FEEDBACK from customers to a new style of enjoying a drink in a specialist bar has been refreshingly positive, says the manager of V.SQ, Tom Grummett, which had "soft launch" over the Christmas and New Year holiday.

Based at number one Victoria Square, Skipton - formerly a retail shop - it specialises in the new vogue for drinking gin, which has seen a remarkable surge in the UK in recent years.

The popularity has been matched by a rise in the number of home-grown distilleries and as a result there is a tremendous variety of gins which the new bar aims to introduce to Craven.

"We had a wonderful reception. People have been so keen to try different blends. We want to show people what an enjoyable experience it is and we're here to help. Particular blends suit particular pallets," said Tom, who for the past couple of years has worked in Rome and is bringing that experience to bear at VSQ. He is one of 11 people working at the bar.

The flavours in gin were best accentuated by tonics and they were offering a variety from the Fever Tree range which used natural quinine. "They're the best platform for tasting gin - they're not too strong - and there are no artificial flavours," he said.

As well as the 48 varieties of gin - and that will be growing - the bar also sells champagne, wines, other spirits and craft beers and offers a range of side dishes, cold cuts and cheese platters, olives and, like the drinks which come from The Wright Wine Company in Skipton, are locally sourced.

The drinks are served in a lounge-style bar where customers can sit in "booths" on soft furnishings and, when things are not too busy, get table service. It has a mezzanine floor which can be hired out for parties.

The family-owned business, just off Skipton's historic High Street, is the brainchild of Lorraine Forshaw, who has a home in Thorlby.

She said: "This is the first bar I've opened and it's been great to get such a warm welcome from local residents and lots of positive feedback.

"We've been open for the holidays as a soft launch but our officially opening was on Saturday."

Although Lorraine is now permanently based in Dubai, V.SQ's operations will be managed by daughter Aimee Forshaw.

Landlord Andrew Mear said: "It's great to see this space being used for something completely different and I believe it is going to add a new dynamic to Skipton's social scene."

The bar's opening hours are Monday - Friday noon to 11.00pm and Saturday and Sunday noon to midnight.