Guest Blog: Independent Gin Festival

Last weekend at FarGo we hosted our very own Independent Gin Festival!

Fargo’s Independent Gin Festival played host to a marvellous group of gin vendors and festival attendees across 2 evenings of chilled and sociable gin tasting. Personally, I’d never been to a gin festival before but it was definitely something I’d do again!

Although I was a guest, the tickets for entry were £7.50 which seemed very reasonable. As you arrived you were given a balloon glass and purchased tokens to spend at the gin vendors’ stalls. Each vendor described the gin and allowed you to taste it and paired it with a harmonising tonic.

There was a great selection of London Dry gins and others spanning from very local, such as Langley’s based in Birmingham, to Scapegrace which is distilled in New Zealand. Many brands were known for the rich heritage of the place they were distilled, or were based on the origins of G&T.

My favourite had to be the gin slushie by Shakespeare Distillery, which was a completely new concept to me! They used their signature Stratford gin which is infused with all manner of botanicals and it tasted incredible!

Overall, the atmosphere was relaxing and enjoyable, the guests were happy and the vendors were informative, friendly and above all seemed super passionate about their products. A great night for people of all ages (18+ of course), whether they were a newbie like me or a gin enthusiast!

This post is part of our new series of guest blog posts from the lovely Amy at Writing into the Ether. You can check out her personal blog here.

What to Expect at FarGo’s Independent Gin Festival!

This week at FarGo, we’re hosting our very own Gin Festival- but when has FarGo ever done things like everybody else? We’ve done away with the long talks and the classroom feel, and instead invited down some great independent distilleries to serve you drinks, have a chat and introduce you to the wonderful world of gin, in a relaxed and intimate setting. So whether you’re a gin expert or a complete novice with a taste for a G&T, be sure to come and check it out!

Introducing the stars of the show, we have 7 brilliant and unique distilleries for you to sample. From the mountains of New Zealand to the heart of the Hudson Valley, to our very own Shakespeare country, these gins come from across the world, but the thing they have in common is their great taste!

From across the globe, we have Brooklyn and Scape Grace. Brooklyn, based in New York, is created by founders Emile Jathe and Jo Santos, with an emphasis on local produce, hand production, and small, quality batches. They produce 300 bottles over the course of 3 days, all lovingly created from fresh local ingredients, which they think you can taste from the very first sip. Scape Grace are from New Zealand, and try and capture the country in their gin. From the 12 natural botanicals to the water gathered from the mountaintops, the Scape Grace team offer ‘gritty sophistication’, and a trip to New Zealand in a smooth gin and tonic.

A bit closer to home, we are welcoming Brokers gin from Birmingham, who have been perfecting their recipe for 200 years- the old ones are usually the best! They use a traditional pot belly still for their gin, to bring out all the flavour of their botanicals. Langley’s will also be joining us, with their multi-award winning luxury gin.

Bringing the royal touch to our humble festival is Sovereign Spirits, who produce it on their farm in the heart of Clipstone Park, which was a royal hunting lodge as far back as the 11th century! They harvest the most abundant fruits from their hedgerows and bottle them in their delicious gin liqueurs. They’re joined by British Polo Gin, with their 100% organic botanicals, gluten free sugar beet, quality small batches, and their firm belief that Britain, Polo, and Gin have been closely linked since the 1850’s!

Finally we’re bringing you Shakespeare’s Distillery, from just down the road in Stratford! Made in small, handcrafted batches, they are inspired by the fruits and flavours of the Tudor period, bringing the essence of the period to life in their bottles.

We didn’t stop there though! Alongside these amazing distilleries, we are also bringing you delicious street food from Paneer Wrap, and also our very own Saus’ n’ Roll are providing pasties, sausage rolls and more- exactly what you need to go with that gin!

Tickets are £7.50, and with every ticket you get a gin glass and our very own FarGo Gin Guide, with tasting guides, and garnish recommendations, perfect for you to recreate the great gin taste when you get home! Tickets are selling fast, so we’d recommend getting yours in advance!

With music all night from Scott Leon, former resident at Ibiza Rocks and Coventry Cathedral Dining Club, we promise you a great night of gin tasting, good food, and great atmosphere, as you chat with our distilleries and learn everything you ever wanted to know about gin, from the people that know it best!

