Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

From gin sleepovers to wine theme parks, brilliant boozy experiences to book now


Visiting new places, trying out new experiences, and getting gently sozzled with friends: at Stylist, these are a few of our favourite things. Luckily, this autumn is a great time to combine the three.

Whether you want to spend the night in a London gin distillery, help gather the grapes at a rural Welsh vineyard, or try all of the martinis at a Leeds cocktail festival, here’s our pick of the best boozy activities to book right now.


1. Have a sleepover in a gin distillery

As well as a specialist gin shop and bar, London distillery Portobello Road Gin already plays host to the ‘Ginstitute’: a teeny-tiny gin museum where you can make your own mother’s ruin, indulge in samples, and learn about the spirit’s “long and, at times, miserable” history. In December, however, they’ll also be opening their doors as a boutique hotel – so you can roll straight from bar to bed. 

Prices TBC. portobelloroadgin.com

cite du vin wine theme park

Photo credit: La Cite du Vin/ANAKA/Facebook

2. Go wild at a wine theme park

The much-anticipated La Cite du Vin (“the city of wine”) opened in Bordeaux, France in June. Billed as the world’s first wine theme park, the distinctive ‘whirlpool’ design of the 10-storey building was intended to echo the flow of wine from a bottle. Among the attractions in its 20 themed areas are immersive 3D vineyards and a holographic banquet chamber, as well as expert tasting sessions, an immersive wine history course and a panoramic restaurant.

Read more: You'll definitely relate to the four stages of "wine face"

There’s also – of course – a wine bar, stocked with over 50 types of vino. Bordeaux itself is beautiful and generally enjoys mild weather in the autumn, making it the perfect place for a mini-break.  

Tickets €20pp (£17.13), including the cost of a wine tour. laciteduvin.com

oktoberfest east

3. Enjoy Oktoberfest in East London

Oktoberfest, a German folk festival celebrating all things Bavarian and beery, has been held in Munich for over two centuries. But recent years have seen other cities getting in on the action, and several Bavaria-themed booze-ups will be touching down in London this autumn. Our pick? Oktoberfest East at Oval Space, which will be artfully disguised as an Alpine Hall from 28 September to 8 October (you’ll never guess you’re in Bethnal Green).

Glug real Oktoberfest bier, tuck into a feast provided by cult dining collective the Art of Dining, and dance to tunes provided by the Hackney Colliery Band and Oval Space DJs. 

Tickets start at £15pp. oktoberfest-east.com

Llanerch Vineyard

Image credit: Llanerch Vineyard

4. Reap the rewards of the grape harvest at a vineyard

You can stay in one of the boutique hotel suites at Llanerch Vineyard all year round. But the best time to visit this wine estate in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales is at the end of October, when the annual grape harvest kicks into gear.

Read more: The best red wines to stay in with this autumn

In return for helping pick the grapes, guests are treated to a dinner of traditional Welsh cawl (a hearty lamb soup, one of the country’s national dishes) and wine from the vineyard, before getting down to live music from a local band. You can also enjoy cookery classes and self-guided vineyard tours, and choose your accommodation from two suites in the main farmhouse, eight rooms and an apartment. 

From £80pp for 1 night B&B.​ llanerch-vineyard.co.uk


Image credit: Contakt Photography

5. Go cock-a-hoop for cocktails in Leeds

On the evening of Friday 14 October, leading mixologists from 13 of Leeds’s best cocktail bars – including The Alchemist, Pintura and The Botanist – will be taking up residence at Aspire on Infirmary Street for the glitzy Leeds Cocktail Experience. Guests will have their preferred poison shaken and stirred into existence in three themed rooms – so whether you like a classic concoction or fancy trying out something a little more unusual, there'll be something to your taste. 

Tickets start at £15. thecocktailexperience.co.uk 



Photographer Ida Pap on how to create stunning stand-out travel photos


Drinking this healing gin could bring you good luck


10 weekend breaks for two in the British countryside


Gin cocktail recipes inspired by Great British Bake Off


The best places in London to be alone


10 great country pads to rent with your mates


Solar eclipse 2017: how to watch it in the UK

The rare phenomenon will happen at sunset today

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Aug 2017

Revealed: the world’s best cities to live in

London didn't even make the top 50...

by Sarah Biddlecombe
16 Aug 2017

Discover an unspoilt corner of Sicily

With miles of wild, sandy beaches, a rich history and even richer cuisine, Stylist falls for south-east Sicily

by The Stylist web team
15 Aug 2017

You could rent a private Caribbean island for under £500

All your holiday dreams are about to come true

by Megan Murray
09 Aug 2017

8 Disney castles you can actually visit in real life

08 Aug 2017

Swim off Shetland's secret beaches

Wild swimming doesn't get much wilder than Scotland's shores; Stylist leaps in

by Anna Hart
08 Aug 2017

Is the ‘wanderlust gene’ the reason why you can’t stop travelling?

Some research suggests that thrill-seekers share a certain gene. But that isn’t the whole story

by Moya Crockett
04 Aug 2017

The world’s best sleeper train routes

Time to bunk up, from the UK to Europe and beyond

by Anna Brech
02 Aug 2017

This is how to find the cheapest flights on the internet

Less money spent on flights equals more money for the aperol spritz budget

by Sarah Biddlecombe
02 Aug 2017

Grab some friends and escape to a Balearic paradise

Stylist heads to a Mallorcan villa in search of sun, seclusion and stunning views

by Stylist
01 Aug 2017