloths, soft music etc. It lacked atmosphere and felt a little under par. In fact we cancelled our table and ate in the bar the following evening.
We woke up to glorious sunshine the next morning. As we made our way down to breakfast we chatted about what was in store for the day – the highlight being our cocktail making masterclass. It was booked for 11am… good god how was I going to fancy gin at 11am?!
Brekkie was delicious and we ordered a cab to get us down the road to the distillery.
“How much!?! You must be bloody joking mate!!” Hmmm not a great start – the cab cost us £20 one way – for a FIVE MINUTE RIDE! I start going right into one as the cab drove off. “Well that’s it I’m walking back to the hotel later, we are not being ripped off like that again!!” Mr H calms me down, telling me to forget about it.
The distillery is much smaller than I’d expected. It’s so pretty too. With the clearest little stream running through the centre of the site. It all feels so wonderfully grown up. We go to the desk and present our tickets. The lady asks us to wait to one side – the cocktail masterclass will begin shortly.
People keep arriving… loads of people! There must be about 40 of us in the end. The lady takes us through and we find ourselves a seat. It’s all laid out beautifully within a huge room with a giant horseshoe of tall tables and bar chairs. As we find our places we discover the tables are ladened with our ingredients, stunning glassware and an array of fruit and herbs. Oohhh it’s so exciting – maybe gin won’t be so bad. Well the class is a huge success, within 15 minutes I feel pissed as a fart, rosy cheeked and generally completely chilled. We didn’t stop laughing, mixing and sipping. I won’t ruin the excitement of the class in case you fancy a trip yourself – but I will say it’s well worth it and I quickly became I gin drinker!
The class came to a close and we wondered merrily off to mooch around the museum. It was fab, not too much to read, very interactive and beautiful architecture to see. I particularly enjoyed the botanical dry room where you get to smell different ingredients to tailor your own cocktail. The Lavistock was my favourite… we made our way to the bar (at last 🤣) and I indulged in two! It was bliss watching the world go by, uninterrupted conversations about all we’d learnt.
We grabbed a bite to eat on the top floor of the double decker bus… I was pissed but this actually happened. Really it did!!
It’s the only place to eat. So we squeezed our rather large frames onto the back seat of the bus and soaked up the gin with delicious paninis.
Ok, I had to give in to the extortionate cab ride home. The alcohol had mellowed me. So as we waited we hit the shop, buying up all the ingredients for our epic cocktail party that was obviously going to happen now we are official cocktail pros. (Of course this still hasn’t happened two months on)
Oakley hall was the perfect place to stay – clean and fresh with lots of history. If you go for room service or bar food – you’ll be fine. Maybe we just got unlucky that night in the restaurant! The trip was really fabulous, grown up and restful. I’d recommend the whole experience especially the cocktail masterclass. You don’t have to be into Gin… but I’m sure you will be by the end of it. 💕