Bombay Sapphire Tour, Laverstoke Mill, Hampshire
The Bombay Sapphire Gin Distillery is located at the historic Laverstoke Mill on the banks of the River Test. It has opened its doors to gin-lovers offering them gin discovery experiences and tours in a stunning natural setting.
Take the Bombay Sapphire tour at the Laverstoke Mill Distillery in Hampshire
The Bombay Sapphire tour is perhaps the ‘jewel in the crown’ of all the gin distillery tours I’ve done in the UK. The company has invested heavily in creating a wonderful interactive experience to appeal to gin enthusiasts.
Located in a former paper mill that once made bank notes for the British Empire, the juxtaposition of the listed distillery buildings with modern glasshouses designed by architect Thomas Heatherwick, is inspirational. Opt for the self-discovery experience, as I did, or for one of their unique gin experiences and masterclasses.The Foodie Travel Guide
Bombay Sapphire Tour
- Take the Bombay Sapphire tour
- Listen to the audio guide
- Smell the botanicals
- Enjoy a free G&T in the bar
Thank Thomas Dakin for The Gin
It’s thanks to Thomas Dakin, a 24 year-old botanist and entrepreneur that we can enjoy the unique flavours of Bombay Sapphire Gin. In 1761, he distilled his first gin in Warrington where the gin is still bottled today. It’s at Laverstoke Mill in Hampshire though, where every single drop is distilled. A staggering 33 million bottles are produced every year.
Watch the River Run Through
Take a self-guided tour of the gin distillery stopping to listen to stories at key points along the way. Hear architect Thomas Heatherwick, one of Britain’s most imaginative designers, talk about his task to re-discover the connection between the distillery and the River Test. The chalk stream which runs through the mill has some of the purest waters in Britain and is known for its fly fishing.
Botanical Glasshouses designed by Thomas Heatherwick
Warm Up in the Glasshouses
Wander into the glasshouses with their undulating lines and you’ll see botanical plants from all over the world. With intriguing names such as ‘grains of paradise’, the plants are used to flavour the gin which is distilled from a flavourless base spirit.
Stop and Smell the Botanicals
In the Botanical Dry Room, smell the different aromas of all ten botanicals used to create the distinct flavours of Bombay Sapphire Gin. It’s a fun process akin to creating a perfume which ends with a special reward – a personalised cocktail to enjoy in the bar at the end of your tour.
See the botanicals used to flavour Bombay Sapphire Gin
Enjoy a personalised Bombay Sapphire gin cocktail
Meet Thomas and Mary
Meet Thomas and Mary, the two shiny heritage copper stills who are still hard at work today. It was Mary Dakin (the wife of Thomas’s grandson), who had the ingenious idea of steaming the botanicals in a basket allowing the citrus notes and lighter flavours to come through.
Discover Bombay Sapphire History in the Heritage Room
Stock up on gin in the Bombay Sapphire Shop
Discover The Story Behind The Name
Read the intriguing story behind the Bombay Sapphire name and the duck egg blue glass bottle in the Heritage Room. It will take you to Bombay, Sri Lanka and Hollywood.
- Advance booking is recommended for the Bombay Sapphire tour
- Expect to spend 2-3 hours at the distillery. Afterwards visit the nearby Laverstoke Farm Shop
- Spend a day fly fishing for trout on the River Test
- Interested in Thomas Heatherwick’s work? Visit another of his designs at the East Beach Café in Littlehampton, West Sussex
Mr Hendricks says, “They tell me that no pets or animals are allowed at the distillery except for guide dogs and hearing dogs.”
There are two types of gin – distilled gin and London Dry Gin. The label ‘London Dry Gin’ refers to a process just like Cheddar and ‘cheddaring’ in cheese production. A gin can only be called a ‘London Dry Gin’ if the only ingredient added to it following distillation, is water.
HOW TO FIND THE BOMBAY SAPPHIRE DISTILLERY
Bombay Sapphire Distillery
BOMBAY SAPPHIRE DISTILLERY TOUR
Bombay Sapphire Distillery, Laverstoke Mill, London Road, Whitchurch, Hampshire RG28 7NR
PLANNING A VISIT? FIND PLACES TO STAY NEAR BOMBAY SAPPHIRE DISTILLERY
The White Hart
Historic coaching inn with 12 boutique rooms. 2.5 km from Bombay Sapphire Distillery.
Rooms from £104 a night.
Hotel du Vin
The original Hotel du Vin offers a boutique stay in a great central location.
Rooms from £129 a night.
Oakely Hall Hotel
A grand 18th-century Georgian Manor House set in a 315 acre estate .
Rooms from £250 a night.