Manchester Gin – Wedding Ginspiration

manchester gin wedding ginspiration lila bailey blog

Where has the time gone?! It seems like an absolute age ago that I did a ginspiration blog post. There has been loads happening recently, but there are plenty of gin blogs coming your way! Today, it’s all about Manchester Gin.

 

Manchester Gin

A contemporary style gin using hand-foraged Orange, Lemon and the Northern favourites Dandelion & Burdock Root. It all began one cold February evening in 2013 – the typical dark and rainy night you come to expect from Manchester – when Seb and Jen first crossed paths in a basement night spot in the centre of their beloved city.

machester gin creators ever after blog

“Manchester is a city of industrial heritage and the Mancunian work ethic has been a point of pride since the industrial revolution, when the men and women in the factories that lined the city were coined “Worker Bees”. It’s since this time that Manchester adopted the bee as it’s motif, and we couldn’t make a gin without paying homage to it. Our bee is a modern interpretation of the traditional Manchester symbol, reflecting the modern style of gin we produce. Next time you’re in the city, look out for the bee on bins, signs, buildings and even in bars and restaurants.”

Jen & Seb have created 4 different gins, under the umbrella of ‘Manchester Gin’; Signature, Raspberry Infused, Wild Spirit, and Overboard. They also created a ‘Distillers Cut’ version, exclusive to Craft Gin Clubmembers as a celebration of their progression over the past 2 years. The Distillers Cut is the gin that Euan & I tried…

chestier gin ever after blog ginspiration

Tasting Notes

Along with the gin, we were given one of the new ‘up-market’ schweppes tonic bottles to try with the gin. Sorry, schweppes, but I was not a fan. I think the tonic itself was okay but it hid all the flavours of the gin. Initially, we tried the gin with a slice of apple (as recomended by Craft Gin Club) and the schweppes tonic. I found the drink completely underwhelming with no real flavour hitting me at all. Euan felt there were a fair few flavours in the gin, but nothing was overpowering enough to pick out.

manchester gin ever after blog

That was, however, before we tried the gin with fever tree tonic & a wedge of lime. Oh, wow! A completely different drink altogether. I absolutely loved the gin this time, like seriously loved it. The bitter taste I got from the previous drink was non-existent and it was full of exciting flavours. Finished off perfectly with a sweet aftertaste. I would 100% recommend this gin, but not with the original tonic & garnish combination…

manchester gin ever after blog

Euan said the gin had a flavoursome kick and he could easily pick out the elderberries. He agreed about the sweet aftertaste, and an initially crisp flavour.

 

Conclusion & Cocktails

This tasting was a really interesting (albeit unintentional) experiment. It just goes to show what a difference the choice of tonic and/or garnish can make to a gin. And something that is super important to get right! I think the schweppes tonic does have a place in the gin industry, but absolutely not for Manchester gin. I’d be interested in giving it a second chance and trying it with a more ‘traditional’ or less flavoursome gin as I think it could definitely enhance a slightly blander gin.

manchester gin ever after blog

 

Craft Gin Club’s Cocktail Suggestion – Gimlet

machester gin ever after blog

Ingredients

  • 35ml Manchester Gin, Distillers cut
  • 35ml lime cordial
  • 15ml fresh lime juice
  • Twist of lime peel to garnish

Method

Shake all three ingredients with ice and double strain into a chilled cocktail coupe. Garnish with a slice of lime.

 

For more ginspiration, or to refresh your memory on all things ‘gin’, take a look at my previous ginspiration blog posts…

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2018… So Far and Looking Forward

Somehow, 2018 so far has been a completely crazy busy year where I also feel like nothing has happened. Does anyone else feel like that? I think it’s one of those times where because so much is happening continuously, your brain adjusts to the ‘busy-ness’, and gets used to it. Therefore, you feel like nothing is happening. Even though you’re surrounded by stuff happening, like, constantly. Does that make sense? Probably not, knowing me.

