Following our elephant-themed competition last month, we caught up with Tessa Gerlach – co-founder of Elephant Gin with her husband Robin and friend Henry Palmer. Read on to find out how this award-winning alcohol brand is protecting the elephant community, one G&T at a time..
1. Describe Elephant Gin in three words.
Passion. Exploration. Conservation.
2. Describe the Elephant Gin team in three words.
Hard-working. Passionate. Fun.
3. When did your passion for wildlife conservation first begin?
At an evening campfire when I met Digs Pascoe, CEO of Space For Elephants, in South Africa 2011. Amongst other things, he told me about the realities of elephant and rhino poaching. I doubt I will ever meet someone again who leaves such a mark on me as he did that evening. I actually left the campfire a different person – the encounter changed my whole life around. Since that day I have been determined to help support Space for Elephants and wildlife conservation on both a personal and business level.
4. Did a particular moment instigate the creation of Elephant Gin?
The idea was inspired by the so-called ‘sundowner moments’ after a day out in the African bush. Sunset G&Ts are a big tradition in South Africa!
Elephant Gin gives 15% of all proceeds to select projects at both foundations. For Big Life Foundation, we finance a Kenyan outpost of anti-poaching rangers - covering anything from salary, equipment and transportation. For Space for Elephants, we have just built an education centre in South Africa teaching locals and tourists about the African elephant - its intelligence, behaviour, importance to ecosystems and reasons to protect them from extinction.
6. Name your proudest Elephant Gin moment to date.
Giving over EUR 250,000 to our partner foundations through the sales of our product and fund-raising events.
7. Which Elephant Gin cocktail do you recommend most?
Tricky one – either our ‘Perfect Serve’ Elephant London Dry Gin & Tonic with a slice of fresh apple, or an Elephant Sloe Gin Negroni.
8. If you could save one photo in your house, what would it be and why?
The below one of myself, my husband Robin and famous elephant Rambo.
9. What is on your Wingfield Digby wish list and why?
The Elephant Leather and Canvas Belt; it is so versatile, stylish AND fun. Plus it is a wonderful collector's item!
10. Favourite feather type?
For more information, visit www.elephant-gin.com
Partridge and damson; Rabbit and nettle; Pheasant and barley; Oliver Gladwin tells us why these British pairings work so well – and how you can source them from the ground around you.
As a child, I grew up on a farm in Sussex. In our house we refused to eat vegetables out of season because they must have travelled round the world to get here – not the best way to respect the planet. As a chef, I now lead three kitchens in London and a company with my two brothers that strictly uses British seasonal produce.
Foraging is a great way to source this produce, benefit our global carbon foot print and create natural, healthy and delicious meals.
Foraging is not limited to mushrooms, flowers and herbs. It includes any plant, animal, fish, fungi, vegetable or fruit that can be collected in the wild. 100 years ago it was common house practice. Now we seem to ignore the wild food readily available round us, and rely on shops for food. Isn’t it staggering that most of the British population could likely walk down a beach abroad and recognize a coconut tree, bananas, dates, mangos, pineapples - but can’t recognize a similarly edible plant or weed back in the UK?
I live and cook by the saying ‘what grows together goes together’ – meaning that plants and animals which grow in the same habitat form a natural marriage of flavours in a dish. For example, if a pheasant lives near a barley field then in my kitchen a combination has already been made from nature. Other examples include venison and rose hip, or squirrel and cobnut. When any of these pairings are plated up on a dish and cooked with precision and respect the result is always beautiful.
If you want to go and forage you must respect the environment and follow the rules for safety. Wild foods can also be poisonous and toxic. Follow the golden rule: Do not eat anything until you have 100% identified it with a reliable source.
Whatever age you are, just look about you and you will find an endless supply of special seasonal foods. You will gain huge satisfaction from gathering from the environment around you. Enjoy!
For foraging-inspired recipes and more, check out The Shed: The Cookbook, compiled by Oliver and his brothers Richard and Oliver and winner of the Michael Smith Award for Work On British Food. Available to buy here.
Oliver’s London restaurants:
Rabbit, Chelsea - rabbit-restaurant.com
The Shed, Notting Hill - theshed-restaurant.com
Nutbourne, Battersea - nutbourne-restaurant.com
We are looking for an organised and reliable Events and/or Office Management Intern to join our team at Wingfield Digby HQ in South West London from Autumn 2017 onwards.
This is an exciting opportunity for someone looking to gain hands-on experience in building a luxury British retail brand.
The successful candidate will assist in a cross section of roles, so will play a vital part in the business during the busy shooting and Christmas season.
- Able to demonstrate responsibility and initiative
- Articulate and well presented
- Show an entrepreneurial flair
- A reliable brand ambassador
- Willing to get stuck in
- Able to work some weekends over big shows with days off in lieu (desirable but not essential)
The successful candidate will take a hands on approach within the office including packaging up orders and day to day client liaison. Retail wise, this will include assistance with stock management and sales analysis; Events wise, it will include pre-event planning (accommodation, transport, stock etc) and attendance at some events (stand decoration, sales, greeting customers etc).
