25 things you never knew about Norfolk’s Queen of Whisky

Katy Nelstrop with her husband Andrew (l) and Benedicts' chef, Richard Bainbridge

Katy Nelstrop with her husband Andrew (l) and Benedicts' chef, Richard Bainbridge - Credit: Archant

Katy Nelstrop runs the English Whisky Co. along with her husband Andrew Nelstrop. She also has an interest in her family's other businesses, Breckland Lodge Hotel and restaurant and The George Hotel, Norwich. Most of her time is currently spent at St George's Distillery, near East Harling in Norfolk where whisky is sold worldwide and a visitor centre and café 'The Kitchen at St George's welcomes over 80,000 visitors a year. She has two young children, one dog and a very busy diary! Here she speaks to Gina Long MBE.

What is your connection to East Anglia?

I was born in Norwich and although I left for a brief spell to London, the magic of East Anglia brought me back.

What is your East Anglian Heaven ie what do you love most about East Anglia?


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The big skies, the incredible coastline, and the wonderful towns and cities we have around us.

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What is your East Anglian Hell ie what you hate most about living here?

There really isn't a lot to hate, although the traffic on the coast roads in the summer is very frustrating.

What's your favourite East Anglian restaurant?

I have quite a few as we really are spoilt in East Anglia for amazing restaurants but Benedicts in Norwich, Socius in Burnham Market and Maison Bleue in Bury St Edmunds are my top three.

What's your favourite way to spend an East Anglian evening?

Any way, as long as I have my friends or my family around me.

What's your favourite East Anglian landmark?

I think Norwich Cathedral has to be my favourite, followed by our family business Breckland Lodge, a landmark hotel and restaurant on the A11.

What's the best thing that happens in East Anglia every year?

It's got to be Latitude Festival.

What is your specialist Mastermind subject?

Literally, I would be appalling if I stepped in the chair, but I would have a go at farming and food production or the life and times of George Michael.

What is always in your fridge?

Tomato Ketchup…

What's your simple philosophy of life?

What goes around comes around…

What's your favourite film?

I'm a bit of an old school romantic when it comes to films… My Best Friend's Wedding, Dirty Dancing and The Holiday are still up there as my favourites.

What was your first job?

Sorting carrots on a production line in our family vegetable packing business. It was one of the hardest jobs I have ever had to do, but gave me some lifelong lessons.

What is your most treasured possession?

Currently, a beautiful handwritten note that my little girl handed to me a few days ago…

Who do you admire most?

My Father. He has the most amazing work ethic and outlook on life.

What is your biggest indulgence?

A few days away without the children...enjoying the peace, quiet and lay in's that we very rarely get!

What do you like about yourself most?

I do always try and see things from someone else's perspective…

What's your worst charcter trait?

I don't give up.

Your favourite holiday destination?

This changes all the time. I adore holidays in Norfolk and Suffolk. We have had some wonderful holidays over the past few years in Southwold, Thorpeness and Brancaster, but on top of my list is currently Marrakech - a favourite for us for some winter sun.

Best day of your life?

There are three (sorry) - the day I married my wonderful husband and the days each of my children were born.

What's your favourite breakfast?

Eggs Benedict.

What's your favourite tipple?

Currently Rhubarb gin (oh, and whisky, of course!)

What's your hidden talent?

I do make a lovely, slowly cooked ham with coke.

What's your earliest memory?

I grew up in Cringleford and have the most amazing memories of my childhood, riding bikes and climbing trees with my oldest friend.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

Fleetwood Mac - Landslide

Tell us something people don't know about you?

I can eat tomato ketchup with most foods!

What's the worst thing anyone has ever said to you?

"Your hair looks like a mint humbug". Apparently I'd had some bad highlights that day!

Tell us why you live here and nowhere else?

It's where I feel most at peace.

What do you want to tell our readers about most?

I'm currently working on a new project with a fantastic Norwich based cocktail company to launch Whisky Cocktail Masterclasses at St George's Distillery. Watch this space! For more information, visit www.englishwhisky.co.uk

If you have an interesting story, to be considered for my Q & A, do please email me gina@hallfarmfornham.com

T: @geewizzgee1

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