In response to those of you getting in touch about Crossbill we would like to confirm that it is no longer based at, supplied by or in any other way associated with Inshriach. We are going our separate ways and we will be launching an Inshriach Gin in the new year. In the meantime we are very sorry for any inconvenience you may have experienced.
After 3 years Nicole is moving on from Inshriach so we are looking for someone to live here and give us a hand.
Inshriach is predominantly a hospitality business so there are a lot of changeovers. Every Monday between 10.30 and 2 we change over the big house then the 4 Canopy and Stars glamping spaces are pretty much fully occupied during the summer. Some weeks we need to change all 4 in a day then none the following day, other weeks may be two, then two, then two. Then from 4pm the guests arrive and it might take half an hour to show each one the ropes and drive them out in the land rover. Right now we are going into the quiet season so there may only be 3 or 4 changeovers per week. We all get involved with this and cover each other when necessary.
Those are the things we need but there are always things to be done, logs to chop, lawns to mow, lots of vegetable gardens to garden, fences to fix and sheep to help out with. There are always general maintenance and forestry jobs, building projects in the pipeline, cars and carpentry and we have lots of tools and workshops you can use for your own projects.
Plus you get to live in the Dogshed (despite its name it’s a tiny cottage with its own kitchen and we are going to add a compost loo). It probably adds up to a half – time job so there is plenty of time to do your own thing and we will give you some money every week and help out finding some extra earners wherever we can.
It is probably best suited to a couple who have their own transport, it could be a bit lonely for a single person, especially in the winter and we have a 5 month old baby who takes a lot of our attention, especially in the evenings. Aviemore is a fun and sociable place (4 miles away). Lizzy is more than happy – baby permitting – to take you up into the hills and show you about but we can also introduce you to plenty of folk with whom to go biking, walking, climbing, kayaking and adventuring.
Please get in touch if you’d like more details. We are looking for someone from mid-september. It is not long term, 3-6 months would be ideal for us. If you want to see what we get up to you can have a look at our flickr page.
September being the season of mists and mellow drunkenness we are running a foraged gin weekend over the 30th September – 3rd October. With gin botanicals expert Susanne Masters we will explore edible plants around Inshriach, focusing on those used in gin and other beverages. We will find, identify and pick wild plants including local juniper then move indoors and unlock their tastes and aromas through the power of bar top science. Using freshly foraged finds, local plants and a few exotics we will work through some classic gin cocktails and novelties made using our local inspirations. Attendees can find their perfect martini by tailoring their own vermouth and gin. Outdoors and at the cosy firesides of Inshriach house there will be plenty of time to learn about juniper and gin around the world.
Cost is going to be £450 per head with accommodation at Inshriach House and the weekend will be fully catered by chef Gilly Howarth using local ingredients. There will also be the option of staying in the Canopy and stars spaces if you prefer to be out in the wild.
Susanne works with distillers on ingredient selection. Recent projects include gins for the Isle of Harris Distillery and Boatyard Distillery in Fermanagh. Susanne writes about botanicals in beverages including features and recipes for the American Distilling Institute’s ‘Distiller Magazine’ and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew’s ‘Teas, Tonics and Tipples’. As well as having explored juniper and gin with a global perspective from Iceland to Bhutan and South Africa, Susanne is familiar with local plants having hiked around and swam through Speyside.
Schedule for the weekend
Welcome with Crossbill Gin and Tonic
Making an interactive flavour wheel with aromas and tastes of locally foraged and exotic plants
Cocktail making using teas, shrubs and tinctures of local plants
Walk around the estate seeing, tasting and getting to know wild plants used in gins and other branded alcoholic beverages
Creating own vermouth and making martini
Cocktails in the shed
Extra nights self catered accommodation are available, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org for booking and any further details.
Blame writers block, being fully booked on the house, a long winded remortgage or the lazy ease with which I can throw things at our facebook page but after 5 years of solid updates I haven’t posted anything since September.
Here is a potted version to fill in some gaps.
September – Jack and Anna got married. The concrete pad gets poured for the new hen house.
