27th September 2022
We visited the Bombay Sapphire Distillery on 16th September 2022. I booked it as a surprise visit for my partners Birthday ( We were going on a. cruise, but staying overnight in the area)
Right from making my first telephone enquiry about the distillery, my experience exceeded my expectations. I explained that I was planning activities for my partners birthday, and came across the distillery, and that I was Blind, and had a Guide Dog (Spencer).
The lady on the telephone was amazing, and extremely kind and informative. She said they love dogs there, and whilst pet dogs cannot go into the distillery or cafe, of course, Assistance dogs can. She also said that my partner would, as my carer be entitled to free entry. So, I only had t pay for one admission. I booked a 16:40 slot, as this would fit in with the rest of my arrangements.
We arrived 20 minutes early, and made our way to the admissions hall, and were greeted by two lovely young ladies, who took our details, and as soon as they saw Spencer, in his harness, they already knew who we were, as the lady taking the booking, let everyone know that there would be a guide dog coming.
As we were early, we went to the shop, and was amazed with the selections on offer, and we bought lots of things. The shop was very well laid out, extremely clean and the staff were extremely helpful and friendly.
When we got back to admissions, a young lady called Anna came to introduce herself, and said that she would be our guide. What I did not realise until towards the end of the tour was that, she had made arrangements to take just myself, my guide dog and my partner on the tour, by ourselves, as opposed to a group tour. Because she wanted to take her time, and make sure that we ( me as a blind person ) got the most out of our visit.
I was blown away by Anna taking us on the tour, the way she explained things was extremely interesting and easy to understand. She made the tour extremely interactive and took the time to let me feel so many things, like each of the plants in the glass houses, the flint on the walls of the workers cottages etc - it was such a tactile experience for me, utilising my sense of touch, smell and hearing. Never before have I had such an inclusive visit to any attraction. It was simply amazing, and Anna was incredible.
Anna spent much more time than the official allocated time with us, which we totally appreciated. When I booked, it was primarily for my partner, Dean. I thought that I would be basically, following along, behind, not particularly getting. much from it apart from hearing the explanations as we made our way around. As it turns out, I was fully included and brought into the entire experience in so many ways.
At the end of the tour, we went to the gin bar ( of course ) and enjoyed a couple of their lavastocke cocktails which were phenomenal. Our drinks were even given to us as a gift in the bar from one of the managers, who said that they had totally enjoyed watching Spencer, my guide dog do his amazing work, and were blown away by his skills.
We made one last visit to the shop, to get a few more goodies.
We had the best time ever, and would definitely recommend the visit to anyone with the remotest interest in gin. You will learn lots that you didnt already know, and have a whole new appreciation
Thank you so much for the best ex[erience ever, Anna is a credit to you, and the entire team were amazing
Terry & Guide Dog Spencer