Falmouth Distilling Company is a small but perfectly formed micro-distillery based in an industrial unit in Penryn, near Falmouth in Cornwall. Created by three women, Daisy Hillier, a cordon bleu chef, Chloe Gillatt, an artist and chef, and Ruth Warfield, a food scientist, when their day jobs had come to a halt thanks to the Covid pandemic, the name of their brand, Loveday, is the English version of the Cornish Leofdag, a name given to the day when peace was brokered between two disputatious factions.
I have written elsewhere about their first offering, Loveday Falmouth Dry, which was launched in April 2021 and was so favourably received that they were emboldened to add a second to their range, in the autumn of that year, Loveday Golden Hour Gin. As well as an attempt to spread peace and harmony, it was their paean to the golden hour when the combination of warm light and long shadows makes social occasions all the more rewarding.
They have retained the same elegant, clear cylindrical bottle with a high neck, rounded shoulders, and a short neck leading to a fat lip, a broad wooden top and cork stopper. The elegance is enhanced by the narrow labelling and the decision to allow the writing to run vertically from top to bottom. There is a sort of chemist’s laboratory bottle feel about it.
The typeface at the front is fresh and contemporary, laconically providing the necessary information – ABV of 45%, principal botanicals of grapefruit, pink peppercorn, and cardamom, and that my bottle is from batch no 7 and distilled by Daisy. The rear label lapses more into marketese and apart from the brand name and QR code, the script runs horizontally, making it easier to read.
The spirit itself is a tawny pink colour and if I was taxonomically inclined, I would categorise it as a pink gin. Fortunately, the juniper is strong enough to make its presence felt and is complemented by the warmth of the pink peppercorn, the zestiness of the grapefruit feel and the subtle floral notes. Sensibly, by distilling to an ABV of 45% and resisting the temptation to add extra sweetness, they have allowed their chosen botanicals the opportunity to emerge in their full glory to produce a complex, bitter-sweet, slightly floral spirit that grows on you.
My securing a bottle of this delightful gin began in a pub, the wonderful Trengilly Wartha in Nancenoy in deepest Cornwall. My wife and I met three women there purely by chance, they were sharing my wife’s passion for knitting, and it turned out that they worked at the nearby Potager Garden, where Daisy Hillier was head chef before branching out into distilling. We decided to pay them a visit the following morning.
The site is on an abandoned nursery which is being tamed and turned into a series of delightful small gardens. Greenhouses have been turned into a café, vegetarian and seemingly popular with locals and visitors alike, and a sort of community hub with workshops and where events are held. It was a marvellously tranquil oasis in the middle of nowhere and, as an added attraction, the shop sells Loveday gins. It is the encapsulation of the spirit of Cornwall. What is there not to like?
Until the next time, cheers!