Archive | October 2022

Paradigms – a prime perspective of paintings by the Arion Art Group @ Whitespace

Paradigm: ‘a typical example, pattern or model; a standard perspective or set of ideas.’

The Arion Art Group has an evolving membership of visual artists based in and around Edinburgh, who share ideas, influences, style and technique through their own artistic perception of the world.

This pop up exhibition at Whitespace Gallery features the distinctive work by four Arion artists, Louise Todd, Catherine Young, Hazel Brady and Jayne McIntyre, covering portraiture, figurative studies, abstract land and seascapes.

Louise Todd specialises in visual culture, Festivals, events and tourism as Associate Professor at Napier University. This academic research informs her artwork through the observation of people and places. the experience of the tourist through photography and sightseeing: this is the art of travel, past and present.

Louise Todd, Deckchairs, somewhere

Louise crafts meticulous cool, crafted compositions which capture the faded look of those vintage, out of focus snapshots lurking in a family photo album.

The apt title Deckchairs, somewhere clearly implies a long-forgotten holiday, now just a hazy memory of a couple sitting in the sunshine, who stare directly at the photographer. The girl in a lilac dress has her arms folded and legs crossed, as if not entirely at ease with having her picture taken. The thick brushstrokes create a blurred, washed out veneer with a soft rosy pink glow, across the sky, perhaps denoting sunset.

Several figurative studies capture similar moments as if posing for the camera lens: on a voyage of discovery, at an Intermediate stop off: Port of call, two cruise passengers stand at the railing of the ship against a backdrop of the sweeping bay of a coastal resort and looming mountains beyond.

Louise Todd, Intermediate stop off, Port of call

‘I am interested in narratives of visual culture in tourism, and the tourist gaze, how we experience and perform tourism. My artwork intersects how we gaze as tourists with curiosity and a reflected artist’s gaze upon tourists’.

Louise Todd 

‘Hotel Room’ (1931) by Edward Hopper captures the loneliness of the modern city, a central theme in his work (Hotel Lobby, Nighthawks). A woman sits on the bed in an anonymous hotel room, her coat lying on a chair beside her suitcase. We are voyeurs observing this solitary, rather sad figure, intently reading a brochure, lost in thought. 

Edward Hopper, Hotel Room, 1931

The intimate, private space of a Hotel Room is also the focus for Louise Todd as part of her voyeuristic gaze on travellers on vacation away from home. Here, a shadowy figure perches stiffly, rather than relaxing, on the edge of the bed, again reading, perhaps a city guide book. The curtains are open to reveal the dark night sky outside, the whole scenario like a freeze-frame from a movie.

Louise Todd, Hotel Room

With a similar filmic approach to portraiture, Jayne McIntyre presents a series of stunning, striking faces in close up, expressing sadness and emotional conflict: in Pensive, the shimmering facial expression depicts narrowed, blank eyes, pursed lips and furrowed brow.

Jayne McIntyre, Pensive

I work from observation, photographs and memory. The cropped, blurred or unfocused source material allows me to fashion the narrative and emotion I am trying to convey to the viewer’.

Jayne McIntyre

These intriguing, hidden narratives imbue a feeling of empathy for the sitter’s state of mind, such as the dramatic portrayal, Despairing – the woman holding her head in her hands with such a haunting, lost expression.

Jayne McIntyre, Despairing

This is clearly reminiscent of the iconic vision, The Scream (1893) by Edvard Munch, inspired by “a gust of melancholy .. anxiety and fear’ he felt one day when out walking with friends. His message written in pencil on the frame, ‘Could only have been painted by a madman,” depicts his sense of alienation from the real world.

Edvard Munch, The Scream (1893)

Jayne also brilliantly evokes a dark, melancholic mood in Worried, in which the girl’s anxiety is etched across her face and in her wide blue, tearful eyes, crafted as a textured collage of mixed media, acrylic and tweed. Another mesmersing, haunting portrait indeed.

