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2018 what a beautiful summer . Seven days on the beach at Beesands would have been just lovely but I was determined to experiment with some excursions we hadn’t done before or at least that we hadn’t done for a while .

With the current craze on gin I thought the best place to start was the Salcombe Gin School. At £150 for 2 and £100 for 1 it was quite an expensive excursion at first glance . However it soon became evident that it was in fact value for money . Starting the day with a large gin and tonic on the balcony over looking the estuary we then went and learnt how to distilling process works and a little about the history and the future of the school.

Entering the school it very much resembled a chemistry lab with bottles of botanics ,white scrupulously clean benches ,  miniature brass stills, jugs ,paper and pencils all ready for our experiment in the making of gin. The teaching was superb with all 3 of us understanding every detail from our own recipes and the uses of earth , floral or fruity botanics to the heating process and the measure of the alcohol process. We didn’t have time to get thirsty in the 3 hour workshop as mid way through we were all offered another large drink ( best not to drive )

We then became creative with both the unique name of our own gin and the label ready to take our own  boxed 70cl bottle away with us . Just before we left we took another very large measure of our gin back to the ultra modern bar for the specially trained staff to advise us on the correct tonic and garnish for our individal gin. Phoebe and I had made a fruity gin so crushed raspberry and mint was perfect and gave it a lovely warm pink glow whilst Nick’s more earthy flavour was served with orange .

I did make the mistake of driving so they had a lovely non alcoholic gin substitute. For those staying in Beesands who do want to make the most of the drinking in Salcombe I recommend a drive to Gara Rock  a walk to passenger ferry at East Portlemouth then back for dinner at Gara Rock Hotel   and a taxi back from there which is only 15 mins or so . Take the coast path the following day to pick up your car !