We hope you’re excited for it, we know we are- can’t wait to see you there!

Ticket Links
Friday Evening Session – Link.

Saturday Evening Session – Link.

Guest Blog: Rum & Reggae

A HUGE thank you to all 5,500 of you who attended! We had a blast!

This year’s Rum and Reggae festival saw huge numbers through the gates as thousands of people came in to soak up the vibes! The coloured flags, artist performances and the smells of soul-food instantly set the tone for what was to be an amazing evening!

Whether you were there to dance, or to chill with some food and a drink, there was something for everyone as this vibrant August evening’s entertainment began! Phase One Steel Orchestra really got the crowd moving with their incredible set, performing a mixture of classic and chart hits on the pans.

The vendors pulled out all the stops with their amazing Caribbean food, serving everything from jerk chicken to curried goat. Resident shops Saus ‘n’ Roll provided wonderful sell-out food along with Caribbean themed vendors, Urban, 63 Islands and Leave it to Esmie.

It goes without saying that the drinks were fantastic! Spangles and TrailerMade were a huge hit with their themed cocktails and there were so many types of rum to choose from that of course most of us ended up buying a drink for each hand!

Local DJ Dave Marshall kept the crowds dancing well into the night in Fargo’s indoor venue, The Box. The event was such a success that we drank the Fargo bar dry 10 minutes before closing time!

For those who couldn’t make it, there was also a Caribbean food festival the next day and the mood wasn’t dampened as we powered on through the storms! Themed events at Fargo to come include the Independent Gin Festival and Big Summer BBQ – let’s keep our fingers crossed for sun!

This post is part of our new series of guest blog posts from the lovely Amy at Writing into the Ether. You can check out her personal blog here.

Guest Blog: Rock’n’Roller Parlour’s First Year

A fab piece from Natalie of Rock’n’Roller Parlour summarising her first year with us!

Just over a year ago,  I started my journey into self employed life by setting up and launching the Rock’n’Roller Parlour at FarGo Village. Looking at her now, you’d never have thought that she almost didn’t happen with various hiccups along the way – but that’s another story altogether!

Having taken the plunge and bought a secondhand, battered and unloved 1994 Freedom Jetstream caravan, my dad and I spent the next 10 months stripping out and remaking the caravan interior to look like the Rock’n’Roller Parlour that you see today.

Having scoured the internet and found various venues, my eyes stumbled across the awesome little creative hub that is FarGo Village. Thankfully, everything went according to plan and 8 months after our initial meeting, I moved in!

Feeling nervous was an understatement. Jacking in your regular paying job where you’re dangerously unhappy to start up a business that you have no idea whether or not it will work but could potentially give you the chance to look forward to coming to work – it’s a risky time!

My parents had shown concerns about me feeling lonely. What would I do if I didn’t have clients for a few hours? Sit in the caravan and just wait until they arrive? This was something I hadn’t really considered, but I reassured myself that I wouldn’t be there to make friends. I was there to run a business and anything extra was a bonus!

Thankfully and unsurprisingly, everyone was immediately welcoming. I made sure I introduced myself to each tenant and immediately struck up a friendship with Ian (PopBangColour) and Rob (Dashing Blades). I’ve never experienced this type of friendship with guys before.. they’re like my big brothers. Any worry or episode I have, I go to them for advice and they either console me or tell me to grow some balls and stop being silly!! Like I say, big brother attitude! This is something I could never have asked for so thanks boys. (I know you’re going to rip me for this later and I’m ok with that.)

My first year has been an eventful learning curve. In addition to the highs of getting to do what I wanted creativity wise, there have been a few.. alterations, shall we say, to the Rock’n’Roller Parlour. 4th December 2016 – I experienced frozen pipes for the first time. Good job I had a hairdryer and my dad on hand with extra insulation! Spring 2017 – the dangers of the sun. Cue window canopies and foil lining on the roof!

So.. a year on. Was FarGo the right choice? Without question! Being part of the FarGo Famalam, as Auntie Olive once called it, is a rare opportunity. You become friends with individuals whose paths would usually never cross with your own. Most importantly, you’re surrounded by people who genuinely want to do well in their businesses which further causes you to develop extra drive and ambition.

Let’s see what next year is going to rock’n’roll my way…!