Jayne McIntrye, Worried

The world of nature captures the imagination for Catherine Young who has a decorative, free-flowing, calligraphic style, akin to Chinese or Japanese ceramics and illustrations. While minimalist in detail, the abstract landscape, Riverside does envisage the flowing movement of the river and shapely, shadowy trees reflected on the water. A lovely, languid sense of silence and solitude.

Catherine Young, Riverside

The natural environment provides a rich source of inspiration to explore both form and shape. Colour is very important to create both mood and atmosphere through layers and texture – my work may appear spontaneous it has been carefully considered’. Catherine Young

The soft shades of pink, green and aqua create a luminous sheen to Shore Edge, almost giving the translucent effect of watercolour. The fluid, crisscrossing effect of brushstrokes is loosely layered, framing the overall shape of the scene in a delicate, precise pattern with a subtle glow of light.

Catherine Young, Shore Edge

Sharing Catherine’s passion for the natural outdoors, Hazel Brady loves to be surrounded by trees, the key subject of her artistic endeavours. At the Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, the tranquil pond with Monet-esque waterlilies is a popular spot to sit and relax, where children throw bread to the ducks.  

The border of trees around RGBE, Pond cast a marvellous mirror image on the calm, rippling surface of the water. This enclosed, partially hidden oasis is a natural habitat for birds including a rare kingfisher; the dark shadows and rose-coral light suggests this enchanting view of the duck pond may depict a quiet moment towards the end of the day.

Hazel Brady, RBGE Pond

Studying Herbology at Royal Botanic Garden has given me an in-sight into the power of plants and trees .. and how form and colour are affected by light and the perception it has on the human view’.

Hazel Brady  

With a brighter rainbow palette of emerald, lime, indigo and orange under a glorious sky bathed in peach tones, Garden View illustrates the colourful, exotic world of the RBGE. Thick brushstrokes create a glossy shine over the lush green foliage – in the foreground could be a cluster of Gunnera manicata – the giant leaves are a natural umbrella. Trees and plants were originally brought back here by intrepid collectors from distant lands a century ago – the Monkey Puzzle trees, orchids and fragrant flowers which still flourish in the Botanics for us all to enjoy today.

Hazel Brady, Garden View

Paradigms: Louise Todd, Jayne McIntyre, Catherine Young, Hazel Brady

Whitespace Gallery, 76 East Crosscauseway, Edinburgh EH8 9HQ

29th October – 2nd November 2022 : open 10am – 5pm.


Fizz Feast is back!  Experience the sparkling showcase of Festive fizz and good food at the Edinburgh Academy

After a two year leave of absence, it’s time to pop a few corks and take a celebratory swiping slice with a sharp sabrage to launch this most enticing and appetising event. 

Legend has it that when Napoleon and his troops returned home victorious after the French Revolution, the townspeople greeted them with champagne. As they were on horseback, they used their sabers to crack open the bottles. Another version of the story claims that Madame Veuve Clicquot gave Napoleon’s officers champagne in return for protecting her land during the political unrest.  

This dexterous, dangerous technique requires a careful, quick “whack”  of the saber at the weakest point of the bottle at the seam of the neck.

Diana Thompson, founder of Fizz Feast performing the Sabrage to launch the event, 2019

Fizz Feast is the perfect opportunity as we head towards the Festive season, to sip and sample a wide range of champagne and sparkling wines and taste a selection of quality artisan food. Every visitor receives their personal gift of a Riedel Champagne flute on arrival for sipping and sampling fizz as you meet the wine makers from international vineyards, importers and local suppliers.

In 1668, in the village of Hautvillers, a monk-turned-cellar master, Dom Pérignon, is said to have discovered how to make sparkling wine; while the same technique is used all over the world today, the region of Champagne is the only place which can produce authentic, classic champagne.