 

2018 So Far

In January, I took on loads more work. I’ve at least tripled my work load, and it’s great. I love to be busy and there is nothing I hate more than being bored/having nothing to do. Seriously, no thank you! I’d rather work 7-days a week than work for 5 and be bored for 2. My increased workload is probably why I feel like nothing has happened this year, because it’s mostly work. When, actually, loads has happened.

Because I’ve got a lot more work on, I’ve not had as much time to dedicate to blogging & vlogging. This has been a real shame, but I wanted to allow myself time to adjust to having tons more work. Mostly my work is from home and therefore self-motivated, which works incredibly well for me, but it can also be hard. Since January, I’ve been working on my routine and getting used to my new work schedule. Plus, I’ve got other personal development projects on the side which I also need to find time for.

Now, though, I’ve sorted a routine and I’m ready to get back to the ‘work things’ I love doing but haven’t had time for (i.e. my blog and my youtube videos). I’ve already got some projects lined up to conquer this year, plus there is – of course – the summer wedding season, which is just around the corner!(!!!!).

 

The Rest of 2018

I’m a very methodical person and I like to have everything meticulously planned. Of course, this doesn’t always work out, but I do still think it’s a good foundation to have. I like to chop whole years up into manageable sections (metaphorically, duh), which is why my current job is fantastic for my character. Because the first 4 months and last 3 months of the year are dedicated to smaller elopement weddings, it means the big (stressful) wedding season spans across the middle 5 months. This automatically gives me 3 sections to work with. Obviously, this ‘section’ malarky won’t work for everyone, but I personally find it really beneficial.

As I said, since January I’ve been getting used to my new 2018 routine and setting myself small daily/weekly goals which have really helped. At the beginning of March, I vowed to myself my next goal would be to up my visits to the gym. It took a week and a half but I  finally managed it. My goals for the rest of March and the whole of April (i.e. the time left before the 2018 summer wedding season) are to…

  1. Visit Switzerland for the first time!
  2. Finish the course I’m currently doing.
  3. Start blogging more. I’m aiming for a blog post to go up every 3 days.
  4. Start making videos again. I’d like to do one a week, but we will see. I don’t want to be making videos because I feel I ‘have’ to. I only want to make them when I feel I have something I’d like to share/discuss etc.
  5. Keep up with the gym-going.
  6. Drink.More.Water.

When the summer season hits, things get a little craaazy (which is the main reason I want to have finished my course by then). I’ll endeavour to keep up with the blogging & videos, but not be too hard on myself if I don’t always manage it. The gym & the water, however, I’m going to be more strict about. Other things I’ll be focussing on during the summer season (un-work related)…

  1. Turning 23 and not getting upset about it. I mean, I’ll definitely be turning 23 but we’ll see about the upset bit… #byebyeearly20s
  2. Making the most of any weekends where I don’t have weddings. Last summer was insanely crazy and I only had 2/3 weekends off in the 5 months. This year, though, the weddings are spaced out more evenly and for May & June I have quite a few more weekends off than last year! #hellobeachdays
  3. Attending friends’ weddings! (As a guest!)
  4. Enjoying not having to pay the heating bill (it’s the little things).
  5. Going on mini-breaks to Bath & Edinburgh.
  6. Hosting at least one drinks party with friends.
  7. Growing in confidence at work (okay, soz, one work thing!).

And, finally, I have two goals for after the wedding season (so far; this list will most definitely increase throughout the year)…

  1. Starting a new business finance course.
  2. Visiting somewhere else new/going on holiday (not sure when/where though!).

I love hearing about other peoples goals/ambitions/hopes for the year ahead, so please do get in touch if you’ve got anything you want to share!

Goal Setting

goal setting lila bailey blog

I started this year with a fresh mind and healthier attitude than ever before. I am determined to make every day great (but to also not be too hard on myself if I don’t quite manage it). Goal setting is something I’ve actually learned through my job, and it applies to your work and your personal life.

I’ve always found setting myself goals easy. I do it all the time. But actually managing, evaluating, and measuring these goals is another thing entirely. It’s all very well setting yourself a goal, anyone can do that. But how do you know when you’ve reached your goal? Or what if you’re falling behind? Is your goal actually realistic and achievable?

