It’s a gloriously sunny and hot day as we join the end of a surprisingly long queue outside Peterborough Train Station, we weren’t sure what to expect except to look for a blue gazebo. We patiently waited as an offer of extra tokens was brought to us by one member of the Gin Train staff. You have to buy tokens if you want to be able to purchase extra gins and tonics or other drinks when you are onboard as the staff will not be able to deal with individual payments of cash. Not a bad idea but if you’re not sure what you want it’s a bit difficult. Anyway, we have some nuts, crisps and soft drinks at the ready if we need them. (you are allowed to take these on board with you)

All aboard, after finding our carriage and table number. Tables were set with a placemat describing each 15ml taster you would receive throughout the journey.  the doors were closed and the whilst blew. We were immediately served with a plastic glass, we had the choice of a standard or a light FeverTree tonic and a glass of ice. Our first sampler came whizzing down the train, a tray piled high which small pre-packed gins in plastic containers with a number on the top. Good idea for no breakages or spillages.

The carriages are not new they are obviously old rolling stock and a little worn around the edges, but it’s not about that is it. The air-con in our carriage was fine, however, some people were trundling past into other ones as theirs had stopped working – by the end of the first half of the journey, so had ours. With no windows to open, it did get a little stifling, but it didn’t ruin our trip. Opposite us sat two ladies that we chatted with throughout the journey. Luckily for us their other two hadn’t turned up, neither ours so we had plenty of room on our tables.

By the time our train got to Ely to restock and wait in the station for about half an hour, we’d been served 4 gins already. That meant on the journey back if there was one or two we liked we could then use out tokens. We didn’t need to as we’d still got our tasters to get through – no rush. For me, a non-gin drinker one was particularly nice as it has a strawberry taste, the others seemed extremely bitter, but our ladies liked them.. drinks to everyone’s taste. We pulled up in Peterborough station around 5pm and got off rather more intoxicated and red-faced than when we got on!

The experience itself was a little expensive at £35 for 5 x 15ml tasters (VIP paid £50), but hiring a train and staff isn’t cheap, so I understand the expenditure for it. It wasn’t well-organised, you could tell it was the first one but the staff did their utmost, kept happy, smiley and did what they needed to do in the way of service in the heat at that time of day.

All in all a nice chilling afternoon with some nice people. Would I do it again? Yes, possibly. Next time I might try VIP and I’ll definitely take a fan!

#GinTrain #RailroadEvents #GinTrainPeterborough #GinTasting  #DrinkFun #SummerTrips #TrainExperience #PeterboroughTrains

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