Having spent most of the week away in Holland at the home of Sloane’s Dry Gin with a group of bartenders from around the UK I was pleased to be able to make it back for the start of the coarse fishing season.
The previous few days had been spent in the presence of some of the UK’s most proficient and creative bar tenders. They were invited to demonstrate their skills at creating two signature serves using Sloane’s Dry Gin, aptly named after Sir Hans Sloane, an Irish physician, philanthropist, entrepreneur and prolific collector who bequeathed his collection to the nation and providing the foundation of the British Museum. His name also immortalised with that key Chelsea social place, Sloane’s Square.
Much like myself, in his youth Sloane would collect objects of natural history and curiosities. He collected plants from different continents including Jamaica and after being appointed to the Royal Society. Sloane encountered cocoa while in Jamaica, where the locals mixed it with water but realised by mixing it with milk it was more pleasant to imbibe. This concoction which was seen as a medicine was then sold by Cadbury Brothers and names as Sloane’s drinking chocolate.
I can’t profess to have created anything so memorable as Sloane’s legacy but I have had a go at creating a gin brand with the kind help of Charles Maxwell of Thames Distillers, collected and amassed a collection of Samuel Palmer etchings, a fossil collection, curiosities, vintage furniture and now a collection of creations from Anon, such as the ceramic eggs, which I can report another was found this last weekend on the banks of the Thames in Richmond.
This weekend ushered in the coarse fishing season, a welcome relief to the recent fluff chucking exploits and gin drinking. Under grey skies, a brisk wind and the river at low tide three of the usual five of the Barnes fishing fraternity were out on the water. With boxes of reds, landing nets and rods in their hands the first day back on the water was to be with no reward other than the chance of being out on the water and not at home thinking about it.