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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Evening Drinks – The Options at Ever After

evening drinks options at ever after lila bailey blog post

Evening Drinks

This is where the fun begins! As great as the evening might be, most couples find this the hardest part in terms of drinks. Do you charge guests for drinks? Do you provide their evening drinks for free? Or how about putting some money behind the bar and charging guests once that has run out? The options seem endless and can be a little daunting.

evening drinks at ever after

Luckily, we’re here to help. We’ve got evening bar packages and we also have the pop-up lounges; there’s a solution in there somewhere.

 

The Options

I’m going to dive straight in here as there is a lot to consider…

evening drinks at ever after

Bringing your own evening drinks and not charging guests – You’ve been supplying the alcohol all day, so you might decide to keep the trend going throughout the evening. You can bring whatever drinks you so choose to serve behind the bar, and let guests enjoy them for free. This is obviously an additional cost to you, and you’ll also have to pay the bar staff. But, guests get to enjoy the evening without having to worry about bringing cash.

 

Bringing your own drinks and asking guests for a donation (honesty bar) – This is quite a popular choice as you’re not out-and-out charging guests but you’re also not providing a whole evening of drinking for free. It can be a risk as not all guests will leave a donation, but you’ll know your guests better than me! Again, you will also have to pay the bar staff.

 

Ever After’s Pay Bar – If you want to charge guests for drinks (not just ask for a donation) then our pay bar option is the best one for you. Drinks, staffing and glasses are all included free of charge, and as guests are paying for their own drinks there is no cost to you at all. You can relax! There are two pricing options, the branded option and the premium option. The prices are slightly different based on the drink brands and mixers etc (e.g. Gordon’s gin and schweppes tonic vs Sipsmiths gin and fever tree tonic).

 

Ever After’s Free Bar – If don’t want to charge guests for their evening drinks, but you could do without the hassle of quantities and ordering and delivery and sorting out the glasses and surplus drinks the day after, we can take care of that for you. Again, there are a couple of options here…

Your guests can have free unlimited drinks all night for £28pp (branded option) or £40pp (premium option), depending on your preference. You can also choose to have between 1-6 free drinks (per person) provided by you, and then a pay bar once those have run out. There’s also the option of putting a cash sum behind the bar, and then a pay bar once that cash has run out.

evening drinks at ever after

Here is a link to our drinks package 2018 , which goes into more detail about all the drink options from start to finish. Again, if you have any more questions then do get in touch!

 

Pop-up Lounges

Something else to consider is hiring one or both of our pop-up lounges which include a fair bit of alcohol. The pop-up lounges would be ‘free’ to guests, which could impact your decision about what to do with the bar. Plus, they are seriously cool.

scottish whiskey blog

single styled bar whiskey bar ever after blog

single styled bars whiskey lounge ever after

dreaming of gin and champagne blog post ever after

dreaming of gin and champagne blog post ever after

Here’s a little more about them…

Ever After pop up brochure 2018_19

Wedding Breakfast Drinks – The Options at Ever After

wedding breakfast drinks options at ever after lila bailey blog post

Wedding breakfast drinks are normally nice and simple. You don’t want to be serving much more than wine during the meal (because there’s still a whole evening of drinking ahead), and we will always make sure there is plenty of water on the table…

wedding breakfast drinks

 

Wedding Breakfast Drinks – The Options

As with arrival drinks and reception drinks, you can still bring your own wines to serve with the meal. Again, we don’t charge any corkage (and never will!). If you’d rather we sourced and provided the wines, we’ve put together an extensive wine list (courtesy of Christopher Piper Wines). As it’s quite a hefty list, I won’t write it below, but if you’d like to see it then just send myself or Nicola an email (bethany@lowergrenofen.co.uk or nicola@lowergrenofen.co.uk).

wedding breakfast drinks at Ever after

Ever After’s Splendid Package – Between £4.50 and £5.50pp.

Ever After’s Premium Package – £7.50pp.

Ever After’s Ultimate Package – Between £7 and £12pp.

