Princess Diana’s butler meets his bottled namesake

Paul Burrell RVM, the former butler to Diana, Princess of Wales, has visited the historic South Ormsby Estate to learn more about a gin that shares his name.

Launched in 2019, Massingberd-Mundy Distillery caught the interest of Paul Burrell when he spotted the distillery’s hand-crafted London dry gin on social media. Named Burrell’s Dry Gin after a former owner of the South Ormsby Estate, Charles Burrell Massingberd, Paul sampled the gin and has become a loyal customer ever since.

Having struck a relationship with head distiller Tristan Jørgensen online during lockdown, Paul visited the distillery last week to learn more about the gin and his ancestral connection to South Ormsby Estate.

Head distiller at Massingberd-Mundy Distillery, Tristan Jørgensen said:

“I got acquainted with Paul through the ‘#Burrells’ hashtag on our social media channels. Paul liked a few of my pics, we exchanged messages, we got chatting and we really hit it off. I sent him a bottle of Burrell’s Dry, he really liked it and he bought a few for friends and family last Christmas. This year, he’s been doing ‘Burrell’s Tour of Britain’, visiting grand homes, castles and gardens. I suggested he drop in to see how our gins are made and he seemed keen.

Tristan Jorgensen and Paul Burrell with a portrait of Charles Burrell Massingberd

“Later, Graham – Paul’s husband – got in touch. He and Paul were exploring parts of the country that figured in Paul’s family history. The Burrells hail from Lincolnshire, mainly from Boston and Wragby so Graham and I arranged a surprise VIP visit to South Ormsby Estate for Paul – He didn’t figure it out until he saw the sign for Alford.

“At the distillery, I showed Paul a little of what goes into making award-winning, artisan gins. We then enjoyed some tasty refreshments at The Old School Tea & Coffee Shop, before moving on to Keal Yard where John Crutchley, the herd manager at Massingberd-Mundy Lincoln Red Beef, showed Paul a Lincoln Red family and talked about what makes the breed special. Finally, South Ormsby Estate’s custodian Jon Thornes showed us around South Ormsby Hall and gave us some fascinating insights into its history.

“Paul was thrilled with his day out at South Ormsby and presented a handwritten note of appreciation to Jon, John and me. He was good company, a down-to-earth guy with lots of stories to share.

“Paul’s career in royal circles has given him a discerning palate for fine food and drink. Apparently, the Queen still enjoys a gin-and-tonic at 3pm, although the favoured, mass-market brand of gin leaves a lot to be desired (in my humble opinion). Paul has offered to try to get a bottle of Burrell’s Dry in front of Her Majesty. That would be an amazing honour.”

As a servant to the British Royal Household, Paul Burrell served as the personal footman to HM The Queen before serving as butler to Diana, Princess of Wales for ten years. He has since become an artist and is a New York Times Bestselling author.

Speaking about the drink which shares his name, Burrells’ Dry Gin, Paul Burrell said:

“Not only does Burrell’s Dry Gin share a great name, but it is a fabulous gin as well. A traditional London dry style gin made on South Ormsby Estate in Lincolnshire, the birth place of my forefathers. Using botanicals grown in the distillery’s garden and their own water, this truly is a wonderful drink”

Based on the South Ormsby Estate, Massingberd-Mundy Distillery produces handcrafted, small-batch artisan gins made using locally sourced ingredients. Available for purchase online and also through select retailers, the distillery’s gins have won multiple international awards including two Gin Guide Awards and winning Gold at the World Gin Awards 2021.

Find out more about South Ormsby Estate and Massingberd-Mundy Distillery at www.southormsbyestate.co.uk.