 

Getting Started

Sit down with a notebook and pen. Pick a goal (or several) and write it down. Then, get specific. Why have you set yourself this goal? What does this goal involve? Who does this goal involve? Ask yourself in-depth questions, and really pull apart exactly what this goal of yours is.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll have an even clearer idea about where you want to get to and why. You can then set yourself a time limit, evaluate the achievability of the goal, and decide how you are going to measure your progress.

Don’t just stop with one goal either. Keep going! Every time you think of something you’d like to achieve, write it down. Even if you don’t do the evaluation malarkey straight away, at least it’s there in black and white for you to come back to. I would definitely forget most of my goals if I didn’t write them down. They come and go in waves, and sometimes you have a random urge to achieve something that’s completely unrelated to your current life and ventures. Ask yourself why you had that sudden urge to achieve that certain thing. It is amazing how much more you can learn about yourself from just taking the time to think.

 

Measuring the goal

Set yourself benchmarks for checking in on your progress. The benchmarks will be different for each goal. I’ve set myself some goals which require daily and weekly checks, and others which are a matter of months (and even years!). Setting yourself these time frames means you are constantly keeping on top of what you want to achieve. If something needs to be evaluated weekly, but you don’t look back over it for 4 months, then you may not have progressed at all and simply wasted 4 months!

This section will make the most sense when you’ve finished the first. So get cracking mate-y!

 

Making a change, one step at a time

I’ve found that a lot of people coast through life without a great deal of direction. This is especially apparent with people in their 20’s who aren’t really sure what they want to do with their lives. That’s normal, and the whole point of being young is discovering stuff. But you also want all your years (whether you’ve got 80 left or 10 left) to count. These goals don’t have to be drastic life-changing things. They can be the smallest and most insignificant of things. But they are still important. For example, one of my goals is to drink 2 litres of water a day. I still went through the motions of evaluating this goal, even though it seemed stupid at first. And it was so helpful.

Use these goal setting techniques to better yourself and your life. The only person getting in the way of what you want to achieve is you. And the more you tell yourself that isn’t the case then the more you’ll end up going nowhere. Change doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t happen with minimal effort.

Keep focused. Stay motivated. You’ll get there.

 


Whilst we’re on these motivational and personal lines, have a read of my happiness blog post (if you missed it).

Sabatini Gin – Wedding Ginspiration from the Italian Hills of Tuscany

sabatini gin lila bailey gin blog wedding ginspiration

Another month, another gin! This time we were sampling a gin I’d never heard of before; Sabatini Gin. (If you’re unfamiliar with my gin blog posts, then catchup with number 1 here).

 

SABATINI GIN

I am completely in love with the story behind this gin. Italy is one of my favourite countries, and I spent a lot of my childhood roaming around Tuscany. So when I realised this gin was from the heart of Tuscany, I was thrilled.

sabatini gin ever after wedding ginspiration blog post

In 2015, the Sabatini family made their gin dream into a reality. They made Sabatini gin using botanicals from the heart of Tuscany, combined with the sacred rules of traditional English distillation. Most of the botanicals are grown on the family’s own land, showcasing their passion for Tuscany (and their passion for gin!).

You can read more about the Sabatini family and their gin on their website.

 

TASING NOTES

Now for the fun part! Euan tasted the gin straight first of all, and commented on it’s initial softness with a light and ‘lemony’ favour, followed by a sweet finish.

sabatini gin ever after wedding ginspiration blog post

Euan did a little bit of research prior to our tasting session, and discovered that the gin’s recommended garnishes are either lemon or rosemary. As a result, we tried one glass with lemon and one glass with rosemary and compared the results.

sabatini gin ever after wedding ginspiration blog post

sabatini gin ever after wedding ginspiration blog post

I found Sabatini gin incredibly easy to drink, and (despite already being in love with it because it’s from Tuscany) I did absolutely love it. It was really smooth, and I actually found it very pleasant with lemon (I don’t usually like gin & tonics with lemon), but I definitely preferred it with the rosemary. The two different garnishes brought out completely different elements of the gin. The lemon made it sweeter, whereas the rosemary made it fresher.