The prices depend on the final wine choice. These packages all include 1/2 a bottle of wine per person, and we’ll provide a selection of red & white wines. Rose can be sourced upon request.

If you know you have more white wine drinkers than red (or vice versa) we can provide – for example – 60% white and 40% red, or whatever your preference is.

wedding breakfast drinks at ever after

There are also the toasting drinks to consider. Again, you can provide your own champagne/sparkling wine or you can opt for one of our selections. We have 4 different champagne/sparkling wine options ranging from £3.50pp and £7.50pp. You know where to find me if you’d like the list!

Reception Drinks – The Options at Ever After

reception drinks options at ever after lila bailey blog post

Reception Drinks

In my last post, I talked you through arrival drinks. Now, reception drinks (or post-ceremony drinks). This part of your happens immediately after your ceremony, and it’s – personally – my favourite part of a wedding day! Guests are guided down to the lawns and/or terrace where drinks are poured waiting. They then have and hour or two to enjoy the surroundings at Ever After!

reception drinks at Ever After

Post-ceremony drinks are also when you can start get super creative with your drinks (if you want to!). Whether you’re going for pimp-your-prosecco, fancy G&Ts, or ice baths of beer bottles & soft drinks, this is the time to do it.

 

The Options

As with the arrival drinks, you can of course still supply your own alcohol (F.O.C) to serve your guests. And there are also some Ever After packages to consider…

 

Bringing your own drinks – As I said, you’re more than welcome to do this still and there is no corkage charge.

 

Ever After’s Splendid Package – £8pp and includes Pimms or prosecco, bottled beer, soft drinks.

 

Ever After’s Premium Package – £13pp and includes a ‘pimp your prosecco cart’ or a 1-spirit cocktail (which you can choose yourself), English sparkling wine, bottled beer, soft drinks with straws.

 

Ever After’s Ultimate Package – £18pp and includes champagne or 2 spirit cocktails, premium bottled beer, premium soft drinks with straws.

 

Drink Suggestions

We always encourage couples to provide a main drink which is different to the drink served at arrivals. For example, if you opted for the Splendid package and had prosecco on arrival, we would suggest you swap to pimms for the reception drinks. It mixes it up a bit and keeps guests interested!

reception drinks at Ever After

Like I said, you can start to get quite creative with your drinks. ‘His & Hers’ cocktails are increasingly popular, as well as gin carts with premium tonics and garnishes. It’s also worth considering having a drinks dispenser of flavoured water available. We provide the water, you’ll just need to bring the garnishes (cucumber/lemon etc). Here are some suggestions…

  • His & Hers cocktails; one gin-based and one rum-based, sparkling wine, bottled beer, elderflower fizz (non-alcoholic), cucumber water.
  • ‘Pimp-your-prosecco’, bottled cider, raspberry lemonade (non-alcoholic), lemon water.
  • Gin cart with 6 different gins and a selection of fever tree tonic waters & garnishes, prosecco, lager, pomegranate cordial (non-alcoholic), lime water.
  • Pimms & garnishes, bottled cider, white wine, san pellegrino lemonade (non-alcoholic), apple water.

reception drinks at ever after

Arrival Drinks – The Options at Ever After

arrival drinks options at ever after lila bailey blog post

When it comes to your wedding day, there is a lot to think about. My best advice would be to split the day up into manageable chunks. Starting with arrival drinks, for example. In this blog post series I’m going to be talking you through the different drink options available at Ever After and suggestions about what to provide.

As you probably already know, I work full-time for the gorgeous wedding venue Ever After. I do a lot of blog posts over on EA’s website, so I thought why not bring some of them over here! So sit back and enjoy some tips & tricks about how we do things at Ever After!