In the Fizz Hall browse around the wide selection of Champagne Houses and Sparkling Wine companies – Taittinger, Franciacorta, Crémant de Loire, South African Cap Classique. Also major supermarkets, Waitrose and Lidl and independent suppliers including Vino Fandango, Sugar Bird and Goldenacre Wines.

The proud Taittinger Champagne family today – father, son and daughter

The Taittinger family has managed their famous Champagne House for nearly a century and its aim has always been the pursuit of excellence:

Having our family name on a bottle places demands and responsibilities ..the name conveys both the skills and knowledge of the past and a commitment to the future”. Pierre Emmanuel Taittinger

Pierre with his son, Clovis and his daughter, Vitalie create a very close-knit family business, preserving tradition as well as moving with the times to reflect a modern lifestyle. Through glamorous promotional images, the message is to relax and enjoy the perfect romantic Taittinger moment.

Clovis is an ambassador constantly searches out new, prestigious partnerships around the world. From 2014, Taittinger became the official champagne for the FIFA World Cup.

There is something universal about Champagne that no other wine possesses . 

Champagne is the best way of saying “I love you” in any language’. 

Clovis Taittinger

In 1912, Edouard Langlois and his wife Jeanne Chateau took over the business of the Maison Delandes estate to create Langlois-Chateau, now owned by the Bollinger group. With a reputation for sparkling wines, their Crémant de Loire is an affordable alternative to French Champagne. The signature Langlois Crémants de Loire Blanc Brut combines elegance and freshness – pale yellow and complex nose of quince, peach, and grapefruit. A fresh, delicate taste with an elegant roundness which pairs perfectly as an aperitif with hors-d’oeuvres and smoked salmon; also a Quadrille vintage and a seductive Rosé Brut.

Langlois Chateau Cremant de Loire

More than a century ago, two Piedmontese adventurers, Mr. Sella and Mr. Mosca arrived in Sardinia and transformed sheep farming land between sand and sea into the Sella & Mosca vineyard, now one of the most extensive wine estates in Europe.

Sunny Sardinia – Sella & Mosca vineyard on the coast

As amateur Egyptologists, their winery logo, shows ancient Egyptians pressing grapes. Terre Bianche Cuvèe is one of the signature wines, which pairs well with fish and seafood and has a delicate taste.

Sella e Mosca, fine wines founded over a century ago

The Cap Classique Producers Association (CCPA) was established in 1992 by a group of like-minded producers in South Africa who share a passion for bottle-fermented sparkling wines.  Made in the same way as Champagne (Méthode Champenoise) this collective promotes these quality Cap wines with national identity.  

Wine writers have commented that they are the very best value, traditional method sparkling wines in the world.  The majority of Cap Classique comes from Stellenbosch, Paarl and Robertson, as well as across the Cape. The majority focus on the Champagne grape varieties of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Cap Classique wines of South Africa

Jonathan Simpkin is an experienced and passionate wine expert who launched Woodhouse Wines in Inverbervie more than 20 years ago, supplying hotels and restaurants, as well as private buyers.   

 ‘Gancia Pinot di Pinot Brut N.V. Italy is a great alternative to Prosecco. This lovely spumante has a hint of toast and sweetness. Angel & Four Brut Gloucestershire is a light fresh and fruity English fizz – not trying to be Champagne but ideal as an aperitif.’ Jonathan Simpkin

Jonathan Simpkin of Woodhouse Wines

Celebrations are just better with bubbles with a wonderful selection of sparkling wines at Vino Fandango from France, Italy, Spain, South Africa and to accompany sushi, oysters, and seafood.

 ‘I set up Vino Fandango to help the consumer navigate their way through the vast range of wines available in the UK. We will give you as much information and guide you through our range.’ Alan Chapman. 

Great reviews – ‘ a small business with a HUGE selection and great customer service’.

