Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I am an avid Gin & Tonic fan. So, naturally, I was super keen to be going to this year’s Fitch & Leedes Gin and Tonic Festival, which was held at Chris Saunders Park in Umhlanga.
The event promised to be one filled with a variety of local and international gin brands, artisanal and gourmet food stalls as well as live performances. The festivities started at 11am and ended at 8pm, thus making it an (almost) all-day event. This year, tickets were R180 per person if purchased online via Web Tickets and R200 per person if purchased at the gate. Buying your tickets online granted you a free branded gin glass as well as a taster at the Fitch & Leedes stand.
I arrived mid-afternoon however the venue was still jam-packed with many attendees still making their way in. The great thing was that the event was cashless; so you loaded a card with money and it worked like a debit card as and when you purchased. This created a pleasant experience in terms of easing congestion and avoiding delay, so I was super impressed with that.
Bombay, Bulldog, Stretton’s, Greenall’s as well as J-Something’s Jin Gin were a few of the many gin brands available to create your drink. The main sponsor was, of course, Fitch & Leedes so all the tonics offered across the various gin stands were from the Fitch & Leedes brand. Drinks were available as either tasters, singles or doubles, paired your choice of a Fitch & Leedes tonic finished off with a variety of garnishes.
There isn’t much to say except that it is a superb event to go to with friends where you can really make a day out of it. It’s like a market so you can bring a picnic blanket (I don’t think chairs are allowed) and just sit back, relax and enjoy the performances and music or walk around to see what’s on offer. It is quite a mission to find parking, so I would recommend catching an Uber or getting someone to drop you off there. This also contributes to safety in terms of not drinking and driving.