The Bottle Saga


We were expecting delivery of our lovely bottles on 22nd May, giving us 2 days to get sorted before our launch weekend, the bank holiday. This plan was scuppered when we were informed of delays meaning our delivery would be at least a week later. Not willing to turn down our commitments and postpone the launch, we decided that there must be a way to get at least a few bottles back in time. Before we knew it, we had found ourselves a surprisingly willing volunteer in Rupert’s brother and had booked him a ferry over to France. The only problem was that the bottles would only actually be ready on Friday morning, giving us 24 hours to get them home, bottled and packed ready for the launch.

Knowing that we could only fit a number of bottles from one pallet in the back of the truck, we played cardboard tetris to prove to ourselves that we really could fit 480 bottles in boxes in the back. We waved them off and prayed that the combination of the slightly leaky truck canopy and the torrential rain forecast was kind to us.

Before long, our little truck was queued up with a number of massive lorries at the factory. After reaching the front of the queue, and unloading all 80 boxes onto the tarmac, to the amusement of the onlookers, one of the French fork lift operators kindly offered sympathy. Although slightly baffled, and after already taking off the plastic pallet wrap, he decided to take matters into his own hands and prove that he could lift our now very precariously-stacked precious bottles onto the tailgate. They did mainly fit, so the boxes were once again flattened and used to plug the gaps, before setting off again to Calais.

Once back in the UK, our precious cargo spent the next 5 hours in the predictable bank holiday Friday traffic queuing up the M25. Finally the bottles arrived at about 9pm, at which point we devoured the promised pizza before realising that we could no longer unload the whole lot with a fork lift because the layers of bottles had somewhat collapsed – miraculously there were no breakages! The team pulled together to unload all 480 bottles one by one in the classic conveyor belt method.

After a slightly late night, we had done it! Only 12 hours after leaving France, the bottles were filled, labelled and ready for Saturday’s launch.

So if you receive a box of gin in the next week or so that looks like it’s been opened and closed a few times – it probably has.

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miniature still on workbench