Euan thought much the same; pleasant and very drinkable. He, however, preferred it with the lemon (each to their own, I guess…). He would recommend it as a summer gin for ‘everyone’. I agreed. It had enough of a kick that a strong-gin drinker would enjoy it, but wasn’t so overpowering that someone who preferred milder gins wouldn’t enjoy it. Somewhere in the middle, let’s say!

sabatini gin ever after wedding ginspiration blog post

 

BRANDING

I think the branding for Sabatini is effective. It’s not super bold and ‘in-your-face’, therefore might not stand out on a shelf. However, I think the colours of the glass – to create the illusion of the Tuscan hills and blue sky – is super (and the trees at the bottom are really sweet). I also like the simplicity of the letters, letting the bottle do most of the talking.

 

sabatini gin ever after wedding ginspiration blog post

 

 

GIN COCKTAIL

sabatini gin ever after wedding ginspiration blog post

For this particular gin, Euan recommends a Classic Tom Collins as the cocktail of choice. A simple and easy-to-make cocktail which emphasises the qualities of the gin.

 

Ingredients

  • 50ml Sabatini Gin
  • 1/2 a freshly squeezed lemon
  • 25ml (max) sugar syrup
  • Soda water
  • Lemon to garnish

 

Method

Fill a tall glass with ice cubes and pour in the gin. Squeeze the lemon, add the sugar syrup and stir thoroughly. Top up with soda water, and garnish with a lemon slice (or two). You can also shake the gin, lemon, and sugar syrup, and strain into a glass over ice (if you want to show off your cocktail shaking skills!).

Who is Lila Bailey?

who is lila bailey blog post

Good question! And one I’ve been asked a lot recently. So who actually is Lila Bailey? Well, not a real person for a start. ‘Lila’ and ‘Bailey’ are both names which I selected pretty carefully when I was deciding on a business name. But I’ve realised that they both need a bit of explaining!

 

Who is Lila?

who is lila bailey blog post wedding photo

Lila (pronounced L-ill-a, not L-eye-la) is one of my middle names. I’ve always preferred Lila to Bethany (although I’m sure that wouldn’t be the case if my given name was Lila). But the significance of Lila to my business goes a lot deeper. So, if you’ve read my about page then you’ll know that wedding dresses are a huge passion of mine. One day I hope that ‘Lila Bailey’ will be a wedding dress brand, but we’ll see… Anyway, my parents gave me the name Lila because the lady who designed and made my mother’s wedding dress in the 90s was called Lila (plus it’s a super pretty name). I mean, that’s pretty meant to be. Before I even started making any official plans for my business, I knew I wanted Lila in the name somehow. So that’s Lila!

 

Who is Bailey?

who is lila bailey blog post grandma ‘Bailey’ is my paternal grandmother’s maiden name. She was an opera singer back in the day, and was a big influence throughout my childhood. As well as weddings, music is a huge part of my life. Particularly singing. And my grandma gave me my ability to sing, and also taught me to play piano. She was very special to me, and when I was in the early stages of figuring my business out, she sadly died. I knew I wanted to honour her, but not through ‘Teague’ (her married name) as she had her career as an opera singer before she was married. So her maiden name seemed much more fitting.

It also meant that my business name was not my name as I have never wanted that, but it still held close connections to me. And actually I feel that Lila Bailey is a super special name as it stands for so much, and has a lot more meaning than if I’d just used my own name.

Festive Decorating at Lila Bailey HQ

festive decorating christmas wreath lila bailey blog post

FESTIVE DECORATING AT LILA BAILEY HQ

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… (It really really is!). I absolutely love Christmas (just in case you hadn’t noticed). Not just Christmas Day either, I love the whole build up from late November right through to celebrating New Year and all the festivities in between. One of the first things I do to feel christmassy is stick a rocking Christmas playlist on and decorate! Last year was our very first Christmas in our own home which made it was super super special, but this year is even better because we’ve finally got our flat pretty much how we want it (more to come on that later…), so it feels even more like home.

festive decorating lila bailey blog post

Festive decorating is an all-day event, starting with purchasing & decorating the Christmas tree (video below), followed by decorating the rest of the house! Because of our living room & kitchen colour schemes, I stick with a simple ‘red & white’ theme for the tree as it ties the whole room together as one.

