When I'm not gallivanting around London or Paris and pretending I know what's what in fashion, I spend my working life in the village of Albury. Owned by the Duke of Northumberland, the Albury Estate is a quaint and picturesque region in the Surrey Hills, defined by its intricately designed chimneys and generous splashings of green paint. Beyond the architecture and beautiful countryside, however, Albury is home to one of the finest gins in existence. (And trust me, I have an entire shelf of gins of which to compare.)
Silent Pool Gin, named after the natural spring from which the distillery gets its water, is a refreshing 43% ABV spirit made with twenty-four botanicals, including lavender, liquorice root, juniper and local honey. There are those who may contest that gins become overly complicated with numerous ingredients, and yet the Silent Pool blend is a masterpiece of spices, citrus and floral notes, which, when complemented by the recommended twist of orange peel, accomplishes a taste unlike any other you might find behind the bar - even if you frequent the likes of Holborn Dining Room, said to be London's most extensively stocked gin bar.
I was first introduced to Silent Pool Distillers after the architectural practice for which I work drew up plans for the conversion of derelict farm buildings into the present-day distillery. Since 2014, the unassuming timber-clad barn has produced the iconic blue-bottled gin - and sister spirits - in a beautiful Arnold Holstein copper still, and shipped its handiwork to restaurants, bars, departments stores and independent stockists in the UK and abroad. Albeit for me, having the distillery on my doorstep means I can easily pick up a bottle straight from the source, forever fuelling my love affair for an ice-cold G&T.