Vino Fandango – a global collection of wines

Wine writers have frequently commented that Lidl’s budget champagnes are actually pretty damn good, award-winning in fact, without a doubt the most affordable and palatable fizzes on the market. Best sellers include Lidl’s Crémant de Loire AOC Brut – not technically a champagne (French sparkling wine) but it’s just as good. Lidl’s Comte de Senneval Brut NV – in an expert blind taste test of 145 champagnes, conducted by Which, this fared better than some premium brands costing more than twice its price. There are sure to be more excellent sparkling wines for your Christmas parties available to taste at Fizz Feast 2022.

Waitrose was named Supermarket of the Year in the 2021 Decanter awards as well as Runner-up in the Champagne & Sparkling Wine and England & Wales categories.

The wine cellar includes Waitrose Blanc de Noirs brut. ‘ crafted by champagne house, Alexandere Bonnet’. Gosset Grande Réserve Brut, the tiny bubbles and biscuity aroma of this wonderfully smooth Champagne make it iconic. (Although the Gosset name may be unfamiliar, it’s a favourite among wine trade insiders).  Valdobbiadene is a most flavoursome and textured Prosecco ideal for special celebrations.  Nyetimber Classic Cuvee, considered one of England’s best sparkling wines. Anna de Codorniu Brut, ‘a stand out Cava with floral flavours’.

In the Feast Hall, enjoy an appetising tour around the stands selling a wide range of delicious gourmet artisan produce –  cheese, charcuterie, honey, chocolate, spices and chutneys.

Ailsa Proverbs of the Big Cheesemaking kits

Ailsa Proverbs, MBE, is the culinary entrepreneur behind The Big Cheese Making Kit. When Ailsa first tried making cheese at home, she had no idea her passion would be awarded with an MBE for services to the Food Industry. These easy cheese making kits don’t need lots of equipment with a wide choice of Kits for all tastes – Vegan, Goat’s Cheese, Crowdie et al. whether for yourself or a gift for a foodie friend.

Pacari means nature in Quechua, an Andean indigenous language, and that’s what we’re all about, making the most of nature’s ingredients. Pacari is a family-owned Ecuadorian company producing quality, organic dark chocolate in a most ethical and sustainable way, and has won over 350 international chocolate awards.  Arriba Nacional cacao beans, “Fino de Aroma’, are known for their rich, full taste and fruity and floral notes. The chocolate bars are made from 60% of cacao or more and only unrefined or coconut sugar.  The perfect treat for you, friends and family this Christmas. 

This preview is a quick browse around a small selection of the Champagne houses,  vineyards, wine suppliers and food producers at Fizz Feast 2022. Also various masterclasses on champagne and sparkling wines – book your tickets quickly for these popular events, first come, first served.

Why not join the party at Fizz Feast. Informative, entertaining and celebratory fun.!

Leonardo DiCaprio in glamorous Gatsby party style – cheers!

Fizz Feast is on Saturday 19 November 2022 at The Edinburgh Academy, 42 Henderson Row, Edinburgh. Two sessions: 12-3pm and 4-7pm, and Wine masterclasses. Tickets start at £25 per person. 

Click here to join us

The Fizz Hall busy with happy drinkers, buyers and wine sellers at the Edinburgh Academy

The Balmoral, 1 Princes Street, Edinburgh launches a glamorous Season of Celebration for the 120th anniversary of this grand hotel.

The Edinburgh city skyline with the Clock Tower of the Balmoral Hotel

The ‘Balmoral Hotel’ is one of the most iconic, luxury hotels in the world – timeless, elegantly sophisticated and, quite literally, majestic.  

In 1895, an open competition to design the new ‘North British Railway Hotel’ was won by W. Hamilton Beattie and A.R. Scott, their Victorian Baronial design linking the old Scottish architecture of the Old Town with the neo-classical style of the New Town. The hotel opened on 15th October 1902 with the prestigious address, Number 1 Princes Street, featuring its landmark clock tower, began the tradition of setting the time three minutes fast so that people would not miss their train at the adjoining station. 

