Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Gin O’Clock #4 - the Mother Ship

Muslims have Mecca,  I have the Plymouth Gin Factory.

It has been the ‘to do’ list for a while and I finally made it. As Feta is to Feta, ham is to Parma, and Buffalo Mozzarella is to Buffalos so is Gin to Plymouth.
There was some debate as to which tour we should opt for, the £40 Master Distillers Tour which involves two and a half hours of gin fuelled fun including the chance to take home a 200ml bottle of you own recipe. Didn’t go for this on the grounds that 200ml is a joke, I’ve got bigger, more alcoholic and possibly tastier bottles of nail polish remover. The other option was the Gin Connoisseurs Tour (£20) which includes an opportunity to compare and contrast a number of gins in a tasting session…this was more tempting. In the end we decided we’d get the most bang for Jacky’s buck to go with the £7, no frills distillery tour and then buy a litre bottle in the gift shop at the end. I have to say je ne regrette rien.

Highlights included:

- Discovering juniper berries. I don’t mean to sound like Bryn, but you literally crush them and they smell of gin, its marvellous! I don’t understand why no one is selling juniper juice? I could have it for breakfast before moving on to the hard stuff.

- The tasting session. I have never tried sloe gin before. It did taste a lot like cough syrup but I’m told it is very pleasant mixed with lemonade and a good accompaniment to cheese.

- The free g&t in the gin bar at the end of the tour, even better that Jacky was driving and couldn’t drink his.

- Jacky, who thought he hated gin, discovered he was quite partial to a gimlet. This has opened up a world of opportunities for our relationship.

- ‘Surprise’ bottle of gin Jacky got me when I accidently-on-purpose picked an opportune moment to nip to the loo when he was in the gift shop :)

Serious issues that the Plymouth Gin Factory need to address before I return:

- They are not handbag friendly people at all. Just as it is probably would not be acceptable to ask a blind person to ditch the dog, it is not acceptable to ask me to store my handbag in a locker. Not only is it not acceptable to ask me to store my handbag in a locker, but it is very very unacceptable to then provide  a teeny tiny little thing that would cause handle crushage. The tour guide lady’s solution to this was to ‘stick my bag somewhere safe’. This was followed by totes awks, elongated pause as she went to take the handle, and I refused to let go before catching a glimpse of Jacky’s please-don’t-make-a-scene face. So no, I did not have a hissy-fit (saved it for the car journey home).  If you too are planning a visit my main recommendation would be to make sure you bring a small handbag, and dustbag obvs.

Additional Point:

- They make you touch a metal bar before you go in so your static doesn’t blow the place up, well random. Someone should tell the airports, would save a lot of time at security.

Final Plea:

- Can everyone please plant a Juniper bush, this fungal infection sounds bare destructive.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Aperol Spritz O’Clock

Hello, I am back. Apologies for being an unreliable blogger, I have been pre-occupied with enjoying the heat wave.

Heat waves can be hazardous for the handbag lover. I still haven’t quite recovered from the trauma of my last trip to Venice when on a particularly hot day I thought the navy dye from my Jaegar bowling bag was transferring on to my arm… Following a furious rubbing session with a packet of ‘wet ones’ in the middle of the Zaterre I was relieved to discover it was in fact just a vein. Should have known it would be my crummy Irish gene bank at fault and not Jaegar.  Still, the whole experience did serve as a reality check and made me realise that perhaps in extreme heat, leather is not the best option, don’t worry I haven’t lost my mind and cracked out a canvas tote (yawn). Cue this little number:

*Temporarily branched out to Aperol Spritz as my go to heat wave beverage, Jacky’s got the ratio of Aperol to Prosecco nailed. It is well nice.
I’ve even managed to choose my spritziest polish in homage to the change- OPI, Are We There Yet?

I know I know… Gin to Aperol, Essie to OPI where have my loyalties gone? Totes blame heat wave induced insanity.

I am stink excited about tonight’s Apprentice Final! This is my Eurovision. The celebrations will be kicking off as soon as I get home. I am not one to make flippant comments but I put my handbag collection on Louisa to win. It is literally cake vs. poison (well, botox)- as they say in bizness it’s a no brainer. Sugars blates going to go for cakes.