Created in 2014, Carpe Diem Emmie is a Midlands based Lifestyle, Theatre and Travel blog. Ran by Emmie, a 28 year old woman based in rural Leicestershire.

In the day Emmie works in a primary school where she is passionate about inclusion and mental health. In the evening she escapes to the cultural world.

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Gin Festival 2017, Nottingham

Nottingham, UK

When you see a sign saying '#ToTheGin' you know your definitely in the right place to enjoy plenty of gin, meet brands and soak up the atmosphere of being alongside like minded gin lovers like you. Having experienced The Gin Festival at the tail end of last year at Leicester's Athena where they absolutely nailed it with the experience, I took along my partner in crime Kirstie and headed to Nottingham's Conference Centre to see whether it was as good as last year's event. 

The event was held in the spacious and light venue of the Nottingham Conference Centre on the weekend of 22nd and 23rd of April. The festival ran it's sessions in the afternoon between 12.30 and 5pm with a bonus session on the Saturday evening, depending on your preference. When you arrive your given a Gin Festival Copa Balloon Glass to fill at your interest with the gin on offer and The Gin Book, which is a fab resource full of all the gins you can try whilst at the event. It gives some great information about the various gins plus their preferred garnish and Fever-Tree tonic too! To sample the gins the event operates on a token system, which are £5 each. There is so much choice on offer! 

The festival was spread over two floors in the building, making the most of every area it could to bring the festival to life. On the ground floor was two sets of bars, a food area (some great options available for a bite to eat to settle your stomach once it's full of gin), as well as an area for live music. In such a spacious space of the venue the live music definitely adds to the atmosphere of the event and is much needed to bring it to life. On the top floor of the venue was another set of bars as well as an area for some great gin brands to tell you all about their individual gin's and then masterclasses to get the best out of some gins.  The brands were in a spacious room but it seemed that they had taken over one corner of the room which meant that it was extremely busy, making it quite difficult to get involved with the conversations and sample the brands. These were very much the centre of the Leicester festival so it was unfortunate that they wasn't so in Nottingham or the space didn't manage to give the brands the spotlight they deserved. 

The Nottingham event was very busy compared to when we went to the Leicester one, I didn't know whether this was because we had arrived as soon as the session began. This meant that a lot of our time at the event was spent in queues for a drink or without chance to talk to brands. Sometimes you want to get involved in those conversations with brands and not just consuming great gin.

Onto the important information of what I tried out at the festival. My first drink was the Addingham Sloe gin, sloe gin was very much something I got into during 2016 so I was very excited to give this one a go. This sloe gin was a prime example of the rich fruity flavours and subtle marzipan you can expect from a good sloe gin and I was washed it down with the Lemon flavoured Tonic from Fever-Tree which I kid you not was a life changer for me. It was so fruity, reminding me of a Strawberry Lemonade and I'd definitely like to give this a go with prosecco. This is definitely a drink I would enjoy during the summer months. 

The second drink I sampled at the event was the Sovereign Apple and Blackberry, a local gin brand actually based in Nottingham themselves. Their blend of fruit in the gin had a rich taste to it, the combination of soft berries and sharp apple gave autumnal vibes to the flavour. It was better than I had expected with it's fresh apple slice garnish and lemon tonic (I think lemon tonic is going to become a new favourite thing). I think if your unsure of the gin flavours then this would be a great introduction to the world of gin. 

I definitely felt like the Leicester event had a better atmosphere to it than Nottingham's but individually I was very impressed with the two gins I sampled. I managing to find new flavours that I would have again in the future. If your a fan of gin then you do not want to miss this festival, they're heading to Coventry (being held in the cathedral which is a stunning place!), Oxford and Birmingham to name a few.
*I was invited to head to the Nottingham Gin Festival  in return for this review. All opinions and photos are my own. 


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