If the Beefeater visitor centre seems like a long time coming to us, God knows what it must feel like for the folk at Beefeater HQ. Ever since we first met Master Distiller Desmond Payne which is going back, ooh, five or so years, there’s been talk of something like this in the offing.
But you know how it is, the fact that the distillery is located
in a residential street in South London, plus the fact said street
also houses a gasworks means the health and safety brigade
went into meltdown. Consequently various applications for
a site attached to the distillery where Beefeater could
stimulate and educate an audience thirsty for gin knowledge
were turned down. But having been around for over 300 years, steadfastly remaining in London when other distilleries had
either moved or closed down, this company wasn’t going to take no for an answer. And the resolve paid off. Finally. The powers that be relented and Beefeater London: The Home of Gin got the go ahead and is now ready to open for your visiting pleasure. And we can’t recommend it highly enough.
Whether you’re up on your gin history or not, it’s well worth the £12 ticket price. This is what all museums/visitor centres should be like – big enough so you feel you’ve got your money’s worth but not so sizeable that boredom sets in. It starts with the history of London gin generally and takes
you through to Beefeater Gin specifically and its place in the
market today. There are plenty of treats along the way, including
lots of informative and entertaining audio and video bits and
bobs carefully placed at regular intervals throughout the guided or self-guided tours plus plenty of eye-catching graphics and
clever design details which will have even the short attention
span 140-character, social media brigade captivated.
Cocktail lovers will love the Burrough’s American Bar with
its evolution of the cocktail displays, instructions on how to make
a perfect Martini and G&T, vintage cocktail paraphernalia,
gorgeous Deco bar and jaunty Jazz Age soundtrack. There’s also a nifty section on speakeasies – be sure to take a peek through the windows as you go by.
The whole thing should take about half an hour, after which
you’ll be guided through a room where you can see and taste the nine botanicals which go into Beefeater London Dry, check out the stills and if you’re lucky, catch a glimpse of the crew behind glass, busying themselves in the distillery.
That just leaves time for a refreshing gin and tonic in the bar (included in the price), before stopping off in the shop for a cool range of goodies such as Beefeater ‘London Dry’ umbrellas, Martini glasses, Beefeater 24 teacups and bartender’s kits. You can also stock up on the full range of Beefeater Gins, including Beefeater Garden Gin, Desmond Payne’s new lemon verbena recipe inspired by the Chelsea Physic Garden, exclusively available in The Home of Gin. _________________________________________________________________________
WIN TICKETS TO BEEFEATER LONDON: THE HOME OF GIN
We have two tickets to give away to one lucky reader. If you want to be in with a chance of winning, just drop us a line with ‘I heart Beefeater’ in the subject header telling us which of the gins in
the Beefeater portfolio is your favourite and why. All entries must
be received by Saturday 7th June and the winner will be notified by email on Sunday 8th June.
Entrants must be 18 years old or over. __________________________________________________________________________ Beefeater London: Home of Gin is open Mon-Sat 10am-6pm
(last tour 5pm) Ticket price: £12 (10% reduction for booking online) beefeaterdistillery.com 20 Montford Place, London SE11 5DE. T: 020 7587 0034