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The Old Curiosity 

 The Secret Herb Garden 

We caught up with Hamish Martin, the driving force behind The Old Curiosity and The Secret Herb Garden. This discovery was made when Hamish and his wife, Liberty, bought a derelict plot of land on the outskirts of Edinburgh back in 2012 and from there, The Secret Garden was born. With over thirty years’ experience in the drinks trade and a passion for creating unique tipples, Hamish began experimenting with glorious, natural ingredients that make The Old Curiosity products so unique.

Hamish very kindly answered some questions for us in relation to our new Tigerlily Gin. If you haven’t heard of it, you’re in for a treat! Representing all that Tigerlily and Old Curiosity stands for, the gin has been a focus of our ‘At Home’ range allowing customers to purchase our bottled ‘Tangerine Sage & Honey’ gin to enjoy at home. While the team at Old Curiosity have been developing their gin, they have also been working hard on creating a unique hand sanitiser for Tigerlily’s and Rabble’s customers, which is now available in the venues and rooms for our guests to use.

Our Marketing & Social Media Curator, Georgia, caught up with the enthusiastic Hamish Martin to ask him a little more about the next steps for Old Curiosity and how the business has coped during lockdown.

What was the driving force behind Tigerlily and The Secret Garden collaborating to create such a beautiful gin for Tigerlily’s customers?

The process focused on real living plants with a tactile approach to developing the gin. We worked closely with the team at Tigerlily and Montpeliers with visits to The Secret Herb Garden and one to one meetings to ensure the gin achieved the desired flavours for the Tigerlily customer.

The Tigerlily gin is derived from dried botanicals to living plants with the main bodied flavour being Lemon Verbena, adding a citrus note which sits under the keynote of Tangerine Sage. To this, they add a few drops of honey to create a truly unforgettable gin.

Lockdown has been a time for businesses to make changes, particularly in the food and drink industry. What do you feel has been the most positive change for Old Curiosity during this time?

Lockdown has been fantastic for me personally allowing me to really spend some time in the garden working on the maintenance of The Secret Herb Garden. We have worked efficiently at a reduced capacity over the lockdown period. It has given us the time to upgrade the garden and how we work operationally. Giving us time to re-connect and get ‘right in the thick of it’ with a very hands-on approach again!

From a business perspective, it has been a very enriching experience being able to return the garden and spend time connecting with nature. We are working on a whole range of new products from natural jarred honey, to organic soaps, teas and not to mention the gentle 100% natural hand sanitisers we have been making for clients including Tigerlily, Rabble and Montpeliers.

What was the inspiration behind your hand sanitisation product and how has the creative process been for the team? 

We took the process back to basics with the aim to create a medicinal product by researching and combining the botanicals to work in this particular way. I work on a herbal basis in The Secret Garden and do the groundwork to see how the product behaves and then we send this to our team to market the product while bottling and labelling to a high standard. The team had a real ‘can do’ attitude for the hand sanitisers and they have been well received across the board.

The demand for hand sanitisers is greater than ever, how do you feel your product stands out in the market?

Our hand sanitisation product is in line with the World Health Organisation guidelines while using natural products that are gentle on the skin. We took a hands-on approach for the development process of our hand sanitiser ensuring all the ingredients that went into the product were fully researched, trialled and tested first-hand making it a personal process. The product stands out in the market due to its expensive ingredients for example the organic essential oils and the process behind the product.

Can you tell us three key words that represent Old Curiosity and The Secret Garden? 

“Love of nature” is what we’re really about.

Amazing plants and how beautiful and amazing nature really is!

To purchase our Tigerlily gin head to the ‘At Home’ section of our website:

Buy Now 

Wanting to know more about The Secret Garden & book in for a tour?

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