festive decorating lila bailey blog post

I don’t like to go OTT with Christmas decor as there is a fine line between beautifully festive and superbly tacky… I stick with a few go-to additions, including (a lot of) festive bunting, christmas blankets (as sofa accessories, naturally), jars of candy canes, handmade decorative stockings, ornamental hanging things (the technical term…), and lots (and lots) of candles. There is always a place for a small amount of tinsel (on the television, for example) but I don’t like too much as I do think it can really cheapen the look of a room.

festive decorating lila bailey blog post

As I work from home, making sure my house is festively decorated is an essential part of my ability to focus during this period… (It is, honest!).

 

The Finishing Touch

To me, it’s just not Christmas without a wreath on the front door! Luckily, one of my very good friends happens to be a florist (handy) and runs Christmas wreath making workshops throughout early December. This year her & I had a one-to-one wreath making (and coffee drinking, gossiping) session and this was the result!

festive decorating christmas wreath lila bailey blog post

It brightens up the hallway and brings a bit of festive cheer as soon as you walk through the door!

 

Links

Below is our Christmas tree expedition in video form, and also a link to Kat’s (florist friend) beautiful website…

 

Milli Fleur

Previous Blog Post

 

Wedding Suppliers Summary

lila bailey wedding blog wedding suppliers summary

WEDDING SUPPLIERS SUMMARY

 

It’s a little late, I know, but there has been so much going on recently that I’m only just sitting down to really focus on a few blog posts! As you (probably) already know, I exhibited at a couple of wedding fayres in October & November (catchup with the blog posts about them here and here), and I met some super wonderful fellow wedding suppliers. Here are a couple I wanted to talk about, and (in case you missed it!) but video summary is at the end also!

lila bailey wedding blog wedding suppliers summary

 

The Word Forest Organisation

The Word Forest Organisation is something that I have never come across before, but I seriously like the idea. There are a number of ways you can use their company, but essentially the end result being you have your very own ‘wedding forest’ planted. I mean, how fab is that?! Instead of asking for wedding gifts, you can ask your guests to buy you a tree on your selected plot of land in Kenya. 100 guests = 100 trees. AmAZing! Or you could gift the trees to your guests/bridesmaids/ushers etc as wedding favours, again, brilliant idea! And the Word Forest Organisation do it all for you (no travelling to Kenya required!). I honestly think this is such a fantastic company who are doing a wonderful thing, and they are also a registered charity which is just the icing on the cake really. Probably not everyone’s cup of tea, but a really unique idea if it’s your kind of thing.

lila bailey wedding blog wedding suppliers summary word forest organisation

 

Wedding Magicians

I’m still undecided about wedding magicians… Are they the next big thing or are they suitable for only specific types of weddings? Not sure! I’d love to hear what you think though, especially if you’ve had/are having a magician at your wedding, or you’ve been to a wedding with one.

I did, however, come across a magician who I really liked and thought had a great act. He was called Dan Brazier and he performed a card trick on me which, I have to say, was pretty impressive. I thought he was dressed suitable and was well presented which is, of course, very important as any form of entertainer!

lila bailey wedding blog wedding supplier summary wedding magician

 

The Illustrated Invitation

Lastly (I’m very excited about this one!) was a lady who was next to me at the Bath wedding fayre and her company was just to die for! Basically, they can sketch your wedding venue or church and then have the image printed on invitations/envelopes/save the dates, etc etc, and you can also purchase a framed illustration of your venue. I mean, wow! Not only do I love the idea, their style was gorgeous and simplistic which worked perfectly. The calligraphy is stunning across all their products and the drawings are in black and white which is all you need on stationary. I honestly love this company and I am 100% keeping them in mind for when I get married!

lila bailey wedding blog wedding suppliers summary illustrated invitation

 

Links

So there are my three favourite wedding suppliers from the two wedding fayres! Here are the links to their websites, and also the link to my video summarising them all.

The Word Forest Organisation

Ban Brazier

The Illustrated Invitation