During the warmer Autumn months I visited the breathtakingly beautiful Asara estate and it quickly became a pit stop between my residence along the Atlantic sea board and my beloved wine country.
So as you can imagine I was brimming from ear to ear when I received an invitation to the Pure Gin Festival hosted by the Sansibar at Asara this past weekend. A summery afternoon of Gin, a fully decked out picnic basket, live music and a gorgeous location…you needn’t tell me anymore.
The beautifully manicured lawns had various Gin vendors circle the perimeter as the guests sprawled out on deck chairs, picnic blankets and bean bags enjoying the soul full live music on offer as we looked over at the backdrop of the Stellenbosch and Somerset West mountain ranges.
Before working up an appetite we walked around and got the lay of the land. Each gin vendor accepted a specific colour button that you received on arrival when paying. If you some how became button-less (hopefully not your actually clothing) you could purchase Gin with cash, card or Snapscan.
With a pink G&T in hand, as the Instagram life goes, we snapped a few pictures and before we knew it we made our way over to the picnic collection point.
Gin has become incredibly popular this year. There are copious amounts of Gin producers, gin infusions and colourful gins but nothing that can remotely come close to the Owner of Asara and his love of Gin. The inspiration behind the Sansibar and it having over 100 bottles of Gin from the owners various worldly travels.
I remember trying Gin around three years ago and saying “it tastes like petrol…urg” and some how my palate has matured to the point that I very rarely enjoy a meal at restaurant without a Gin and Tonic in hand. My favourite has been a freshly sliced strawberry and black pepper Gin in the comfort of my own home…definitely my festive season spoiler.
That leads me on to discovering the abundant and lavish Gin loving ingredients. A table of these lined the entrance in various bowls, vases and stands and you could understand the amounts of gastronomic flavours that go into the algorithm of “The Perfect G&T.”
The picnic boxes where included in your festival pass and we opted for a Fish and Meat option. The boxes were filled with freshly prepared ingredients that were easy to eat and handle while sprawled out on a lawn chair or bean bag or grooving to the sound of the live band.
The boxes included the following:
The Fish Box:
Perfectly cooked salmon, smoked salmon, tangy coleslaw, seasoned potato salad, a freshly prepared garden salad with a range of snook pates and lemony mayonnaise to end with a chess cake dessert.
The Meat Box:
A selection of charcuterie, olives, tangy coleslaw, seasoned potato salad, freshly prepared garden salad, chicken liver pate as well as a cheese cake dessert.
You could pick from a selection of breads to accompany your lunch box and enjoy on the lawns at your leisure.
After our delicious lunch, we made our way back around visiting each of the Gin vendors. Each tent hosted a Gin maker/brand and you could personally interact with to get to know what made them so unique and special.
Different infusions, methods, accompaniments and ingredients made this an educational day and made me much more of a Gin aficionado.
The crowd enjoyed the day spent in the sun, getting up and dancing to the band with a Gin in hand, empty picnic boxes and laughter that filled the air. This truly was a remarkable day…but then again when isn’t it when visiting Asara Estate?!
Although I was invited to experience this event, all the images and opinions are my own. The photographs are to showcase the event through my eyes and for the sole purpose of this blog post.