The gin fad is still in as Wilton Shopping Village discovered this weekend with its second gin festival.

Local gin bars, distilleries and a mix of locally sourced food transformed the village’s olde worlde courtyard into an outdoor bar with Summer festival featuring live music, bean bags and a bespoke 2Sisters Design ‘selfie wall’.

Each visitor received a branded gin glass, gin bible and goodie bag. They also had the chance to hone their very own cocktail-making skills by creating ‘The Wilton’ at a number of sell-out gin masterclasses throughout the day. Gin-themed gifts, and marmalades,were enjoyed by shoppers who visited independent retailers Chalke House Emporium and The Courtyard Marketplace.

The well-attended  event included a group returning for the second year to celebrate a special 30th birthday. Other visitors had travelled especially from Southampton.

Wilton Village Shopping’s marketing manager, Fiona Spear said: “This year’s gin festival couldn’t have gone any better, with many visitors saying they can’t wait to join us again next year. Quality food and drink events like this are fantastic for encouraging new visitors to us from outside our usual catchment, providing all important increased staying time to benefit our retail partners.”

Wilton Shopping Village has two permanent food and drink retailers –  Cobbs Market Café, which provides a seasonal menu of tasty home-made, locally sourced and fresh food, and The Village Restaurant & Tearoom, a 170-cover venue serving cream teas and a selection of meals, soups, sandwiches and home baking.

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