October – We fire on with the turret for the chickens, finish the bar part of the shed and the new stills arrive from Portugal. We win ‘Trailblazer of the Year’ award at the Sawdays 20th anniversary bash and the first batch of fully Inshriach manufactured Crossbill Gin makes its way through the stills. Then sells out in 3 days. The bothy project gets a refurb.
November – The Herald put out a lovely piece about Inshriach becoming the home to a new all Scottish Gin. The John Langan Band played in the farmyard for our pre bonfire night party. A flock of 50 blackface ewes arrives. Work continues on the proposed distillery by bashing some holes and making a mess of the bit we had finished. A major rationalise of the car projects gets underway and we lose an old landcruiser, a 1950s bus, a crappy motocross bike, a landrover and an MG.
December – Bookings are a little quieter on the yurt in December so despite a howling blizzard we swap it for a doppelganger and Paul from Red Kite Yurts goes to work steaming up a new set of ash rafters, repairing the wall trellis and reproofing my canvas. Its been 5 years since we built it and it was looking a bit wonky. We rent the house out for Hogmanay for the first time.
January, February – Cold, snowy, lots of changeovers, a smattering of smaller weddings. Artists in the bothy. We finish the distillery (if it can ever be described as finished), started work on the horsebox bar and a new recycled greenhouse replaces the cold frames in the veg garden and promises to revolutionise our gardening. Bottling number 2 comes back from the plant.
March – Heavy floods and sheep rescues. We make another round of gin and enter Shed of the year.
April, May – The first Inshriach lambs are born and Dash the tiny sheep comes to live in our house. A daft vote winning campaign gets underway and the Herald and STV and even the BBC pick up on it and start writing about us. The Horsebox bar took its first outing at Brew at the Bog and pedalled considerable gin and good times. Voting ended for SOTY at the end of May.
June – Build commences for the Gentlemen of the Road festival with 25 multi coloured pub benches. People keep buying them so we end up making 37. A little break for filming for SOTY then strictest secrecy. We win the pub category and the tension mounts.
July – We get busy building the backstage bars, artists areas, furniture and so on for Gentlemen of the Road and a media frenzy explodes around us as we are crowned overall winner in Shed of the Year. Radio, TV, newspapers and general sheddie fame threatens to take our minds off the endless repetition of pub benches.
August – Gentlemen of the Road arrives at the same time as a Dutch TV Travel show. Mumford and Sons ask to have their afterparty in the shed. We say no because we are knackered. The horsebox bar serves a scarcely believable 1800 gin and tonics.
That pretty much brings us up to date. It has been a rollercoaster of a year and I will try to be a little more regular with this blog. If you want to see any more of this in detail you can head for our facebook page or the photographic version over on Flickr.
Good to be back.
Last Friday George Clarke’s team phoned to say they were in Scotland and they wanted to film the various bits and bobs we have going on at Inshriach. That was just the kick in the proverbial a**e that we needed. On Friday there was nothing in the bar apart from a half hearted attempt at the bar itself, there was also nothing but tools in what subsequently became the piano bar, and not a stick of stock in the shop. And half the windows were out and there were no lights.
We are finally making moves to sort out the farm shop and get our planning permission for the station and the barn conversion into a usable form. The latest hurdle came Hannahs hard drive with all the drawings and 5 years worth of pre planning decided to give up the ghost so everything now has to be arduously transcribed back from the printed copies.
A lovely book has just appeared through the post, this time from the author of the exceptional ‘Shelter’ and ‘Homework”. Tiny Homes on the Move features all sorts of amazing tales of 21st Century nomads and their creations, from trucks to school buses, boats to gypsy caravans. And it has a great big spread on the Beermoth, which is a real honour and we are mighty chuffed.
Last week we had a crew staying here and shooting the Autumn / Winter catalogue for Plumo. We did the catering, took them round, showed them all the best weather faded walls, crumbling textures, photogenic outbuildings and riverside vistas and then they got on with it.
I have been trying to get a team photo with everyone who now lives at Inshriach and even on this, the ceremonial first potato planting, we are still short of Brook and Jake. 2014 will be the first year we have had enough interested folk here to really make the most of the Edwardian kitchen gardens and at this rate we will all be eating like kings in a month or two. We will also have loads of good produce to put into the farm shop (when we finish building it).