Glorious Gin – A Day Out At The Bombay Sapphire Distillery

Glorious Gin – A Day Out At The Bombay Sapphire Distillery

As I’ve got older I’m more into the idea of getting up reasonably early at the weekend to fit in a day of exploring/ doing things rather than wasting my time sleeping/ slobbering out for half the day (how ever appealing it does sound). So one weekend in July I was up at the crack of dawn ready to make the 90-minute drive to rural Hampshire to check out the Bombay Sapphire Distillery.

There’s no hiding the fact that I’m a gin fan, I’ve been to a Gin Festival and to a few distilleries before including the Edinburgh Gin and Beefeater one’s which have both been super interesting in their own way but with Bombay Sapphire producing more bottles of gin than either of those brand’s you’re in for a treat at this site.

You can opt for a self-guided tour which is just £15 where you can go at your own pace and read things, or you can pay £25 and have a hosted tour which takes about 2 hours. Both tours include a free cocktail at the end, and the great thing is if you’re the driver and have a non-alcoholic cocktail you get a free gin and tonic to take away with you.

Every single drop of Bombay Sapphire gin is made in their Hampshire distillery whether you buy it down your local pub in London or in a restaurant in Australia, nowhere else makes the iconic blue bottled gin. The site itself is in an old Paper Mill where the Bank of England used to have bank notes printed but for the past five year’s it’s been home to Bombay with various red-bricked buildings nestled on a reasonably large site.

As we opted for the guided tour we were split into two smaller groups and lead to the dry room to discover more about what’s put into the gin. Having been to distilleries before I knew the basics of Juniper, Lemon Peel, Angelica Seed etc but it’s interesting to see how one gin can differ from another and how Bombay make their drink so unique. Once we had been talked through we were given the opportunity to smell all 22 variations of the botanicals to mark our ultimate favourites on a card designed to help with our cocktail choice at the end of the tour. This was a great thing to do as most places just give you a Gin and Tonic with no choice but there were about 10 different variations we could end up with.

Then we moved onto a tour of the distillery itself where two copper stills sit producing a large quantity of the gin, every single day one of the stills is on and each day a huge barrel of gin is made. There are large industrial scale stills on the private section of the site but this area allowed us to see the process better, find out how the botanicals are infused – a concept which is unique to Bombay – and see the process up close. Every part of the distillery has been adapted to maximize energy efficiency and nothing is thrown away to ensure minimal environmental impact.

Next up was the glass houses which have such a unique look about them, having been designed by Thomas Heatherwick in 2014. The two glass houses are split into Meditteranean and Tropical and house the botanicals themselves which are used in the gin to give visitors a better idea of what’s going into their drink. A final stop was made to show us the evolution of the iconic square bottle and a history of the site. Considering I’d done a few gin distilleries before everything was so interesting and it was less about gin itself and more about the unique features of Bombay and the site.

Of course, the trip was rounded out with a cocktail of which I had The Laverstock, a sweet and fruity cocktail topped off with ginger ale which was so yummy.

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If you are a lover on Gin or pretty thing, then you need a day out at the Bombay Sapphire Distillery



  1. Jess
    September 13, 2017 / 2:29 pm

    I’m not the biggest gin gal but this sounds ace. Without sounding like a geek the process sounds really interesting!

  2. September 13, 2017 / 4:53 pm

    Not a drinker but would have enjoyed the tour

  3. September 13, 2017 / 5:49 pm

    What stunning architecture! It’s unlike anything I have ever seen before!

  4. September 13, 2017 / 9:19 pm

    That looks amazing! Gin is definitely on the up and I am very happy about it, x

  5. September 13, 2017 / 11:52 pm

    I would love to tour that distillery, I don’t drink Gin but I think I’d try it just because of the atmosphere.

  6. September 14, 2017 / 12:21 am

    Now this is my kind of thing…Gin and in such a cool place too – yes please! 🙂

  7. September 14, 2017 / 7:06 am

    This is actually really cool! I’ve never been to a distillery before, but I’d love to visit one.

