Enjoying Hull without the kids

Gin making at Hotham's Gin School

This weekend for a few hours, I played tourist in my home town of Hull. I joined a group of bloggers, mostly from out of town, to experience some more grown-up activities, courtesy of Visit Hull and East Yorkshire. It was a nice change to do something without the children. I haven’t played out in Hull as a grown-up very often in my own right since having children. Since then, Hull has experienced a lot of welcome changes, a lot of which were implemented in the run-up to and the duration of Hull’s tenure of UK City of Culture in 2017.

My usual adult evenings out without the children comprise of me being shouted at by a very good friend to get myself out with her, and us going up around the Avenues area of Hull to somewhere I’ve never been but my very in-the-know friend has. I’m grateful for knowing her and for her skills in getting me out of the house. It’s been a while since I visited Hull City Centre after dark.

My fellow bloggers had been on a walking tour in the morning, and been to see the Sistine Chapel exhibit at Hull Minster which is visiting for a few weeks – honestly, if you haven’t been, go – it’s free! I met up with them at 3pm for an afternoon of gin at Hotham’s Gin School in the beautiful and unique Hepworth’s Arcade on Lowgate.

I don’t do gin normally. I’m a wine and lemonade kinda gal. But I’m all up for learning, and Hotham’s Gin School was as much about learning about gin as it was about drinking it, more so probably. Our itinery was to do some taste testing, learn about gin making and the history of gin, and then have a go at making our own. I teamed up with Hollie from Thrifty Mum and together we set to work creating a gin based on the flavours of Christmas.

We selected botanicals including fresh lemon, cinnamon, and raisins and the very knowledgable and helpful Emma worked out our quantities to make an effective gin. Armed with very accurate scales and measuring spoons, we created a blend to put into the copper distilling pot. By 7pm we had a decent sized bottle of gin each to take with us, where we are to wait two weeks and then start ‘experimenting’ with different tonics.

Here’s the bottle of gin that Laura of BlogOn produced – she called hers ‘BlogOn Gin’. Emma took photos of all our blend recipes so if we want to reorder our own gin, we can!

In between our gin making activities, hosts Simon and Emma taught us more about the history of gin and gin making, and also about Hepworth’s Arcade and the relationship between gin and Hull. It was all very interesting. As a local, I learned things I’d not heard before. We were there for four hours but it never got dull. Well recommended for a date activity, whether with your partner or a friend.

After that, we headed up to the famous Humber Street for our evening meal

Humber Street and the surrounding areas is probably the best known of the regeneration projects to hit Hull in the last few years. Back in 2004 we did a tour of it as part of my geography degree module in urban development and it was little more than a street full of derelict old warehouses that still smelt of the fruit they once housed. Some warehouses were still active and dealing in fruit but it was mostly a great big mess which no-one visited unless they had to.

Now, it’s a thriving cultural centre with trendy boutique shops, and a range of restaurants. Our destination was Ambiente Tapas

We had the Lujo Chef’s selection which is £22.95 per person. This includes a charcuterie course, paella, ensalada, bream and rump steak platters, patatas, and tempura. Not at all what I would choose for myself normally but I tried everything apart from the prawns and anchovies and it was very nice. I think I will be coming back in the future as I’m sure my other half and the teen would love it. Vegetarian and dairy-free options available.

The restaurant itself was pretty good. Industrial decor which harks back to the building’s past, and fast, friendly service. Drinks were priced as you would expect and there was a good atmosphere. It was busy but not over-full.

Thank you to the BlogOn team for inviting me to join the crew for the afternoon, and to VHEY for arranging the visit. It was good to catch up with some familiar faces and meet some not so familiar ones.

Thanks to
https://www.mandycharltonphotographyblog.com/ for the photo!

Why not go and have a read about what my fellow bloggers thought of their visit to Hull?……..

Mummy to Dex – A weekend in Hull – the UK’s City of Culture

Out and About Mummy – a trip to The Deep

TippyTupps – Hull Gin: Back to (gin) School

Mandy Charlton – The Best Places to go on a weekend in Hull

Disclosure: We were guests of Hotham’s Gin School, Ambiente Tapas, and Visit Hull & East Yorkshire for the purposes of this review. All opinion is my own

Check out our post – Things to do in Hull with the kids


Joanne and the girly gang review family days out around the UK and beyond, with a little help from their friends.

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