 

Arrival Drinks

If you are getting married at the venue (rather than church), then you will probably invite your guests to arrive an hour before the ceremony. You guests will then gather by the ponds (weather permitting) and enjoy a beverage (or two) before being ushered to the wedding barn to watch you get married.

arrival drinks at ever after

An hour is not actually that long, especially when you factor in 5-10 minutes or so seated before the ceremony begins. Also, legally, there cannot be any alcohol in the ceremony space. So guests will have to finish all drinks before being seated. With that in mind, it’s worth thinking about simplistic drinks to serve at this point of the day. But, more on that later…

 

The Options

You may or may not be familiar with Ever After’s drinks package, new for this year. The package widens your options, and is designed so that you won’t need to source a mobile bar. You, of course, don’t have to use one of our packages and are still free to provide your own drinks (still no corkage!).

arrival drinks at ever after

Here are your options…

 

Bringing your own drinks– As I said, you are still welcome to do this and there is no charge for doing so, although you will have to pay waiting staff.

 

Ever After’s Splendid Package– This package is £6pp and includes; prosecco or pimms with garnish & straws, bottled lager, soft drinks.

 

Ever After’s Premium Package – For £10pp your guests can enjoy; English sparkling wine, bottled fruit cider, bottled lager, soft drinks with straws. This is also an unlimited package (for the duration of arrival drinks).

 

Ever After’s Ultimate Package – Another unlimited package for £13pp, including; Gremillet NV Champagne with optional edible flowers or West Country Pimms with straws, premium bottled beer, premium soft drinks with straws.

 

All the Ever After packages include staff costs.

 

Drink Suggestions

As I mentioned earlier, this part of your day is usually only 45 minutes to an hour long, so not huge amounts of time for complex drinks. Things like ‘pimp your prosecco’ stations are best saved for the reception drinks as they are time consuming and guests may end up having to leave a half-finished drink before heading into the ceremony.

arrival drinks at ever after

For your arrival drinks, keep things simple and don’t offer too much of a choice. Complicated cocktails are wonderful for the post-ceremony drinks reception, but pre-ceremony not so much. You also don’t want to end up with half-cut guests before the ceremony has even started, so spirit based drinks are best avoided.

Some drink suggestions…

  • Prosecco & bottles of beer, as well as a soft drink option (such as cucumber water).
  • A glass of pimms & bottles of cider, with an elderflower fizz for the non-drinkers.
  • Wine & lager, and a non-alcoholic raspberry lemonade.
  • Keep things simple and just offer soft drinks; guests will have plenty of alcohol throughout the rest of the day.

And if you want to make a simple drink more interesting, you can always add garnishes such as edible flowers, fruit, or colourful straws.

arrival drinks at ever after

Take a look at some of last year’s weddingsfor inspiration…

 

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.

Living Room Refurb

our own stamp lila bailey blog post

Anyone who is familiar with my instagram accounts will know that Euan & I bought and moved into our first home together back in 2016 (omg, how was it so long ago?!). Anyway, our flat was a total blank canvas (cream walls, cream carpet, etc) which was absolutely perfect. We could move in straight away, be perfectly happy, and then put our own stamp on it as we went along.

our own stamp lila bailey blog moving in dayMoving in day featuring my family doggo, Nutmeg!

 

It took us a whole year of waiting to finally get our flat, which meant we (I) had had plenty of time to buy lots of lovely things for our new home. The curtains were already there and, massively coincidentally, matched our (hand-me-down Laura Ashley) sofas perfectly! My much coveted Welsh dresser was my 21st birthday present from my parents, and the infamous painting of squiggles was a 21st birthday present from Euan (I am a very lucky young lady).

our own stamp lila bailey blog post welsh dresser

our own stamp lila bailey blog post

our own stamp lila bailey blog

It feels so weird looking back at these pictures as the room has changed so much! I never realised how much I loved home decor & interiors until I had my own home, but then again, why would I?!