From Royal families and heads of state to media celebrities, lavish weddings, wining and dining and all manner of private and corporate events, gracious hospitality has always been the hallmark of this famous, 5 star world class hotel.

This is a brief look through the timeline of its history and heritage:

July 1919, HRH The Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII and Duke of Windsor) stayed here while in Edinburgh to receive the Freedom of the City. 

Hollywood silent comedy legends Laurel & Hardy were guests in 1932 whilst on a promotional tour, where they were mobbed by cheering crowds at the North British Station and then arriving at the Hotel.

This is captured in a marvellous vintage film from 1932.

Many other stars of film, sports and music too through the decades – Elizabeth Taylor, Paul and Linda McCartney, David Beckham, Tom Hanks, Vanessa Hudgens et al. The Queen Mother was a regular visitor during the 1970s.

In 1983, the Gleneagles Hotel Company acquired the famous hotel and five years later it closed for a major £23 million refurbishment programme, the building wrapped in scaffolding and a giant protective cover. As part of the Balmoral International Hotels, it reopened in February 1991 under the new name, The Balmoral Hotel – a plaque commemorates the major event, officiated by Sir Sean Connery.  For Edinburgh residents, it took quite some time not to refer to the former and much loved ‘N.B.’  The name Balmoral means “majestic dwelling” in Gaelic  – hence the British Royal residence, Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire.

Rocco Forte established a distinctive brand of luxury hotels in 1997, handpicking ‘The Balmoral’ as the first in the international collection, now with 14 properties in Italy, Germany, Brussels, London, and two more properties opening in Milan next year.  ‘Honour the past, embrace the future’ is the motto for 25 years of Rocco Forte Hotels.

Watch this delightful video!

Family doube act: Rocco Forte and his sister Olga Polizzi,Director of Design, Rocco Forte Hotels

In January, 2003, the then Executive Chef, Jeff Bland, was awarded a coveted Michelin Star for culinary excellence in the hotel’s Number One restaurant which is retained to this day.

And in 2007, J.K. Rowling completed the last novel in her phenominally successful Harry Potter series while residing at the hotel – a writer’s retreat – for a few months. Now the J.K. Rowling Suite, room 552, is a truly magical place to stay especially for diehard Potter fans who can see a signed statement by the author on a marble bust of Hermes: “J.K. Rowling finished writing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in this room on 11th Jan 2007″.

The J.K. Rowlng Suite where the author completed her final Harry Potter novel

Inside the Balmoral: Scotland’s Finest Hotel was a four-part Channel 5 TV series screened in 2021, capturing the behind-the-scenes story during a year in the life of the historic Hotel.  

27 September, 2022: Most timely, in this the 120th anniversary year, ‘The Balmoral’ has recently been awarded the special accolade of the 2022-23 AA Hotel of The Year Scotland, at the AA Hospitality Awards in London. 

It is an honour for The Balmoral to receive this award, it reflects the dedication and hard work of the team .. providing our guests with an incredible and unforgettable experience. We have so many exciting plans for the future of the hotel to ensure our guests leave with their expectations exceeded. We are truly humbled to receive such recognition.” Richard Cooke, General Manager, The Balmoral Hotel

So step inside for a tour around – greeted with a warm smile from the smart doormen and concierge team wearing the bespoke Balmoral tartan trousers and kilts, produced by the prestigious family firm, Kinloch Anderson, Tailors and Kiltmakers.

A warm welcome from the Concierges and Doormen in the uniform of the Balmoral Tartan

This grand hotel has 167 rooms and 20 suites, many with prime views of Edinburgh Castle, Arthur’s Seat and the Old Town. The interior décor is personally curated by Olga Polizzi, Director of Design for Rocco Forte hotels.  Juxtaposing Edwardian architectural features with an artistic, contemporary style, the soft, painterly palette evokes the heather-clad hills, lochs and woodland of the wild natural Scottish landscape.  Beautiful bedrooms are draped in velvet, leather and tweeds and marble bathrooms (which may feature vintage photographs of Sean Connery as James Bond) – expect all homely comforts with a lavish feel of luxury and romance. 

