Alternative gin festival to replace cancelled event in St Albans

PUBLISHED: 17:00 27 August 2018

Co-owners of Tomoka Jass Patel and Shane Cody

Co-owners of Tomoka Jass Patel and Shane Cody


Another gin festival has swooped in to save the day after ticket-holders for a cancelled event were left out of pocket and disappointed.

Tomoka Spirits Boutique in St Albans’ Christopher Place has teamed up with ten distillers from around the area and beyond to host the St Albans Gin Festival this September.

It is on the same weekend that a different event, the Gin Festival, was scheduled to be held at the Alban Arena - when that company went into administration 20 events around the UK had to be scrapped and 20,000 sold tickets were made useless.

Everyone at the new event will get two free gin and tonics, access to a wide variety of samples, and the opportunity to meet local distillers behind their favourite gins.

Stalls confirmed for the event include Tarquin’s, Pinkster, Pink Pepper, Wheathampstead’s Black Bridge, and Puddingstone distilleries.

Co-owner of Tomoka, Jass Patel, said: “It will be relaxed because the music isn’t crazy, people can try new gins made with the right tonics by us so it will be a good experience.

“Hopefully the weather is good.”

There will also be live music from local artists such as Greg Dylan and food from Wagamama in St Albans.

Jass added: “It has been rushed together a little bit because of the falling apart of the other gin festival but we wanted people to come and have a good evening and afternoon.”

Shane Cody is the other co-owner of Tomoka Spirits Boutique, which opened in Christopher Place six years ago.

Company directors of the failed Gin Festival, Marie and Jym Harris, released a statement: “After five years of hard work and passion, this was not a decision we have taken lightly and personally this will mean we lose our home and everything we have worked hard to build.”

Tickets to the new Gin Festival are £10, and the event will be held in Christopher Place over three sessions - September 14 from 6pm until 9pm, and September 15 from 1pm to 4pm and then 5pm to 8pm.

All guests must be at least 18.

Buy tickets at

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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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