First thing on the list was to clean the carpets and buy a rug. Naturally as the months went on we accumulated decor items and cushions (I never stop needing decor items and cushions, whatever Euan might think…).

our own stamp lila bailey blog post Above is a picture from Christmas 2016. We hadn’t done any decorating just yet, but I had planned what I wanted. A Union Jack rug was on the agenda for the living room, but this fluffy rug was a Christmas present for my office which got put into the lounge until further notice…

our own stamp lila bailey blog post statment wall our own stamp lila bailey blog post our own stamp lila bailey blog post our own stamp lila bailey blog post

I knew I wanted to stick to blue & white, so we went for a striped feature wall on the longest side. The wallpaper is the Ralph Lauren Mapleton Stripe Wallpaper, Porcelain (I will link it below) and we matched the blue on the other wall to the thin stripe to blend it all together well.

Below is a picture of the finished living room (Union Jack rug and all) from Christmas 2017. I haven’t managed to take a pic this side of Christmas (aka minus the Christmas decs), but you get the idea!

our own stamp lila bailey blog post

We also updated our kitchen… Stayed tuned for a post on that soon!

 

Links

Ralph Lauren Wallpaper

Stack of Boxes

Union Jack Rug

Turquoise Fluffy Rug

More from my home…

 

Batch Gin; Wedding Ginspiration (festive edition)

lila bailey gin blog batch gin

BATCH GIN; WEDDING GINSPIRATION (FESTIVE EDITION)

 

It’s time for gin! Last month, as it was December, we got our hands on the Christmas edition of Batch Gin and it was fabulous. It’s packed with festive flavour and definitely leaves you wanting more!

batch gin lila bailey gin blog

THE GIN

Batch gin is a premium gin made in Lancashire by Batch Brew Limited. It’s distilled using 12 botanicals including juniper, coriander and lemongrass, with the most unusual however, being frankincense and myrrh. A bold, unique gin with flavours to match.

How to drink it…

Perfect Serve – Batch G&T
• 50ml of Batch Premium Gin
• Fever-Tree Premium Indian Tonic
• Frozen raspberries
• Lime peel
• Ice

Fill a Copa glass with ice, swirl to cool the glass and drain excess water. Add gin, top up with tonic and garnish with crumbled frozen raspberries and lime peel.

 

TASTING NOTES

batch gin lila bailey gin blog

As we were trying a festive edition of batch gin, naturally we had to add some festive touches…

Not only did Euan try the gin straight, but I did too (round of applause, please). Unfortunately, I was slightly too busy complaining about my burning oesophagus to give any constructive feedback, but Euan had lots to say to make up for it. He loved the initial hit of juniper and cardamon and was adamant he could taste cinnamon in the aftertaste. He felt the gin had a ‘licorice-ness’ (the technical term) and enjoyed the blend of spices. You’ll also be pleased to hear that, although not listed on the bottle, the gin does contain cinnamon bark, so Euan’s senses didn’t fail him after all!

batch gin lila bailey gin blog

We then made the G&Ts (with fever tree, as recommended) and, as usual, did one with lemon and one with lime. There was a significant difference between the gin with lemon and the gin with lime. The lemon did not compliment the gin at all and somehow took a lot of the flavour away. However the lime really enhanced the flavours and made it a very enjoyable drink indeed!

We loved this gin. It is very unique, and packed with lots of different flavours. You experience an initial hit of the ‘classic’ gin taste, followed by the blend of spices which give it an edge. This has probably taken the number 1 spot on our favourite craft gin club gins so far… We even started setting the scene for a gorgeous intimate winter wedding with an open fire and a couple of bottles of batch (Christmas edition) gin being served. Euan (as always) came up with creative ways to garnish the gin, such as sprigs of holly with frozen cranberries.

 

THE BRANDING

lila bailey gin blog batch gin

The branding of this Christmas edition is super. I think the gold design is beautiful and instantly christmassy, plus the mention of Frankincense and Myrrh make this the most festive gin, like, ever! Drink a couple of bottles and pop a candle in the top and voilà, you have yourself some Christmas table centrepieces!

In case you missed it, below is the video of us trying the gin (enjoy!). And for more ginspiration checkout my post about Fifty Eight Gin.