  8. September 14, 2017 / 7:38 am

    Wow! I love those glass houses – they’re incredible! It’s awesome that they grow their botanicals on site too! 🙂 I don’t drink gin (or alcohol at all!) but I love seeing how things are made! <3 xx

  9. September 14, 2017 / 9:40 am

    Oh gosh im the opposite i love having lazy days at the weekends lol. This sounds like a fab place to visit, my mum and friends are huge gin lovers as well. The cocktail at the end sounds scrummy x

  10. September 14, 2017 / 2:53 pm

    This sounds like a great place to visit. I have only recently tried Gin but it’s pretty good! Really cool unique experience 🙂

  11. September 14, 2017 / 5:23 pm

    Sounds like a perfect place to visit especially gin lovers. Though I must say the building structure of Bombay Sapphire Distillery is quite stunning!

  12. September 14, 2017 / 6:10 pm

    I absolutely love gin and would love a tour like this. Can’t believe I haven’t been on one before!

  13. September 14, 2017 / 6:42 pm

    I no longer drink alcohol but would still enjoy learning about the process that goes into making gin. My two sisters-in-law went there last year and came out raving about it too!

  14. September 14, 2017 / 9:29 pm

    sounds fascinating. we have done a whiskey distillery as well as vineyard, microphone breweries and port x

  15. Tatiana Sieff
    September 15, 2017 / 8:46 am

    If I drink, it’s always a G&T. The tour looks so fun!

  16. September 15, 2017 / 11:51 am

    I don’t drink gin but my uncles are basically made of the stuff and they would love this! Now I know what they are getting for their birthdays :p

  17. Danielle Martin
    September 15, 2017 / 5:38 pm

    This looks like a must for any gin lover. *raises hand* – I am a gin lover 🙂

  18. September 15, 2017 / 6:19 pm

    Sounds like a really good tour! The cocktail or free gin and tonic to take home being an added bonus! I love tours that tell you more about the brand and their history rather than just the alcohol!

  19. September 15, 2017 / 7:16 pm

    We live just down the road from the distillery and have yet to visit! Crazy really. My Grandmother lives in walking distance and has been many times! Great photo x

  20. September 15, 2017 / 9:07 pm

    Firstly, what a fascinating building!
    I do like a bit of Gin and this tour looks really interesting.I do like it when you find out not just about the product but the history behind how the brand became the brand. And how considerate to give you a G&T to take away with you if you’re the designated driver
    This looks like a really great thing to do – without the kids!!

  21. September 16, 2017 / 11:24 am

    This looks great, my brother would love this as he is a huge Bombay Sapphire fan x

  22. September 16, 2017 / 11:36 am

    Wow! this is right up my street! I love Gin and Bombay Sapphire is one of my favourites. My in laws live in Hampshire so this could be a great day out. I really want to go in those glass houses!!

  23. Sarah Ann
    September 16, 2017 / 4:17 pm

    Would love to attend something like this. I’ve started liking gin more and more as I’ve gotten older. The cocktail you had sounds delicious too – love ginger ale.

  24. September 16, 2017 / 9:46 pm

    Oh I am very jealous -huge gin lover here! Love that they consider the designated driver by providing a G&T for when they get home x

  25. September 17, 2017 / 8:43 am

    I would love to visit here. I was invited last year but couldn’t make it – it looks fascinating

  26. September 18, 2017 / 12:12 am

    I’m more of a rum girl but my best friend adores gin so I may add this to our friend bucket list for next year! This place looks amazing 🙂

  27. Francesca
    September 18, 2017 / 9:22 am

    What a great day out!!! I’ve never done any sort of tours like that but I’d find it fascinating and top perks for the free cocktails!

  28. September 18, 2017 / 6:44 pm

    Wow! the architecture is absolutely incredible! I would love to create something like this someday!

  29. Rosemary Talbot
    October 7, 2017 / 8:59 pm

    Bombay Sapphire is one of my favourite gins! That tour sounds fab!! I’ve posted today in my blog about the Cambridge Gin Laboratory which I think you’d enjoy if you’re ever in our lovely city.

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