GIN & THAMES DITTON
Gin and Thames Ditton
In 1689, King William of Orange moved into Hampton Court Palace and immediately enacted a series of laws to encourage gin distillation, in an effort to stop us from drinking Catholic French brandy! That eagerness certainly contributed to the later Gin Craze – in the 1720s, one in every four houses was thought to be home to distilling equipment of some kind. Wherever it was publicly sold, gin was paired with gingerbread. In 1716, the winter was cold enough to freeze the Thames, and a so-called ‘Frost Fair’ was held on the ice with hot gin and gingerbread being sold on the frozen river.
That was the start of the gin craze which continues to this day
In the colonial days a pairing with quinine in tonic, with its anti-malarial medicinal properties, encouraged both the romance and decadence of this wonderful pairing.
Our gin botanicals echo both the history of the medieval herb garden at Hampton Court Palace and the marshland of Thames Ditton.