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Independent distillers set for locally-organised Christchurch Mansion gin festival in Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 20:00 16 February 2017 | UPDATED: 06:39 17 February 2017

Neil Farrow, organiser of the Ipswich Gin Festival

Neil Farrow, organiser of the Ipswich Gin Festival

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Organisers behind the locally-organised Ipswich Gin Festival have unveiled more details of its inaugural event – with Christchurch Mansion confirmed as the spectacular backdrop.

Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich. Picture: Lucy TaylorChristchurch Mansion in Ipswich. Picture: Lucy Taylor

The festival, which is unrelated to the nationally-arranged Gin Festival Ipswich in June, has been organised by Hadleigh-based expert Neil Farrow alongside the mansion, and will take place from 6-11pm on Saturday, April 29.

A host of activities and entertainment have been lined up for the event, which will feature a marquee outside the mansion and include a link-up with the mansion’s Gainsborough display.

Among the other entertainment will be a DJ, gin-tasting, classes on botanicals gin can be fused with and workshops.

Neil Farrow said: “It’s all about education because people are more open to new types of gin now. People are testing their palette which is great.

“They want to know where the gins come from, what botanicals are used – you try and give as much education as you can when you are serving the drinks.”

Staff at Christchurch Mansion who are working alongside Mr Farrow for the event have described the marriage as a perfect fit, tying in with the historical taste for gin during the 18th Century alongside today’s surge in interest.

But the festival is far from just an experience for the gin connoisseur, according to the mansion’s Emma Roodhouse.

“It’s nice for somebody if they are not a huge gin enthusiast they can still have a really, really good night,” she said.

“It’s good to broaden our audiences and gin is so popular now. But people are looking for new events.”

Despite being a smaller scale event, the festival will still be offering a wide variety of gins and celebrating the popular spirit in all its forms.

Ms Roodhouse said: “Neil is looking at producers who are more small scale – there are people brewing Ipswich gin and there are little companies, so it is nice to celebrate those.”

If the event proves a success, the organisers haven’t ruled out the chance of it becoming an annual event.

“We will see how this one goes, but certainly for us evening and adult events are part of our programme development,” Ms Roodhouse said.

Tickets are £9 from the Ipswich Regent box office available from Monday, and from Gin Punch from March 1.

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