The Scone & Crombie Suite, named after Scone Palace, Perthshire and Crombie Castle, Aberdeenshire, is decorated with co-ordinated, custom-made wallpaper, opulent fabrics, furnishings and fine art collection.

The artistically and graciously designed Scone & Crombie Suite

First class personal service and hospitality for leisure and corporate guests can be enjoyed across a wide choice of bars and restaurants; traditional Afternoon tea served in the glamorous Palm Court, sip champagne and cocktails in the smart-casual Prince Bar and at Brasserie Prince (created by Alain Roux and the late Michel Roux), the Parisian theme is authentic French cooking meets Scottish produce. The well-established Michelin-starred restaurant Number One presents fine dining in a warm, romantic setting. 

Take an inspirational journey at SCOTCH to learn a little about the background to the choice of 500 unique varieties of whiskies from across Scotland – the collection is one of the largest in Edinburgh.  The perfect place for a pre dinner drink or leisurely nightcap – one just needs to suggest a flavour, scent, taste or style which you prefer and the knowledgable and passionate whisky Ambassador will climb the ladder to find the perfect dram to suit your palate, or suggest something different, e.g. an 18 year old, Auchentoshan, triple distilled, vanilla and American oak with citrus notes, or a Speyside Benromach rich in peat smoke. 

The charming SCOTCH bar with 500 whiskies

The Spa is a tranquil oasis to embrace Forte Life and take time out for perfect, peaceful relaxation, face and body treatments, as well as keeping fit in the gorgeous swimming pool and the Technogym.   

The Balmoral Spa – an urban oasis of calm

Rocco Forte Kids ensures that children of all ages are most welcome: cots, menus, bedtime milk, teddy turndown, games & a babysitting service are provided, including a magical Balmoral bedtime story of Bonnie the baby owl, who lives high up in the clock tower!. This imaginative, unique programme for families won a Gold Laurel at the Scottish Hotel Awards.

Rocco Forte Kids – bedtime biscuits and stories

The Balmoral is a 5 star City Resort for a relaxing, romantic break, family holiday or business trip in the heart of the city centre. For excellent shopping, Harvey Nichols, Louis Vuitton and other major designer fashion stores are a short stroll away.

Step through the door into the elegant grandeur of the original North British, to experience the leisurely lifestyle creatively and luxuriously re-imagined for the 21st century world traveller.  

A luxury heritage hotel matched by a glamorous, conrtemporary lifestyle

A Season of Celebration has just been launched in October 2022 to commemorate the hotel’s inspirational history and heritage as an iconic city landmark for 120 years. As well as preserving the architectural splendour, the clock is still set three minutes fast to help travellers rushing to catch the train at Waverley Station.

So this Autumn season is the perfect opportunity to plan a visit either for a few days for a cultural break or book a table for drinks or dinner with friends and family. Perhaps you are celebrating your own special occasion.?

The Pastry team has created a special anniversary Afternoon Tea, accompanied by a glass of the finest Champagne in the Art Deco Palm Court, often to the accompaniment of graceful music on the harp.

The elegantly stunning architecture of the Palm Court

Amidst the sumptuous comfort of the Prince Bar, relax over a drink with the sounds of jazz, blues and country music throughout October, with performances by Amy Reader, Hayley McKay and Simon Armitage. The mixologists have created two delicious, limited edition cocktails – the 1902, Balmoral gin stirred with aperol, antica formula and grapefruit bitters and the Forte 25, Bombay Sapphire Premier Cru, orgeat syrup, maraschino liqueur, fresh lemon juice and topped with elderflower water.

