It’s definitely Gin O’Clock at Award-Winning Bullards Gin Tasting Rooms 

Norfolk based artisan gin distillery Bullards have recently opened its fifth gin tasting room.  We visited their shop in Westfield White City to try the company’s specialist richly flavoured gins.  Along with this store they have unique tasting experiences in London’s Covent Garden and Canary Wharf,  as well as locations in  their home town of Norfolk.

These beautifully designed concept stores offer free tasting sessions to customers, allowing them to fully immerse themselves in the botanical gin experience before deciding which delicious blend to buy. At our Westfield session we were met by the Bullards ambassador and very knowledgeable store manager, who took us through five delicious gins, all with distinct and very different flavours and properties.  We had the chance try the gins with a selection of complementary tonics as well as being introduced to some of the key ingredients which make up the overall taste sensation.

We started with the exceptional London Dry which has luxurious notes of marzipan and vanilla, this rich, smooth gin has been voted World’s Best, and we can certainly see why, the texture and flavour is deeply satisfying. What a great place to start. Moving on through the collection up next was Strawberry and Black Pepper.  Infused with 100 kilos of fresh, Norfolk strawberries,  Bullards use only natural ingredients to achieve their depth of flavour. This gin was delicious alone over ice,  achieving a slightly sweeter more fruity sensation when mixed with a tonic.

Old Tom, a traditional sweet style of gin incorporating notes of vanilla, honey, pink pepper, demerara sugar, mango, and juniper, perfect in an Expresso Martini and for the winter holiday season when you want something sweet and warming to drink. Costal is a lighter blend, and really quite unusual. Lead botanicals are juniper, fir, samphire, purslane and wild fennel. This subtly saline mixture is definitely one to try, as its really quite sublime, despite the fact you may imagine it to be rather salty.  Bullards know exactly what they are doing when it comes to blending botanicals, and you will certainly feel transported to a breezy rustic coastline. 

Lastly, and for us this was actually the top gin of the session – the Norwich City Lemon Gin.  Bullards Spirits is a an official partner of Norwich FC, hence the yellow bottle to compliment team colours.  So zesty and fresh, with notes of lemon drizzle and lemon grass the flavour exploded when mixed with a lemon tonic!  An absolute hero G&T!

At the tasting our ambassador explained to us that, apart from creating exceptional gins the company is really taking its carbon footprint seriously.  Bullards are offering re-useable bottles – who would want to throw-away these works of art anyway?  Along with eco-refill pouches which can be ordered on-line and sent out directly to your home.  They have even thought through the sustainability of the pouch packaging. Post these back for free and they will be recycled by the distillery. You can’t make gin drinking more eco-friendly than that!

For more information on gin master-classes, tasting rooms and mixology visit

Written by Claire Bloom 

Photography courtesy of Bullards