In pictures: Bombay Sapphire unveils new distillery at VIP launch

More than 200 invite-only guests were invited to an event last night (17 September) at gin brand Bombay Sapphire's new distillery and visitor experience centre in Hampshire.

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Guests, including UK and international press, key figures from the drinks trade and VIPs from the Bacardi brand, attending the event at the new distillery at Laverstoke Mill were able to experience an exclusive first showing of the renovated site and an unveiling of the unique glasshouses where the ten botanicals chosen for the taste of Bombay Sapphire are grown on display.

Bombay Sapphire global brand ambassador Raj Nagra hosted guests at last night’s event, who were treated to an evening of entertainment with live music from chamber orchestra Britten Sinfonia. The celebration culminated in a lights show, unveiling the two intertwining botanical glasshouses, which were designed in collaboration with Thomas Heatherwick and his team at Heatherwick Studio.

Attendees were also encouraged to use interactive maps to explore the distillery and learn the craftsmanship and heritage behind Bombay Sapphire. Guests wandered through the botanical glasshouses and Botanical Dry Room, learned more about the history of Laverstoke Mill in the Heritage Room and ended the experience with a Bombay Sapphire cocktail in the Mill Bar, located alongside the River Test.

A number of the brand’s experts served as hosts on the night to explain the different experiences of the site, including master of botanicals Ivano Tonutti, master distiller at Laverstoke Mill Nik Fordham, estate manager Will Brix and designer Thomas Heatherwick.

Hill&Knowlton Strategies and APR Communications were tasked with delivering the launch event concept and on the night management, while caterers Sherlock Parties used fresh local produce for the event provided by Laverstoke Park Farm.

Other suppliers to the event included lighting and event production NP&Co, and Acclaimed Bars, who provided the bar set-up and management.

The venue will open its doors to the general public on 1 October.

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