The Harrow Whisky Festival was held on 15 – 16 January 2016. It was the very first time this festival took place and I could tell from day one, that this was very exciting for those who organized it. The location where this whisky event was held was Grim’s Dyke Hotel, a fantastic looking hotel with some impressive architecture, based on architect Norman Shaw’s designs, famous for pioneering a particular style of old English house with a Gothic influence.
A must see for those who love TV series like Dr Who and more for this place is popular as a shooting location for series and movies. When you listen very carefully, you can hear: exterminate,exterminate in the hallway.
Don’t forget the stunning landscaped gardens where you can walk, dream, talk and see different kind of animals. It was winter now, but I was told that when the summer is arriving, the garden will be filled with lots of flowers, plants, trees and lovely smells. Every season has its charm and its attractiveness.
The tastingroom (music room) was upstairs and looked stunning with an enormous fireplace with two little devils. For me this was a fantastic room, in a positive way. A lot of famous whiskey names were in this room. What to think of Gordon & Macphail, Arran, Springbank, Maxxium, Marussia and even Glasgow Gin. Several Scottish, Irish, Japanese, Dutch. Swedisch etc .. all liquid ready to be nosed and tasted, a delightful collection.
The talks that were planned for these two days were held in the drawing room downstairs. Here you could listen to several interesting talks, all related with whisky, but with different speakers. This first edition, there were talks about Distilleries, Isle of Islay, Whisky, Women, Social Media and much more.
There were musicians present as well for some musical entertainment that matched the feel for this weekend, thanks to the musical duo ‘The Craic‘ Joe Giltrap and Gerry Molumby. And what about Scottish Islands’ as John and Wendy from Scottish Islands Explorer Magazine, they will also be returning for 2017. There was enough variety for everyone who bought a ticket for one or even both days.
Friday night there was a distiller banquet at Gilberts Restaurant, a stunning and tasteful five course banquet. Robin Cooke, one of the Directors of the Grim’s Dyke hotel, had the honor to stick a knife into the haggis with style. Distillers were sitting at the tables, along with visitors for a pleasant interaction. It was a successful evening, with lots of talking, socializing and fantastic food. There was a lovely feel and everyone who was present the Friday evening, went to sleep with a good feeling and a smile on their faces.
I could write so much more about this festival, but it is one you have to experience yourself. There was a huge variety of enthusiasts who came to this festival, women, men, young and old. Don’t worry, you will have a fresh chance next year and who knows, after a night’s sleep, there’s suddenly a snowy landscape, like a fairy tale …. like in January 2016
For more information about the festival, visit the website Harrow Whisky Festival.
13th & 14th January
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