Glorious Gin

A perennial classic, Gin has fizzed into the spotlight in recent years.At the Hundred House we have joyfully embraced the exciting flavours that have developed through the focus on carefully crafted gins, that draw inspiration from traditional knowledge of spicing and aromatics. Whilst I talk a great deal about our wonderful food and gorgeous gardens, it really is time our fabulous range of drinks were placed in the spotlight and where better to start than with gin!

Not long until its time to sip a gin under the Cherry Blossom. I can feel the gentle sun on my face already.

Whilst we are all familiar with classic brands that give us a cheery lift when we hear the clink of ice and feel the tickle of fizzy tonic on a summers day, the delights of small batch gin are what excite us at the Hundred House. By carefully selecting specific botanicals, gin makers create a unique range of flavours, which are enhanced by choice of tonic. It’s fabulous to help our guests  find their ideal blend, and it’s always fun  journey.

Whitley Neill is one of our favourite suppliers of small batch craft gin.

One of our most exciting suppliers is Whitley Neill.  A descendant of the legendary Greenalls brewing family, Johnny Neill has  used his knowledge to create a unique range of gin that fit beautifully with our values of fine flavour and innovation married with knowledge gleaned from family tradition. Blending familiar botanicals with more unique flavour of Baobab the Whitley Neill brand is a vibrant addition to our range of gin.

What can I taste ? All about botanicals


Juniper – this is the classic “gin” flavour that gives gin it’s bittersweet flavour.


Florentine Iris – Hailing from Italy, this imparts a soft fragrance that balances citrus notes and adds sweetness


Cassia Bark – a cousin of familiar cinammon, Cassia bark brings warmth to the aroma


Andalucian Lemon and Orange – zingy citrus notes balance the spice and lift the aromas, similar to the impact of a gremolata.


Baobab –  fruit of the African Baobab tree and the signature botanical of Whitley Neill, this brings a grapefruit softness to the gin, creating a truly unique drink.

A range of flavoured gins mean we can help our guests create a unique drink.

Our flavoured gins give a new dimension, elderflower is a familiar summery delight, with a heady perfume and floral finish while  our unusual nettle gin gives a herbal hit that is perfect to enjoy surrounded by the fragrance of herbs from our gardens.

Choosing the perfect tonic means you can create your ideal flavour combination.

The flavour of gin is further refined by the addition of tonic. Lamb and Watt tonics blend pure water from the Lake District with a range of herbs and florals to make your favourite gin sing a unique tune. When we found out their Basil tonic had been voted “best for 2018” by the Craft Gin Club we had to try it.   The basil brings a sweet-savoury sweet note that works beautifully with a gin such as Hendricks, with it’s distinctive Mediterranean nuance, always intensified by the classic cucumber garnish. Or perhaps a bouncy Hibiscus  to lend a tonic mysterious sweetness to the simplest gin is more appealing ? Where you have a more complex gin, or one with a strong flavour, such as J.J. Whitley’s Nettle Gin, the clarity of a classic tonic enhances without dominating the precisely crafted balance of flavour.

And if all this choice is a little overwhelming, we still offer the classic pairing of Gordon’s and Schweppes !

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British Asparagus season

The British Asparagus season typically lasts a mere three months, between April and June (British weather depending!), giving all the more reason to make use of it while it lasts.

Asparagus-1It is known to have high levels of Vitamin A (an antioxidant) and folic acid, helping to fight against cancer, and at an average of less than 4 calories per spear, it really is a super food!

At the Hundred House, we are lucky enough to have one of the top UK Asparagus growers a mere five miles up the road in Quatt. Lodge Farm has been in three generations of the Lees family, with Asparagus produced there since 1972. At the peak of the season in June of this year, Head Chef Stuart Philips, went to visit Father and Daughter team, Caroline and Trevor Lees, to find out more about one of his favourite ingredients (and have a go on one of their buggies used for picking…).

Lodge Farm currently has up to sixty acres in full production of Asparagus growing. Waitrose are their main buyers, who take a keen interest in the Lees family as one of the biggest growers in the UK for Asparagus trials. Caroline and Trevor explain that they currently have around 1000 different varieties of Asparagus in testing that have already spent five years in a lab before reaching their farm. Out of these thousand, only about five varieties will actually make it to market, and that will take up to another fifteen years before you see them on the shelves.


Asparagus is grown from seed and planted as a one year old crown. These crowns are then harvested and sent to Lodge Farm at the beginning of April (this year was a little different, with unseasonal weather meaning they could not plant until May). Very little is done to the Asparagus in the second and third year of its life, but in the fourth year the first cut is taken. The farm will then get eight years of harvesting the plant, with one spear per week per crown being produced in the eight week cutting season from crops around 10-12 years old. This year at Lodge Farm, 140,000 crowns were planted, around 12.5-13,000 per acre (hence the buggies).




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