The Bombay Sapphire Distillery is based at Laverstoke Mill, near Whitchurch in Hampshire, and sits in a leafy conservation area astride the River Test, just 60 miles from London and 15 miles from Winchester. The site dates back to 10th century; and was once the site of a manor belonging to Henry VIII but was most notably a Georgian and Victorian paper mill. Entrepreneur Henry Portal first starting manufacturing banknotes there in 1718 and was later awarded the contract to produce all the banknotes for the bank of England and the British Empire.
Following extensive renovations by Heatherwick Studios, the distillery opened in October 2014 as the production centre for all Bombay Sapphire gin. Driven by a desire to be one of the world’s most sustainable distilleries, Bombay Sapphire is also the first-ever refurbishment project and distillery to achieve a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ rating for sustainability.
The distillery offers a range of experiences for guests to enjoy. The Discovery Experience guides you through the distillery with a map, which activates “whispering walls” throughout the experience. Alternatively, visitors can have a Hosted Experience, where a friendly host accompanies you and is on-hand to answer your questions. Across the distillery’s sprawling Victorian architecture, you can learn about the history of gin, Laverstoke Mill, Bombay Sapphire; and also find out about the flavours of the botanicals which make Bombay Sapphire gin so unique.
You can discover the Vapour Infusion distillation process in the Dakin Still House, wander through the Botanical Dry Room, and breathe in the exotic botanicals used to make Bombay Sapphire and Star of Bombay. Laverstoke Mill’s centrepiece is two magnificent intertwining glasshouses, designed by the Heatherwick Studio (famous for the show-stopping Olympic Cauldron and the new London buses). A dazzling feat of architecture, the houses are constructed from over 700 individual panes of glass – no two are the same. Each tour is finished with a cocktail in the Mill bar, which can be selected from the individual taste profile you put together in the botanical dry room, making the experience tailored to you.
Other experiences include ‘cocktail masterclasses’, where you can make a range of cocktails with one of our trained gin experts, or specialist horticultural and heritage experiences with our on-site heritage expert and horticultural expert.
The Bombay Sapphire Distillery is easy to reach via a shuttle service that runs on a timetable from the local train stations (Overton and Micheldever). There is an onsite cafe, bar and gift shop.