Alice Lascelles, ‘British hard Liquor Hack’ for an impressive array of magazines and broadsheets, arrived this morning with Nick Strangeway. Catching a painfully early train she arrived in, needless to say, signature rain and mist for the full Hepple Distillery experience
I’ve read her knowledgable articles and seen her formidable ‘cross streams’ Twitter pic. I had no idea what to expect and was on best behaviour. We’d met once before at a dinner but I was, as I remember, half cut, the wagon pretty skewered with arrows. This was our first press trip and the first time in any depth we’d be talking to people outside of our intimate company group. How would we sound out in the open?
Then into the kitchen popped this very affable an inquisitive ray of sunshine and I felt immediately relaxed. We had a lunch of what I must say was my best ever Kedgeree and set off across the moors on a circular walk to end at the distillery. With our ‘Hepple response rucksack’ we visited some of our botanicals , unboxing a glass in the drizzle with a small bottle of that particular botanical distilled in its own right. It was a sipping safari so to speak.
Val & Alice at the Douglases, with mystery stalker
Back at the distillery, Alice gently interrogated Chris our distiller a penetrating questionnaire before sitting down to a full tasting.
Dosing levels meant tea, coffee and biscuits were needed before regrouping and bumping up the track to the top of the moors (Walter had a dim view that we didn’t walk it) for a 6 O’clock Martini mixed by Nick. This time things went according to plan as our previous trip up the hill with glasses and ice met with disappointment on realizing we’d left the gin back at the house, a dot on the landscape.
Dinner was a lively evening of lamb and potato salad the gin progressing into wine and them some enthusiastic whisky appreciation. I slept like a top
Striking like a kingfisher Alice was back on the train the next day. We think she liked it. We certainly thought highly of her.