Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Matthew Gilpin: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

The Steeple Times asks Matthew Gilpin, the creator of Gilpin’s Gin: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”


The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force?

Creativity: The only thing that endures.


“Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours?

Stay jolly. However bad things get being grumpy is rarely the answer.


Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2013?

Most TV celebrities from my childhood. Allegedly…


Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life?

The rites of passage of youth – which get fewer as you get older. And my father – if he were alive today we’d be having a lot of fun.


What might you swap all your wealth for?

A long and happy life with my wife Kristina, although some wealth would be nice as well.


Donald Trump was once a case of: “If you owe the bank a thousand, they close you down; but if you owe the bank a billion, you own the bank”. What’s your view on the banking crisis?

Banks aren’t real, money isn’t real. We are all living on the back of a giant cosmic turtle standing on the back of another turtle, and it’s turtles all the way down.


What phrase or word do you most loathe?

“No offence mate, but…”


In the UK, some people consider charity to “begin at home”. What’s your view and what causes do you personally support?

Yes, it does begin at home but don’t kid yourself… I like to support smaller charities that make a real local difference such as the Ibiza Preservation Fund, Friends of the Lake District, the South of England Agricultural Society and Oriel College.


The judge in Law Abiding Citizen states: “I can pretty much do whatever I want” before being blown up whilst answering her mobile phone. What’s your view on the appropriate use of such devices?

I suspect the use of explosives is best left to the military. Never take a phone into a meeting.


Matthew Gilpin pictured with a few bottles of Gilpin's Gin
Matthew Gilpin pictured with a few bottles of Gilpin’s Gin

If you could fill a carriage on The Orient Express, who would be your fellow passengers?

Great friends old and new and some people from the bar and restaurant trade – these guys know how to party.


If you were unfortunate enough to end up on death row, what would be your last meal and where would you eat it?

An extensive tasting menu at El Bulli. They would have to rebuild and reopen especially which might take a while to arrange. Oh well…


What time is it acceptable to consume the first drink of the day?



A Negroni, a martini or a cup of tea?

A very dry Gibson made with Gilpin’s Gin with a glass of extra onions on the side.


Whose parties do you enjoy the most and why?

My old friend Alexander Hope. Something to do with getting great people, great wines and great food all in one room and lighting the fuse… I gave him a small laser projector for his birthday so things are going to get even better…


Who is the most positive person you know?

Jonny Jeffery of the “jonnydoesdinner” blog radiates positivity and is an amazing cook and host.


What’s your most guilty pleasure?

Buying second-hand laboratory equipment from eBay. Don’t tell my wife about the centrifuge in the basement.


If a tattoo were to sum you up, what would it be of?

St. Sebastian. Bring it on!


If you were a car, what marque would you be?

A 1969 Aston Martin DBS Vantage. If they could bottle that smell I’d buy it.


Cilla Black presented Surprise, Surprise. Tell us the most surprising thing about you.

I once won five “Gold Runs” on Blockbusters. Bob Holness was very funny by the way. Arguably my greatest achievement to date.


What’s currently sitting on your mantelpiece?

Mostly wedding invitations.


Matthew Gilpin is the creator of Gilpin’s Gin, a gin distilled in London using water from the Holy Well Spring at Cartmel in Cumbria. He is a graduate of Oxford University and has also worked as a barrister and a specialist in securities and investment funds.


View the official website for Gilpin’s Gin at:


Follow Gilpin’s Gin on Twitter at:



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