Thursday, December 14, 2017

A Gin-Soaked Winter Garden Party in a Converted Church

Last night, my S.O. and I decided to attend A Dreamy Garden Gathering hosted by Atlas Obscura, featuring Hendrick's Gin.

And when I say featured, I mean heavily.

The event took place at the Blind Whino, a church-turned-art-and-event-space here in DC. I hadn't had the opportunity to visit it before, and the experience was striking. Even from the outside, the church itself is colorful -- the exterior is brightly painted, and the grounds were set up with luminaries and large braziers for visitors to warm themselves on.

[caption id="attachment_3982" align="aligncenter" width="550"] The outside of the Blind Whino.[/caption]

Before the entrance, there was the Hendrick's Grand Garnisher. And, let me tell you, I have never seen something made of that much concentrated I'm-not-even-sure-what in my entire life. It was powered by a combination of a diesel motor and a man pedaling a penny-farthing, which moved--

Look, I'm just gonna quote the event description.
At the center of festivities, the Hendrick's Grand Garnisher awaits. An industrial oddity, the colossal vehicle is capable of delicately slicing cucumbers and cruising at speeds of up to 25 mph. Powered by a large diesel motor and a well-dressed gentleman peddling a penny-farthing, the Hendrick's Grand Garnisher's peculiar sight is sure to enchant even the most jaded of partygoers. Inquisitive guests are welcome to sidle up to the Hendrick's Grand Garnisher's side to have their cocktails dressed with cucumbers before their very eyes. 

Not gonna lie, though. It was pretty neat looking, and it definitely sliced a lot of cucumbers that evening:

Inside, the party continued with games of shuffleboard, a contortionist, a phonograph DJ, a live band, and... more liquor contraptions. There was a hand-cranked gin and tonic maker inside of a large suitcase, and (my personal favorite) the Noetic Negroni Machine:

In the main room, there was plenty of music. First from a phonograph and a harpist:

And, later in the evening, a live band.

Walls of artificial ivy and lost of green and blue lighting gave the impression of a garden from outer space, with dancing, green-tinged partygoers and a curious glow. We tried to take a picture of ourselves, too. (But, true to form, we had a hard time getting one because my S.O. and I can't not spend pictures making faces at each other!)

Even though I don't imbibe and my S.O. had to drive, it was a fun evening. Tickets were about $19, and there was an open bar (well, multiple bars and automatic drink-mixing-machines). If the event comes around next year, we'll definitely go again!


  1. That party looks insane. I love the whole steampunk vibe, though I feel a little sorry for the guy powering the penny farthing.

  2. Sounds quite an evening. Love the colourful church decor and who wouldn't like the sound of a gin soaked evening?

  3. It was a lot of fun! There was also a contortionist, though I unfortunately wasn't able to get any photos.

  4. It was! And yeah, it was definitely pretty cold out. There were some braziers set up to provide some warmth, but they were very smoky.