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The Royal Seal of Approval

Posted by Hannah on 7th Mar 2019

Hands on, ready to get stuck in and all in a pair of beautiful high heels, Her Royal Highness, Sophie, The Countess of Wessex paid a very special visit to Silent Pool Distillery.

It’s not every day you have a Royal in the midst of your workplace, so you can imagine how delighted and thrilled we were to have welcomed the Countess of Wessex, on 28th February to the official opening of our new distillery.

Thursday afternoon, we closed our site for our exclusive, invitation only event (how fancy!). Guests, including key suppliers, local business owners and of course our wonderful team at Silent Pool Distillers, all gathered in the courtyard and eagerly awaited the arrival of HRH and her entourage. 

Coming from not one but two previous Royal Engagements, the Countess of Wessex arrived with a beaming smile on her face and was greeted by Managing Director Ian McCulloch who introduced her to The Mayor of Guildford Cllr Mike Parsons, The Mayoress, and all our guests.


Directors, Ian and James Shelbourne, led Her Royal Highness out on the patio, where they introduced her to the ancient Silent Pool, which flaunted its beautiful teal colour.

The Countess then got a glimpse into life at the distillery with one of our Distillers, Todd, who introduced her to the 24 botanicals in our Silent Pool Gin and assisted HRH in making up a batch of botanicals in preparation for a run of Silent Pool Gin.

The Countess tried her hand at the gin basket infusion, where she poured the prepared botanicals into the giant tea bag, to allow them to steep in high proof spirit. She could be a Distiller in no time!

Through to the new distillery, our Head of Distillery Operations, Tom, took Her Royal Highness to see the new still and offered her a taste of Silent Pool Gin taken directly from the run.


With the ability to produce 8,000 bottles a day, we are proud of our new bottling line and had to show it off. The Countess described the bottling line as ‘mesmerising’ as she placed seven bottles onto the line and watched as each filled with gin and followed them through to the end of the production process.


The Countess boxed up six bottles of Silent Pool Gin herself, which we were delighted to donate to our Charity, Cherry Trees, to be used as fundraising across 2019. The seventh bottle was a gift to Her Royal Highness as one she had made herself (maybe she’ll share it with The Queen).



Led into the courtyard with Silent Pool G&T’s in hand (The Countess included), the official opening of our new distillery commenced with the unveiling of the gold plaque and the raising of glasses to commemorate the special occasion. Smiles all round, The Countess portrayed a distilling side in her that she may not have known she had, and to show our appreciation of her visit we couldn’t let her leave empty-handed.



We are extremely grateful to all those who attended and to everyone who made this day possible. It will certainly be one to remember. Cheers!


Photos: Jake Darling