The Ambassadors in SCOTCH have created a special birthday cocktail ‘Here’s tae the next 120’,  a potent, sparkling blend of Highland Park whisky, bramble liqueur, meadowsweet cordial and Champagne.

To celebrate the anniversary, the hotel is offering the ‘One Twenty Experience’, where guests will enjoy a memorable two night stay with five star Scottish hospitality which includes all these treats:

  • £120 hotel credit voucher
  • A bottle of house Champagne on arrival
  • Two nights, starting from an Executive View Room
  • Daily breakfast

You may spend the £120 voucher where you wish from Afternoon Tea in the Palm Court, an indulgent afternoon in the Spa, a classy, classic Martini in Bar Prince or a dram at the SCOTCH bar.

To the ‘Balmoral Hotel’ – Happy 120th Birthday. Cheers! Slainte Mhath! Yes, here’s tae the next 120 years.

To make a reservation or to book any of these special experiences, just contact

Or call:  0131 556 2414.

Discover more about The Balmoral’s ‘Season of Celebration:’

Season of Celebration | Rocco Forte Hotels

Competition time:

Win a ‘One Twenty Experience’ as detailed above. The prize is valid Sunday to Thursday from 1st November 2022 to 15th December 2022, subject to availability. T&Cs apply.

To enter, click here:…/

Celebrate Sober October with Pentire Adrift and Seaward botanical spirits from Cornwall

The most delicious non-alcoholic spirits.”  Gordon Ramsay

The celebrity chef, Gordon Ramsay posted a video on Instagram about how much he enjoys sipping Pentire drinks. With 9 million followers, this was shared widely and soon promoted by other restaurateurs including Rick Stein, Nathan Outlaw, Paul Ainsworth and Emily Scott.

Launched in 2019, Pentire distils non-alcoholic spirits inspired by Cornwall: 100% plant based, natural botanicals, vegan friendly, free from artificial flavourings and sweeteners.

Alistair Frost and Edward Grieg-Gran have always loved north Cornwall and amazing sporting, surfing adventures along the seashore. Collaborating with local botanists and distillers, their spiritual journey began with the aim to capture the essence of those feelings, smells and tastes of their Cornish lifestyle and wild landscape in a refreshing drink

Founded on this passion for active, outdoor living, Pentire has always been aimed at those who value the magic of being outdoors and keeping active – the name comes from a local headland. 

Catching waves until dusk, to feel the salt water on my skin, the fresh air and smells of this wild British landscape.  Camping on cliff tops and foraging hedgerows for unexpected bounty.  We wanted to bottle that experience and create a drink that harnesses the power, beauty and flavours of plants.”

Alistair Frost — Founder

Their first creation was Adrift which was an immediate success, soon followed by Seaward.  The pure quality of Pentire drinks is due to the provenance of Cornwall’s coastal ingredients like rock samphire, sage, sea fennel and natural seasalt.

 ‘I went to meet a local botanist on a National Trust farm to chat about plant life in the area .. a really unique climate, especially for sea herbs, and over a thousand plants growing in the area. The flavours that you get when you are standing on a headland looking out to sea’.  Alistair Frost

While Pentire isn’t technically a gin, it’s easiest to describe it as a non-alcoholic spirit of the gin category, a thirst quenching drink served with tonic.

Pentire Adrift with a sprig of rosemary

Pentire Adrift is made with native botanicals including rock samphire, sea fennel, sage, citrus and Cornish sea salt, either sustainably sourced or organically grown.  To serve, fill a glass with ice, pour in 50ml Pentire Adrift, top up with light tonic water and garnish with rosemary.

Pentire Seaward is a botanical spirit featuring locally foraged sea rosemary, sea buckthorn, wild seaweed, zesty hints of pink grapefruit and floral woodruff. To serve, fill a glass with ice, pour in 50ml of Pentire Seaward, top up with light tonic water and garnish with a slice of fresh grapefruit.