In addition, the intern may be able to work on social media, e-marketing and photography if of interest.
This paid role will start at the beginning of September and the initial contract is for up to 4 months. The internship duration is ideally full time for 8-12 weeks. However, if full time commitment is an issue, we will make exceptions for the right candidate. For an exceptional candidate who proves themselves during this time, there is the potential to become a full time employee.
Interested? Please send a CV to firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief covering letter outlining why you would like to work for Wingfield Digby specifically, any relevant experience/interests plus brief indication of the business areas you are most keen to be involved with.
If your father enjoys the finer things in life, look no further! We've teamed up with the award-winning Elephant Gin and unique British brand Atlas & I to offer one lucky Dad over £120 worth of exciting goodies – all united by the majestic elephant.
Any father – be he a budding gourmand, a keen traveller or simply a stylish gent – will love this collection of
- Elephant Gin (from the Satao batch - 600 bottles all named after Satao, one of the world’s largest African elephants)
- Atlas & I hip flask and greeting card (both aptly showcasing an antique map of East Africa dating from 1920)
- Wingfield Digby canvas and leather elephant belt (the perfect accessory for brightening up any work or play attire)
TO ENTER: CLICK HERE
Why the elephant? Aside from reminding many of us of our fathers (loyal, majestic, with a tendency to have large appetites and large ears!), elephants typify adventure, leisure and exotic locations. All of which Wingfield Digby, Atlas & I and Elephant Gin wholeheartedly endorse.
Atlas & I, founded by Sophie Kirkpatrick and run entirely from her West London showroom, is a unique personalised gift and homeware brand. The company is widely acclaimed for its bespoke service: Sophie prints silhouettes – be they sports, buildings, animals or people – onto carefully sourced vintage maps showcasing anywhere from Ascot to the Alps, Kenya to Cornwall. She has recently expanded the accessories range to include the likes of phone cases, cushions, keyrings and sketchbooks - as praised by the likes of Country & Town House, Shooting Times and House Beautiful.
The idea for Elephant Gin sprung from nostalgia over so-called ‘sundowner’ drinks after a day out in the South African bush. It is now an award-winning, handcrafted premium spirit, distilled notably using rare African ingredients never before used in gin-making - including Devil’s Claw, Lion’s Tail and Baobab. The result is a complex but strikingly smooth serve which can be enjoyed both straight and in a cocktail. The team are passionate about African wildlife – 15% of all proceeds support Big Life Foundation’s Ranger Club and Space For Elephants Foundation.
The competition closes at midnight, Sunday 11th June.
The winner will be chosen and notified on Monday 12th June to arrange delivery.
For full Competition Terms & Conditions, click here.
With Royal Ascot around the corner, we chatted with Kristian Robson – proprietor of iconic British gentlemen’s outfitter, Oliver Brown. Initially the only firm able to sell top hats within Royal Ascot, for 2017 Oliver Brown is now also an official licensee for this prestigious sporting event.
What is your fondest memory of working in a tailor house?
Making a suit for my father was just wonderful.
Was there a light bulb moment that instigated your creation of Oliver Brown?
I started working in fashion and managed a shop on Sloane Street where Oliver Brown is based. The brand was founded in 1980, and I ended up buying it out of liquidation in 1998. The name actually comes from the original owner’s dog, Oliver, who was brown in colour!
What is your earliest memory of Royal Ascot?
Buying my first top hat. It sparked a lifelong passion.
How did your association with Royal Ascot come about?
We’ve been working with the racecourse for a number of years, selling top hats at the racecourse during the Royal Ascot race meeting. So when Ascot Racecourse embarked on signing a cross-category portfolio of licensees – all synonymous with long-standing British heritage and superior quality products - Oliver Brown was an obvious choice!
What are you most excited about for Royal Ascot this year?
Seeing the Oliver Brown collection within the new Ascot Shop. As the biggest race meeting in the calendar and one of the world’s most prestigious sporting events, I feel honoured and privileged to have this association.
What is your proudest achievement to date?
Having what I believe is the best tailoring house in London!
If you could save one photo in your house, what would it be and why?
A picture of my father and sister on my wedding day.
What is on your Wingfield Digby wish list and why?
The green pheasant feather and glass photo frame. It would go very well in our recently expanded 77 Lower Sloane Street shop!
Favourite feather type?
The green pheasant is stunning.
Green Pheasant Feather Photo Frame - Available from £70 from Wingfield Digby here.
Answers provided by Kristian Ferner Robson, proprietor of Oliver Brown, 75 Lower Sloane Street, London. Oliver Brown is an Official Licensee to Royal Ascot.