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February 18, 2019

We have blogged before about Hamish Martin, his botanical garden and his colour-changing gins. Next month, when Hamish launches the official tours of the Gin Garden, everyone will be able to explore its secrets.

The tours will start from 23rd March. Billed as 'the only tour of its kind in the UK', they will allow visitors to see the complete gin-making process, from the picking of the botanicals to the final distillation.

Gin enthusiasts can experience the tranquillity of the garden; see, smell and touch the growing botanicals; visit the drying room; witness the still in action and finally, enjoy a glass in the comfort of the cosy new Gin Lounge.

Qualified herbologist

A former wine merchant and a qualified herbologist, Hamish is an engaging character and his passion for his plants and the way they are used in his gins shines through.

Visitors are shown the full process, from hand-picking and drying the flowers to  distillation. The tour concludes with a tasting of the Secret Garden Range, learning about the gins and their fascinating colour-changing qualities.

Unique tours

Hamish comments: 'This is an entirely unique offering. Nowhere else in the world has a gin garden and distillery on site as we do here. We’re incredibly proud to say that we grow and pick our own botanicals before drying and distilling them to perfection, to obtain that distinctive natural flavour and unbelievable colour change. It’s incredible to see nature in action!

'Everything we do here is done with love, and we’re excited to welcome gin lovers (or those ready to be converted!) to see the magic of nature and witness how we use it to create these special gins. We hope people are blown away by what they see, smell, taste and learn on these tours.'

Tours are available from 23 March, every Saturday and Sunday at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. From 1 June – 21 September, a tour will also be available at 1pm on a Thursday and Friday. Tickets are available from The Old Curiosity website and cost £15 per person, which includes a full tour of the garden, drying room and distillery, and a tasting of the Secret Garden Range in the Gin Lounge.

Herb garden

The Secret Herb Garden opened in 2014, and is the brainchild of Hamish and Liberty Martin. Hamish was a wine merchant with a passion for herbs and a dream of a magical herb garden, while Liberty was a resource manager with a love of all things vintage.

Hamish studied for a Diploma in Herbology at Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh in 2013 and after securing a 7.5 acre plot of land at the foot of the Pentlands, the couple left their existing roles and set up the nursery, café and shop.

 The Old Curiosity Distillery can be found at the Secret Herb Garden on the Old Pentland Road, Edinburgh.

Old Curiosity Gin is stocked in Harrods, John Lewis, Harvey Nichols, Majestic and other retailers throughout the UK.