Pentire Adrift and Pentire Seaward & Tonic

This summer, Pentire Drinks launched its signature serve, Pentire & Tonic, in ready-to-drink 330ml cans.   This was after almost a year of recipe development, tested by surfers, runners, musicians, artists, entrepreneurs and bartenders alike.  The perfect solution to enjoy these botanical spirits wherever you are, at home, a party, on the beach, on the move.

A crate of handy Pentire & tonic cans

Pentire – pre-mixed with the house light tonic​​​​​​​​, super low calorie, natural ingredients in a recyclable can​​​​​​​​ – ‘grown, distilled & canned on the Cornish coastline.’ ​​​​​​​​Created with no added sugar, artificial colouring or flavouring, these 100% natural, non- alcoholic, alternative ‘Gin and Tonic’ drinks should be served extra chilled.

The Taste Test:

Pentire Adrift & Tonic

The sharp, citrusy zest of lemon is immediately to the fore, but then a range of intriguing herbal, grassy notes linger on the tongue, followed by a slight hint of a salty aftertaste comes through.  The plants include purslane, (an edible and nutritious weed), ice lettuce (a clean lemony flavour), and sea beet (a wild green, related to beetroot and chard). The profile of both soft floral and bitterness of the brine is all very well balanced.

While of course this drink is designed to be sipped straight from the can, as I am not keen on the metallic taste I poured this P & T over ice in a glass and added a slice of lime to enhance the citrus.  To draw out the herbaceous flavour, it is also perfect with a spring of rosemary. A most refreshing and extremely healthy tipple at about 305 calories for the 330ml can.

Pentire Seawards & Tonic

The first sip reminded me of bitter lemon, a tad too sharp but let’s give it time. In fact, the ingredients include orange juice, as well as sea buckthorn, (a hedge plant with golden berries – full of vitamins and minerals), meadowsweet (sweetly scented like hay, almond or vanilla), and rosemary (a pungent lemony-pine herb, often described as minty and peppery).   

​​​​​​​​ Again, this was served over a large block of ice, this time the suggested garnish is a slice of grapefruit.  The fresh, tart juicy fruit notes counter balanced the bitter orange well, while the underlying herbal and sea salt create a complex floral, citrus and mineral flavour. 

For this feature, I was sent these two Pentire drinks ready mixed with tonic in a can. Therefore, unlike my dozens of other drinks reviews on Smart Leisure Guide, I have been unable to taste, test, sip and sample Pentire Adrift and Seaward botanical spirits to experiment with other mixers, shake up mocktails – or even cocktails. 

Cornish Made, Globally Loved

Pentire is an environmentally-focused Cornish business which has put sustainability at its heart, producing a drinks range that quite literally distils the essence of Cornwall into healthy premium drinks. 

There’s now a wide selection of alc. free beers, wines and spirits, a change from just a few years ago and perhaps to counteract all those Quarantini cocktails during a boozy lockdown at home.  The global non-alcoholic beverages market is expected to grow from $923 million in 2020 to more than $1.7 trillion by 2028. 

Sea breeze mocktail with Pentire Adrift

With an ever-growing fan base, happy drinkers have enjoyed ditching the gin or vodka for Pentire botanical spirits with these glowing comments:

Been looking for a sophisticated, herbaceous non-alcoholic cocktail drink for years. No more sickly sweet fruity mocktails! Pentire Adrift is absolutely brilliant.

I am really enjoying Pentire with tonic in the evening. It has allowed me to cut my alcohol units without sacrificing flavour.

Love Pentire spirits – tastes exactly like good quality alcoholic gin.

Such a brilliant alternative to alcohol, and I have always been a dedicated gin drinker.!

So why not buy a couple of bottles to shake up a few Pentire Adrift & Seaward mocktails, or try the ready mixed Pentire & Tonic in a can. Time to embrace Sober October. Cheers!

Check out the online shop on the website as well as inspirational serving suggestions.