Office Essentials

lila bailey blog post office essentials branding brilliance

OFFICE ESSENTIALS

 

I hope you had the most wonderful Christmas Day! Now for that perfect period between Christmas and New Year where you have the best excuse to do absolutely nothing… Blissful! I’ve used this time to collect together a few of my very own office essentials, some old and some new!

Working from home can be quite tricky, especially at this time of year when everyone else is officially off work and not doing much. I absolutely adore my office now (had a bit of a re-shuffle recently!) which makes all the difference when trying to motivate myself, but there are also a few handy items to help with organisation and general state of mind!

office must haves lila bailey blog post

Firstly, although not exactly a physical thing, my general workspace has to be neat, tidy, and organised, with everything I need for the day within reach. I find I get distracted and frustrated so easily when my surroundings are cluttered, so before I start any working day I always have a bit of a tidy-up to make sure my motivation stays strong. I also love to have photos and pictures in my office (and lots of them!). Especially as it’s a ‘home office’, I think it’s so important for the space to really feel like mine, and means it’s a space that I actually want to be in!

office must haves lila bailey blog post

COFFEE! I always start my day with a cup (sometimes two…) of coffee. It sets me up for the day and keeps me perky! Throughout the day I try to stay hydrated with water, but (I confess) it’s mostly with cups of peppermint tea… that counts as water intake, right? I have always got some form of notepad by my side as well. I have different notebooks for different tasks so I always know where to look if I’m trying to find something, and this one above is a new addition (an early Christmas present) which I have allocated to my gin-tasting notes!

lila bailey blog office essentials 2018 diary macbook air

Organisation is key! Which is where my diary comes in very handy. I got two brand new diaries for 2018 and I love them both! It’s a good excuse to separate my work from my home life, so I’ve got one for each. I have to actively remember to write every appointment/meeting etc down but I always make sure I do so that they’re all in one place and can’t be forgotten. And what is an office without a trusty computer? In this century, not an office at all! It’s quite scary how much we depend on these machines, but it is safe to say I would get absolutely nowhere without my laptop.

lila bailey blog post office essentials branding brilliance

And lastly, reading material! I am never without a good selection of (tasteful!) magazines and informative books by my side. I love anything creative/passionate/wedding stuff/business advice etc to have a flick through whilst having a break for a cup of tea or lunch. I also use reading material as inspiration for my dress sketches in my down-time, so it’s important for me to have lots of material handy. This book is one I am particularly excited about. I’ve had a scan through it before, but I wanted a copy of my own which, thanks to my generous brother, I now have. I am so stupidly excited to read this, and work through it as my business grows. This is mostly definitely the newest addition to my absolute office essentials!

 

Goodbye Christmas

We’re now into those last few days where feeling festive is acceptable… So take a look at my festive blog posts here and here before it’s too late to be christmassy!

 

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Christmas Soirée Shenanigans

merry christmas lila bailey blog post

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Christmas Soirée Shenanigans

TODAY IS THE DAY! Merry Christmas everyone! Without a doubt the happiest day of the year. Hopefully Father Christmas brought y’all everything you hoped for and your Christmas dinner is in plentiful supply. On this festive day, I thought I’d share a few photos from our Christmas party last week because, well, why not!

Christmas is the perfect excuse for a party with friends. I love having everyone together, getting a little bit (too) merry, and enjoying some festive cheer. It’s become a mini-tradition now that every year we host a Christmas soirée a week or so before Christmas, and it gives me and my girlfriends an excuse to exchange gifts and kick-start the Christmas spirit. This year we went all-out with our outfits (again, why not!) and dressed up in full festive glamour (so much mention of festive!!!). Euan even cracked out his fabulous(?) Christmas shirt and I just had to wear my stripy elf socks…

merry christmas lila bailey blog post

merry christmas lila bailey blog post

merry christmas lila bailey blog post

merry christmas lila bailey blog

merry christmas lila bailey blog post

merry christmas lila bailey blog post

merry christmas lila bailey blog post

A very Merry Christmas!