The Martini

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Wines & Spirits

It’s probably not surprising that we are so often asked what our favourite cocktail is. Marcus is a big fan of a pink drink and usually plums for a Cosmopolitan. I, on the other hand, like my martini drink in a very specific and traditional way: dry and served with three olives. The reason I’m so particular about this is not borne out of some sense of superior knowledge on how drinks should be made. Rather, it’s based on several years of drinking martinis and learning what I like and what I don’t. I like my martinis dry because while […]


Hampshire Food Festival 2016

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Experiences

It’s always a privilege to be invited to a Hampshire Fare event so we were chuffed to be guests at the launch of the 16th annual Hampshire Food Festival in what is a landmark year for the organisation. 2016 marks the 25th year of what is an exclusive group of producers and hospitality businesses across the county. There are, quite rightly, strict rules of membership but once criteria are met, local producers gain access to a remarkable promotional force that is helping to push word of Hampshire food and farming across the country. It’s not all about marketing though, as the […]


The Alresford Collins

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Gin

A Local, Lavender Cocktail When award-winning floral designer, Jay Archer, approached us to collaborate on a unique event for British Flowers Week, we knew that we just had to include a drink using locally grown lavender. This Alresford Collins is so named for the provenance of its two key ingredients: lavender from Long Barn and Twisted Nose gin. For this recipe, we also use our own grapefruit and lavender syrup, which we’ll be explaining how to make at our upcoming event with Jay on 15 June at River Cottage Canteen Winchester (more details below). We love the floral, sherbet nature of […]

Fresh From the Fields

Hampshire Watercress

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Experiences, Food, General

The ‘gin clear’ waters of the chalk streams that lead into the River Itchen, the River Test and others, bring nutrients and give life to a rich variety of plants and animals such as ‘Nasturtium officinale’, known to us simply as watercress. This pungent leaf was to be found across rural Hampshire and Dorset and harvested from beside these streams and rivers by the local working men and women to supplement their diet. When food was sparse and the cupboard was bare, it was eaten raw or within two slices of bread to form a sandwich. Full of vitamins and minerals, watercress consumption was […]


Our Winchester Top 5

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Experiences

Once home to King Alfred, Winchester offers an irresistible mix of food, festivals and feelgood factor – The Sunday Times When the Sunday Times announced that Winchester is the best place to live in the UK, we were among those who went “social media wild” with excitement. Yes, our beloved Venta Belgarum was named the UK’s top location for myriad reasons (e.g. low crime and great schools) and many of which evidently related to alcohol. In fact, our own little project, Winchester Cocktail Week, was cited as one of the best things about the city. High praise indeed! If you’re a subscriber to The Times, […]


The Winchester Cup 2016

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Winchester Cocktail Week

To kick-start the week’s activities, on Monday 1 February 2016, we shall be hosting a regional bartending competition, open to bars based within a 55-mile radius of the Winchester Cocktail Week Hub. This trade-only event will give shortlisted local bartenders the opportunity to compete in front of a small audience in order to win the first ever Winchester Cup for their venue as well as a prize for him/herself. Unlike other bartender competitions, this is not a test of technical skills or a drive to promote one particular drinks brand. Our main goal for the competition is to encourage a creative use […]