Wilderness Festival with Martin Miller’s Gin

 In Arts & Culture

This summer, I went to the Wilderness Festival thanks to Martin Miller’s Gin giving me tickets for their Instagram competition which I won!

Ecstatic with joy as soon as I found out, I grabbed my phone and called my friend who has been wanting to go to this festival for ages. She couldn’t believe it – or the fact we had exactly 2 days to organise ourselves.

We soon arrived on the Saturday (as unfortunately I couldn’t take any days off at work!) and explored cornbury park… it was immense! Food and drink stalls galore, vintage pop ups, champagne lounges, yoga yurts, tents for talks, banquet halls and so much more! There was a lot to take in, but our first stop: food. We went for bleecker st. burgers and boy oh boy were they delish!

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Parched from our burger, we headed over to the Martin Millers’ Gin tent as I needed to sign up for my masterclass. While we waited for the class we enjoyed a gin and tonic or two and gazed at all the festival frovilities.

We then thought, what’s a festival without a flower crown and headed over to the ‘mighty bee’ tent. This pop up sold coconut meat and coconut water. They sold raw and virgin organic coconut flesh, that apparently has more protein and benefits than coconut oil and their coconut water was the freshest and sweetest (but had no added sugar!) I’ve ever tasted.

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The Gin class soon started and we headed over there, took our seats, ready to find out the facts and the history behind this great gin!

The marketing team at the tent team provided an iPad App that acts as a G&T profiler, which kept in line with their ‘romance and adventure’ theme. The user is asked a series of questions which leads to a decision being made for them as to what garnish to select. The choice included Strawberry and Black Pepper, Grapefruit and Basil, Chilli and Coriander, Blackberry and Ginger and Melon and Mint.

My favourite? Grapefruit and basil for a sharp fresh fix in the scorching sun!

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“We will source juniper from Tuscany and India, cassia bark from china, scour France for the best angelica, and get our Florentine iris from, well, Florence.” said Martin Miller, in a quiet bar in Notting Hill Gate some time in the late summer of 1998.

And that’s exactly what they did. Infused those ingredients, distilled in england and blended with icelandic water. Martin Miller said; “Imagine water that fell as rain when the earth was a younger and less polluted planet, now think of that same rain taking millennia to filter through hundreds of feet of granite and lava to create water of unrivalled purity and softness. What’s more”, he added, “It’s simply perfect for blending gin.”

Before we tested the gin, we smelt the flavours, to enhance our tastebuds. We were also told to taste the gin holding our nose, and then again smelling the gin and there was such a distinct difference! It’s just like when you have a cold and you say you’re tastebuds have gone – it’s because your sense of smell has worsened and smell, is part of taste. We were also told to add water to the gin shot in order to make it more smooth but also intensify the flavours.

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IMG_4073The gin is absolutely delicious, and citrus edged enough to drink by itself, without any garnish if you so wish!

*FUN FACT: The phrase ‘Dutch courage’ is said to have derived from gin – to bolster one’s courage. Gin was invented by the Dutch physician Franz de le Boë (Franciscus Sylvius) in the 17th century. British troops fighting Louis XIV alongside their allies appreciated the calming effects of Jenever (Dutch gin also sounds like gin-ever when spoken) before heading into battle. Thus, dutch courage was born, to stiffen resolve!*

By the time evening dawned, we boogied it up and soaked up the atmosphere of the place…

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The next morning we arrived bright and early, and naturally made our first stop: coffee.

We’d bean and gone (haha geddit, coffee bean!?) yesterday and knew it was awesome so queued up for the monmouth iced blend to kickstart that caffeine adrenaline for us java junkies.

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Fully fuelled, we took to exploring some more…

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We stumbled across neal’s yard remedies tent and scuffled inside…

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We then took part in the #rosyballoonrace as part of Rosy’s charity initiative. The charity supports and helps chronically and terminally ill children by providing the care and support they need.

We donated to the cause and took our two balloons to be a part of the race. The idea is to see how far you can get your balloon to travel. And whoever stumbles across your balloon, be it 5 or 500 miles away, gets £50 for logging it on the website.

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To refresh, we headed over to the pukka stand for some tea, which was amazing…

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We then did threw in a bit of yoga for good measure and michaela taught me my first pose… so I became the #WILDERNESSWARRIOR

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DSC01568To balance things out we had one last gin…

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and one last cheeky burger!

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