Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Fancy a G&T down at the bottom of the garden? The amazing gin distillery and bar crowned 2015 Shed of the Year

rexfeatures_4900536a.jpg

Shunning the rather more traditional shed contents of rusty gardening equipment, old damp boxes and several bike parts that will never again see the light of day, an inspiring project in the Scottish Highlands housing a piano bar and gin distillery has won 2015 Shed of the Year.

Encouraging unassuming outbuildings everywhere to up their game, the four-room Inshriach Distillery in Aviemore began life as a rundown hen house before Walter Micklethwait, girlfriend Lizzy Westman and business partner Jonathan Engels transformed the space into a unique party venue over two years, using scrap timber and materials salvaged from the tip, including components from an old railway station.

Shed7

There's even a piano in the 'ladies waiting room'

To further stoke our love of beautiful, innovative and creative small spaces, the shed now features a farm shop selling vintage clothing, food, postcards and hand-carved items, a ‘ladies’ waiting room’ complete with piano and comfy armchairs, a Wild West-themed saloon bar and the distillery, which produces Crossbill gin made from the Scottish juniper local to the area.

Inshriach claimed victory after seeing off competition from a record-breaking 2,520 entries, winning £1,000 and £100 worth of products from the competition's sponsor Cuprinol, as well as a plaque and an actual crown to perch on the roof.

Shed5

Imagine your very own gin distillery at the bottom of your garden

Walter, 36, said: "We were up against some proper craftsmen, brilliant eccentrics and most of all a really nice bunch of people so it is an absolute honour to have won Shed of the Year 2015. A huge thanks to everyone who voted for us. We're now looking forward to celebrating with a gin from the distillery in our shed!" The most appropriate celebratory tipple, of course.

The winner was revealed at the weekend during the final episode of Channel 4’s Amazing Spaces Shed of the Year, with the public vote eventually deciding who came out on top after the competition’s judges were in deadlock over Inshriach and Owl House, an eco shed in Merseyside with a living grass roof.

The judging panel comprised of founder of the competition Andrew Wilcox (better known as Uncle Wilco) 2014 winner Joel Bird, presenter George Clarke and the Amazing Spaces team of craftsman William Hardie, architect Laura Clark and industrial designer Max McMurdo.

Shed4

The 'shed' also houses a farm shop

Shed3

Walter and girlfriend Lizzy toast their success

Uncle Wilco said of the deadlock: "Picking the winner was no mean feat, with a record breaking number of entries [and] the calibre of sheds has been incredible making this the biggest and best competition to date. Walter's Inshriach Distillery epitomises the competition's ethos of a shed being a reflection of a person's personality, passion and creativity."

After winning the pub category in May, taking them into the final, Walter mused: "Perhaps the nature of our business - hospitality and gin - gave us an advantage with the public vote." A business we have no trouble getting on board with.

owlhouse

Eco shed Owl House in Liverpool was narrowly beaten to the top spot

The property is part of the Edwardian Inshriach House estate, but sadly is not open to the general public – though according to the Crossbill website, there will be a mini Gin Festival in August "due to popular demand".

Images: Cuprinol/Rex/Shutterstock

Related

rexfeatures_4775147j.jpg

Grab some inspiration with these mind-blowing shed designs

rexfeatures_2067256a.jpg

The world's best disguised drinking holes and bars-within-bars

meat.JPG

The UK's top restaurants of 2015 revealed

kettners.JPG

A Michelin-starred meal on a budget: London's best luxury meal-deals

SUNSET scotland.JPG

The top 10 cocktail bars to catch the sunset..

leakeys bookstore inverness.jpg

Beautiful and unusual bookshops from around the world

More

Rick and Morty creator responds to sexist trolling of female writers

The show hired four women. Cue cries of “Worst. Episodes. Evah.”

by Amy Swales
22 Sep 2017

Everything you need to know about Uber being banned in London

The taxi firm has had its license revoked by TfL

by Moya Crockett
22 Sep 2017

The new Baileys flavour you’ll want to drink well beyond Halloween

Perfect autumn cocktails ahead

by Amy Swales
22 Sep 2017

This unexpected town has been voted the best place to work in the UK

We didn’t see this one coming

by Moya Crockett
22 Sep 2017

Harry Potter fans, this epic Hogwarts goblet is actually magical

It's perfect for Butterbeer (or prosecco)

by Megan Murray
22 Sep 2017

The hidden meanings behind the nation’s most popular baby names

Prepare for lots of girls’ names ending in ‘a’

by Moya Crockett
22 Sep 2017

This teacher is determined to help girls feel comfortable with periods

“If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of menstruation, you shouldn’t read on…”

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Sep 2017

Sandi Toksvig’s shock Bake Off confession completely rocks our world

Can we get a “THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING”, please?

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Sep 2017

Gossip Girl was supposed to have an entirely different ending

Good morning, Upper East siders…

by Susan Devaney
21 Sep 2017

How to use Instagram to boost your career (and land your dream job)

It’s time to make your Instagram account work as hard as you do…

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Sep 2017