Virgin Trains has teamed up with suppliers from along the West Coast Mainline to serve locally-produced products to its First Class customers. These include Forest Gin and vodka and whisky from the Lakes Distillery, which are now available at Virgin Trains’ First Class lounge in Euston.
Forest Gin is made by the Bond family in very small batches with botanicals foraged from nearby Macclesfield Forest and locations within the Cheshire Peak District. The resulting gin is then blended with cool water from forest springs to produce a fresh, herbaceous London dry gin.
Virgin Trains joins Britain’s finest restaurants and bars in serving the gin, including Heston Blumenthal's Hinds Head in Bray, and Jason Atherton's multi-award winning restaurant in Soho.
Karl Bond, Owner of Forest Gin says: ‘‘We are so excited and proud to have our gin behind the bar in Virgin’s First Class Lounge at Euston. We launched the gin at the start of the year and it has already won numerous awards so this is great way to round off our year.’’
The Lakes Vodka and The ONE, a blend of British whiskies, are award-winning products from the Lakes Distillery, which is located about 25miles from both Penrith and Carlisle. The distillery is listed amongst Cumbria’s Top 50 icons and is the largest whisky distillery in England.
Made from water taken directly from the River Derwent just 150 metres away, The ONE blends whisky from each of the British Isles, while Lakes Vodka boasts a rich aroma with a hint of wheat.
Paul Currie, founder and managing director of The Lakes Distillery, said: “Virgin Trains has a reputation for providing its customers with only premium products so it is a testament to the quality of our spirit that we are being offered to first class customers. We have invested £7m into our distillery to ensure we produce the highest quality spirits in our handmade copper stills and have enjoyed an outstanding first year in business attracting over 20,000 visitors to our site in Cumbria. We look to working with Virgin Trains into the future.”
Amanda Smit, Head of Catering at Virgin Trains said: “We‘re committed to offering our customers premium products while also supporting local businesses along our route.”
4 January 2016 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor