Hoogly Blogs

MY NEW FAVOURITE PLACE

MY NEW FAVOURITE PLACE

Greetings Hoogly fans! I hope you are all well and enjoyed a restful Easter!

Whether it’s the bar from ‘Cheers’ where “everybody knows your name,” or the intimate familiarity of Central Perk in ‘Friends,’ we all crave a place that feels like home away from home; a place where we can meet, connect, unwind and take a load off; a place where we can share good news (and sometimes bad); a place where laughter is the background music and old friends are part of the furniture. A place which provides a simple, trusted answer to that wide-open question: where should we go?

And now that answer has a name!

  Today I’d like to talk to you about a relatively new—and incredibly exciting—member of the Hoogly family: the Hoogly Tea Lodge! Situated near to Preston Park in Brighton, the Lodge epitomises everything that founder Tina has attempted to create with her Hygge-inspired brand, offering a cosy and warm welcome and a beautifully stress-free way to enjoy delicious food and drink. 

Offering beer, wine, spirits and coffee—as well as our famous teas—the Lodge provides an oasis of calm in a busy city, serving up range of artisan-made and home-cooked grub to satisfy your hunger at any time of the day, from cheese and meat boards to chilli and quiche—as well as a comforting toastie or cake as a treat or pick-me-up. We offer a range of vegan and gluten-free options in both food and drink, and we pride ourselves on inclusivity and a welcoming atmosphere. We have baby-changing facilities, as well as space (and love) for all dogs!

With a high ceiling, natural light and well-crafted furnishings, the Lodge is the ideal setting for a quiet coffee, social gathering or business meeting—and we’re also all about events! We currently host seasonal adventures like Easter Egg hunts, as well as a regular film night and a monthly book club. In addition, we also have an upcoming open mic night as well as a tea-tasting and prosecco day! If it’s hot and happening and Hygge—it’s at the Lodge!

Our friendly staff will give you all the help you need to settle in, and will assist you in navigating our broad and eclectic tea menu, walking you through individual brewing times, as well as offering satisfying taste combinations so you can mix and match your food and drink! Book now and reserve the best seat in the house: the Hoogly Couch—the most comfortable spot in Brighton, according to Tina—and who would argue with the brains behind our brilliant brews?!  

Sound good?

Thought so. But, what’s that? You want me to describe a sample of our menu…? Say no more!

For madam: our brand new Banoffee Pie black tea, a classic and indulgent treat-in-a-cup, with a subtly sweet combination of banana and toffee. And to go with it, a delicious vegan cheese toastie with some crisps. 

For sir: Pumpkin Spice Rooibos tea, with warming spices of cinnamon, ginger and allspice berries, this Halloween-inspired brew can be enjoyed all year round and is frightfully nice! And to accompany the cuppa, a plate of wonderful houmous and sourdough, with some olives and mixed nuts on the side. 

And for dessert? How about a vegan chocolate cake and a Oatopia flapjack? Go half-and-half, sir and madam, to experience the best of both puds!

So there you have it: the Hoogly Tea Lodge is ready and waiting to greet you with a smile, and quietly confident that we will become your new favourite place!!

 

Written by Chris Bedford

www.hooglytealodge.com

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The Magic of Mindfulness: Ichigo Ichie

The Magic of Mindfulness: Ichigo Ichie

As you all know, at Hoogly, we are committed to helping you find that perfect feeling of calm and relaxation, by offering you a delightful selection of delicious teas, and adhering to the Danish concept of Hygge, which celebrates the things both big and small that bring you joy, and a commitment to focussing on these things, leaving your stresses and strains behind you.  Because Hygge works so well in our lives, we are always on the look-out for concepts and ways-of-being that complement our ethos, drawing inspiration from cultures and beliefs from around the world. With this in mind, we would like to draw your attention to the Japanese philosophy of Ichigo ichie.

Translated as “Once, a meeting,” or “In this moment, an opportunity,” ichigo ichie informs us that every meeting, moment or experience is a unique treasure that will never be imitated in exactly the same way. It asks us to be aware that letting these moments pass us by means losing them forever, to our detriment. 

As we become more attuned to ichigo ichie, we learn to take a step back and acknowledge that every morning we wake up, every sunrise we experience, each day we spend with our family and loved ones is incredibly important and valuable, and deserves our utmost attention. In a society dominated by mobile phones, social media, emails and 24-hour news cycles, this lesson becomes ever more vital as we seek ways to navigate a culture of distraction, information overload and political divisiveness. 

As you begin to cultivate ichigo ichie’s practices, you will hopefully discover a happier and more fulfilling life, helping you become untethered from fears about the future or heaviness related to the past. You will appreciate the gift each moment brings and live fully in the moment, in a calm and mindful way.

 

Here are some of ichigo ichie’s guiding principles:

 

  • Live as if every moment will never be repeated. Greet and bid farewell to people with “ichigo ichie,” reminding yourself of the unique nature of each interaction.
  • Don’t put off those magic moments. Opportunities may only present themselves once: if you don’t make the most of it, it is gone forever. Seize the moment and treasure your life.
  • Be in the moment. Imagining what will happen in the future and trawling through the past can lead to negative emotions. Concentrate on what and who is in front of you. The possibilities of now are limitless. 
  • Meditate. Find a cosy, Hygge-inspired nook or soft pillow and remove yourself from the hustle and strain of your day. Step back from all other thoughts, observe the world around you and be grateful for the miracle of life. 
  • Try something new. Allow yourself to experience something outside of your usual routine. There is nothing more invigorating or exciting than finding a new passion and grabbing it with both hands. These moments are what life is about. 
  • Be aware of your senses. Notice the beauty of the way we perceive the world around us. Allow yourself to watch, listen, smell, touch and taste without distraction or interruption. Make a note of the things you experience. Describe what you have discovered and the way it makes you feel. 
  • Don’t wait! There’s no point in putting off celebration. Holidays, parties and events are fabulous—but try to recapture the spirit of these happy moments in your everyday life. Make every day worth singing, dancing and blowing out candles for!
  • You’re never stuck. If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, and you find that you can’t properly engage with ichigo ichie, then tap into the transformative nature of humanity. We can mould and adapt to new circumstances and challenges—give yourself the opportunity to create something bold, new and exciting!

 

And what better way to accompany a mindful philosophy than one of our gorgeous Hoogly teas! Savour the moment with a stunning scent and tantalising taste as we help you navigate the day in style! 

How about a tea that recreates an ever-popular tasty treat? Blueberry Muffin Rooibos is a wonderful brew for any time of the day, combining the unique flavour of Rooibos with sweet berry tones, offering a delightful drink to return to over and over.

As the warm weather approaches, revive your senses with Citrus Bloom herbal infusion! This refreshing drink is a dazzling combination of bright citrus notes and a lively trio of peppermint, rosemary and sage, finished off with a warm scattering of fennel seeds. It’s like a burst of sunshine from the kettle!

That’s it for now Hoogly fans. We hope you find the ideas of ichigo ichie enticing and of benefit. In the meantime, take good care of yourselves and keep drinking tea!

Written by Chris Bedford

www.hooglytea.com

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HOOGLY, BRICK BY BRICK

HOOGLY, BRICK BY BRICK

When did you last do some LEGO? Perhaps at Christmas with the kids? Maybe back in your own childhood? Or perhaps you are a daily LEGO user, filling your home with clickety-brick creations of all shapes and sizes. Whether you use LEGO or not, the brand and its bricks are inescapable. There are more LEGO mini-figure people in the world than humans—and for each person on the planet there are sixty-two LEGO pieces. Contemporary designs are high-concept, high-tech masterpieces, ranging from skyscrapers to space shuttles, Star Wars to Harry Potter, and everything from animals to robots along the way. This is all a far cry from the modest beginnings of the company.  2022 will be the 90th anniversary of the year Ole Kirk Christiansen, a carpenter from a poor farming family in Billund, Denmark, first made his foray into toy making. During the Great Depression, when carpentry work was hard to find, Ole found inspiration from the miniature prototypes of the wooden items he was planning to build, which he discovered could be turned into toys. After two years of success, he named his company LEGO, combining two Danish words ‘leg’ and ‘godt,’ which mean ‘play well.’

It was not all plain sailing at the beginning, however. The company averted disaster when the Yo-Yo craze died a sudden death, leaving them vastly overstocked with unsellable product. Ole had the bright idea to cut the Yo-Yos in half, re-inventing them as wheels for a new truck design, which went on to be a big hit!

In the 1940s, a British toymaker called Hillary Page patented the first Interlocking Building Cubes, but he failed to see the versatility and astounding potential of his creation. It was the Danes who rolled with the idea, creating their own Automatic Binding Bricks, which were renamed LEGO bricks in 1953. It wasn’t until 1964 that the first instruction manuals found their way into kits, and four years later, a Legoland Park opened in Denmark as sales accelerated to 18 million units. 

Despite flirting with bankruptcy in 2004, the company went back to basics and is now going from strength to strength, with video and board games, as well as movies—on top of their vast empire of creations. 

Some LEGO facts:

-20 Billion LEGO pieces are made annually. 

-Each second, seven LEGO sets are sold globally. 

-4.8 million LEGO pieces were lost at sea in the late 90s, and pieces are still washing up!

-Six eight-stud LEGO pieces have 915 million different construction combinations.  

 

We at Hoogly are big LEGO fans, of course. Not only because they are Danish (although that certainly helps!)—but because doing LEGO is an embodiment of many of the principals of Hygge that we live by: focussing on what makes you happy; being calm and mindful; sharing happiness with others; treating yourself to something a bit naughty—and creating something beautiful and exciting!

Of course, there is no better accompaniment to a LEGO session than a cup of Hoogly tea. Especially if you’re building something epic like Hogwarts or the Death Star—you’ll need all the delicious fuel you can get! 

For maximum creativity and flair, we heartily recommend Banoffee Pie Black Tea! Slotting together a pudding with a cuppa in classic LEGO brick style, this lush brew is indulgent, rich and sweet, with subtle warming tones of banana and toffee. The only problem is that our sensational taste may distract you from your project!

  And to further celebrate all things Danish, why not try Danish Pastry Rooibos? This national treat has a wonderfully warming chocolate and cinnamon aroma combined with a subtle pastry taste, perfect to sip while you brick! 

So—if you haven’t done LEGO for a while, why not drag down that box from the loft, or treat yourself to a new set, setting aside the stresses and strains of the day to focus on something calming, creative and mindful. And don’t forget to keep one of our delicious teas handy for those mini-breaks from all the fun!

 

That’s it for now, Hoogly fans. Stay safe, be good yourself and flip the kettle on!

Written by Chris Bedford

www.hooglytea.com

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Hoogly Book Club

Hoogly Book Club

Greetings Hoogly fans! It’s that time again: the chance to discover what’s hot in the literary world, sharing our top picks to help you relax, unwind and distract yourself from the stresses and strains of everyday life! It’s been a sensational year of publishing, with so many established authors bringing out big books, as well as stunning breakthrough debuts by a host of rising stars—it’s been very hard to whittle down our choices. But we’re here to make the tough decisions so you don’t have to; so, if you’re sitting comfortably, then we’ll begin…

 

BIOGRAPHY:

Will Smith, ‘Will’

This charts the career of one of the biggest stars of music and film of our time. This profound read is not only a life story that chronicles some of the most recognisable cultural moments of the last few decades, but also a personal journey of self-discovery, acknowledging the toll his stardom took on those around him, and the vital lessons he learned about the way his mind works, and how best to grapple with all the pressure that surrounded him. It’s a book that—like its subject—is in a category all of its own, a book that will transport you behind the scenes into superstardom, as well as provide genuine universal wisdom that will echo in your own life.

 

FICTION:

Jennifer Saint, ‘Ariadne’

This debut has become a huge hit, latching onto the current popularity of the Greek Myths in literature, and carving out its own distinct niche with a dazzling re-telling of the story of Theseus and the Minotaur, written from the perspective of Ariadne, Princess of Crete. First capturing your heart with a sensational cover jacket (really—look it up, it’s gorgeous), this beautifully written novel weaves themes of sisterhood, love and secrets into a world of petulant gods and monsters, asking us to look afresh at an old story, bolstered by the shining beacon of female strength and courage. This wonderful book will brighten the darkest February day and put a smile on your face.

CRIME/THRILLER

Sophie Hannah, ‘Haven’t They Grown’

This gripping read came out in 2020 and got a little lost in the chaos of the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. I picked it up the other night and couldn’t put it down for the next two days!! It tells the story of Beth, a mum-of-two who lost touch with her best friend Flora and her family twelve years before. While she is in the vicinity of Flora’s new house, Beth decides to have a cheeky snoop. She sees Flora’s two children get out of the car, Flora calling their names. But the kids haven’t aged a single day. They look exactly the same as they did twelve years ago—and Flora seems in some distress. Beth drives away, thinking she must be mad. Thus begins a feverish, unsettling and paranoid search for the truth of what Beth has witnessed, a mission she cannot let lie, even though her husband protests, and there appear to be no plausible answers. What secret lies at the heart of Flora’s family? Whatever it is, Beth realises, it can’t be good…

CHILDREN’S

Mark Dawson, ‘The Case of the Smuggler’s Curse’

A brand-new book for ages 9-12, with echoes of an all-time favourite: Enid Blyton. Lucy, Max, Charlie and Joe spot a phantom figure on Southwold beach one winter evening and are soon thrown into an unexpected mystery. But this should be no problem for the After-School Detective Club! As they dig deeper, the task gets more difficult, and they have to summon all their wits when they realise they are up against a ruthless gang of smugglers! Prepare for motorboat tracking devices, bedroom escapes, daring ocean rescues and undercover operations! This is the perfect read to keep the kids engrossed and entertained, harking back to those glorious Famous Five and Secret Seven adventures of yesteryear!

That’s it for the book recommendations—now for the tea recommendations!

This month, our perfect book club companion is Apple Strudel Green Tea! A classic Hoogly combination of taste and scent, this delightful brew will warm your cockles with a blend of juicy apples and sweet spices, bound together with a beautiful roasted green tea, adding a well-baked twist!

And if you really want to treat yourself, why not go for Chocolate Brownie black tea? This is a pleasingly rich and unapologetically decadent chocolate delight, perfect to sip as you flip pages of the latest best-seller, satisfying your craving for something oh-so-naughty. Just like your book—you won’t want it to end!

That’s it for now, Hoogly fans. Have fun with your books, stay safe, and we’ll see you soon!

Written by Chris Bedford

www.hooglytea.com

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FLASH IN THE JAN?

FLASH IN THE JAN?

Another new year is upon us. A chance to reflect on another surreal and unusual period in the shadow of a global pandemic. A chance to look ahead to better things on the horizon. What does 2022 hold for you? Some of us like to make detailed plans; others like to blow with the breeze. Some of us look to make small improvements in our life and wellbeing; others aim for wholesale and irreversible change. Which brings us to the topic of New Year’s Resolutions. The perfect opportunity to map out a strategy for the coming weeks; a blueprint of how we envisage this new version of ourselves. Let’s be honest here, though: most of our lofty goals get benched after a few days or weeks. Quit social media. Drink less. Lose weight. We’ve all given it a go at some point. We’ve all had varying degrees of success. But this year, perhaps, we can adjust our aims so as to get closer to 100% Resolution Compliance. Small is the new Big. Sustainability is everything. 2022 You is going to nail this!

So, what sort of goals should we be setting in order to achieve glorious victory? Here are a few ideas for long-lasting, life-enhancing, still-going-by-summer resolutions.

  1. Give someone a compliment every day. Spread positivity and make someone feel better.
  2. Read a book every month. It’s good for your brain, improves focus and reduces stress!
  3. Jot down something you’re grateful for at night. What a lovely precursor to head-meeting-pillow.
  4. Drink water: It makes every single part of you work better. Think what a plant looks like when it’s not watered and imagine this as your body and brain. Hydrate—feel great!
  5. Let go of grudges. Allow them to float away like a balloon. You’ll feel lighter and happier and better able to cope with what comes your way.
  6. Send handwritten letters. It’s such a sweet, novel thing to receive. You will make someone’s day, perhaps even reach someone who you haven’t connected with for a while. And the act of writing is truly mindful.
  7. Avoid negative people or complainers. This is a tricky one, but giving mood-hoovers a wide berth will positively impact you in more ways than you think.
  8. Listen. Allow others time and space to get their point across without interjecting. Really listen to what they are saying and take a moment to absorb the point they have made. They will appreciate it, just as you will in return.
  9. Don’t check your email—for a whole day. This can apply to WhatsApp and other Social Media too. It won’t hurt you. In fact, it might just make you feel a whole lot calmer, happier and more focused.
  10. Clear your clutter. Research indicates (and experience tells us) that being surrounded by mess is stressful. It’s like your brain is absorbing all the future chores it has ln the agenda and storing them like stone anchors in your mind. Which pushes out all the good stuff, like tranquillity, concentration and contentment.
  11. Drink more Hoogly Tea. Well, this goes without saying, doesn’t it?! We are all about the Hygge: fluffy socks, candlelight boardgames and sweet treats. Doing all the things that make you happy, and none of the things that make you upset. Our teas encapsulate this delightful Danish ethos, offering a huge range of tantalising treats, which smell as delicious as they taste.

Looking for something new for January? Why not indulge in our elegant Luxury Hot Cocoa? This is the ideal way to stay warm and cosy in the dreary depths of winter, providing a delectable sweet and creamy taste with subtle undertones. With all your resolutions to keep up, you have to be naughty somewhere, right…?

Or how about Turmeric Twist? This dazzling delight brings a touch of sunshine and summer direct to your tastebuds, brightening up your day and your mood. Equal parts earthy and sweet, combining a citrus twist and a hint of mint, there is something for everyone in this cup of Hoogly hugs!

For those who like something extra special: allow us to introduce White Choc and Chilli white tea! Creamy and sweet with a little heat, this Chinese tea is combined with cocoa shells, apple pieces, rosehip and chilli to create a wonderful blend of aromatic tones, perfect to pick you up from the January blues!

That’s it for now, Hoogly fans. Stay safe, good luck with your resolutions and keep drinking tea!

Written by Chris Beford

www.hooglytea.com

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A Christmas Gift Of Tea!

A Christmas Gift Of Tea!

Greetings Hoogly fans! The festive season is upon us again and Christmas shoppers are already out in force seeking inspiration or hunting down items on gift lists. Finding something for everyone can be a stressful exercise, and there are certain people who are more difficult to buy for than others. What happens when you’ve browsed every website and wrestled your way through every shop in the mall and still come up empty-handed? Well, frustration might set in. With a few dollops of rage and a small helping of panic. What now?! Do you download an app that gives you randomised gift options and choose blindly, hoping for the best? Do you take a punt on something you think they might like but could well end up offending them? Do you get something simple and obvious that, despite all your deep thinking about the problem, ends up looking like you haven’t put much thought in at all? Do you consult a crystal ball or a medium? Or perhaps install listening devices in the person’s home on the off-chance that they might let slip their deepest gift desires over breakfast or while doing the ironing?

The answer to the above questions, of course, is none of these things.

When you’re stuck and about to pull your hair out, look no further than Hoogly Tea for gift ideas! As you know, we’re all about taking the stress out of life and getting you in the mood to chill and be mindful, and we just might have exactly what you’re looking for to alleviate the burden of Christmas shopping hell!

If you’re looking for an elegant gift that will thrill and delight your nearest and dearest, then we have a wide range of treasures to choose from. For example, what tea lover could resist our Winter Warmer Set, which includes a stylish, hand-crafted Hoogly hot water bottle, a ceramic mug with a bamboo lid, a golden spoon and two boxes of tea of your choice! This is the ultimate way to ward off the frosty temperatures, allowing you to stay cosy and calm whilst sipping one of our delicious brews to your heart’s content.

If you’re searching for a simple but charmingly attractive gift, why not go for our Hoogly Teapot? This delightful glass pot has a bamboo lid and a built-in filter, perfectly proportioned for one person. Simply add two teaspoons of loose leaf or one pyramid and you can watch your leaves unfurl in complete tranquillity!

If you’re looking for a cheeky stocking-filler, why not try our Hoogly Tea Sand Timer? We have two options depending on your preference: 3 minutes and 5 minutes. This is an excellent addition to any Hoogly home, with the draining granules providing a surprisingly relaxing way to wait for your scintillating tea to brew!

Stuck for a big and bold prezzie? Look no further than our beautiful Mug and Tea tray. This features a sleek, branded wooden box containing two bamboo-lidded Hoogly mugs and 20 wrapped teas in flavours of your choice, bringing the luxury of the hotel experience to your bedside table. Flavours include customer favourites such as Apple Strudel, Berrylicious, Earl Grey, Cosy Chamomile and Danish Pastry.

For the tea lover in your family who wants to experiment with scent and flavour, then the only choice is our elegant and dramatic Luxury Wooden Box! This attractive gift has six compartments filled with sixty individually wrapped tea pyramids and ten brands to choose from. Watch their eyes widen as they unwrap this sensational brew box and then delight in their effusive enthusiasm as they spend the next few weeks indulging in their eclectic selection, singing the praises of your gift-buying skills!

Last but not least, why not ditch plastic bags for good with one of our charming cotton Bags for Life?! Show off your favourite tea brand and shop with style with a small or large bag—or alternatively use as a gift bag to treat your friends and family to one of the above-mentioned Hoogly gifts!

That’s it for now, folks. I hope you continue to stay safe, happy and contented. Don’t forget to browse our website for further gift ideas, and have a wonderful Christmas!

Written by Chris Bedford

www.hooglytea.com

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BUMP IN THE NIGHT

BUMP IN THE NIGHT

Greetings Hoogly fans! It’s that time of year again: the nights are getting longer; the temperature has fallen and the bulging darkness begins to encroach on our every flank. Before long it will be that most spooky of occasions: Halloween, and we will once again take to the streets like an army of the undead, dressed like vampires or monsters or ghouls, helping our kids score chocolate and sweets from ordinary humans, and listening carefully to every bang, rustle and clank in the shadows. But how can we explain our continued fascination with all things ghastly and spectral? Stories of spirits and otherworldly entities have run through all cultures since the dawn of civilisation, woven and overlapping with stories that seek to explain death and the journeys we take after our mortal race has run.

The most compelling and persistent story is that of the ghost: from Pliny the Elder in ancient Rome describing a spectre with rattling chains, to Hamlet’s father in Shakespeare, all the way up to the Victorian tales of Charles Dickens and Henry James, and the contemporary tales of modern Hollywood, such as Ghostbusters, Paranormal Activity and the Blair Witch Project. But what exactly is a ghost? Is there as scientific basis for them? Is it possible to find out? Should we even question such an ancient and mysterious phenomenon, or should we perhaps accept that some things at the fringes of our understanding are meant to remain there, tantalising, but always out of reach?

Science, as it tends to do, has had a good stab at trying to define the ghost. Here are some ideas that experts have touched upon over time:

SUGGESTION. It appears that people are more likely to report paranormal activity if they believe a location is haunted. Studies have shown that groups of people shown around old buildings will react differently based on the information they have been given: those that have been told the location is haunted nearly always report more ghostly goings-on than those who have been told there is no spectral infestation. There is also the possibility that our will and power of belief is much stronger than once thought: simply wanting to see a spirit go bump in the night may be enough to create something in the mind that appears—or perhaps is—real!

  ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS.  Some scientists have posited that pulsed magnetic fields—undetectable on conscious level—may be responsible for our perception of ghostly presences. The magnetic fields, it’s thought, could contribute to unusual patterns in the brain’s temporal lobes—a theory which other scientists have refuted, but nevertheless many ‘haunted’ locations do have unusual magnetic fields.

MOULD. Strange as it may sound, there is anecdotal evidence that toxins linked to mould growth can create hallucinations and visions, with other symptoms including irrational fear and dementia-like complaints. It’s not too much of a stretch to link classic haunted locations like unused castles or unkept houses to widespread mould growth, so perhaps there is something to this!

CARBON MONOXIDE. In the 1920s, a family reported a haunting after moving to an old house. After investigation, a leaky pipe was discovered, and carbon monoxide was blamed for the family’s ghostly hallucinations. There’s more than one reason to make sure your alarm is in working order!

OUIJA BOARDS. Hollywood has immortalised this spirit-summoning board-game where users move a planchette over a board covered with letters and words allowing a spirit to communicate from beyond and pass on a message for those they have left behind. The odd thing is—on many occasions, players’ hands do seem to move independently, giving rise to a fascination with the process, but scientists have insisted that these movements are involuntary, unconscious physical movements called the ‘ideomotor effect,’ where our bodies respond to our deep-rooted yearnings and desires without our brain giving instructions. Ghost-hunters will tell you that there are things that science can’t explain, and perhaps they are right. But I don’t dare take out a Ouija board to prove the experts wrong!

Well, in order to calm down after all that talk of ghastly ghouls, let’s take a moment to enjoy some lovely Hoogly tea. This month, we think it’s important warm up and rediscover one of our classic cuppas: Around the Fire Oolong Tea. One of our original blends, this customer favourite is perfect for the winter months, combining smoky leaves with safflower and crushed chilli, making this your go-to fiery friend!

To complement our Oolong, why not try Masala Chai black tea? Based on the iconic India brew, this rich and malty assam is blended with warm, aromatic spices to enchant your senses and stave off the frigid winter evenings! Brew it strong with milk and sugar to the complete Hoogly experience, allowing you to wind down, relax and let go of the day’s stress!

That’s it for this time, folks. Enjoy Halloween; fangs for reading!

Written by Chris Bedford

www.hooglytea.com

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RELAX

RELAX

After a long day at work, there’s nothing better than kicking your shoes off at home and finally being able to unwind. Everyone has their own ways to de-stress and chill out, but I think most of us would admit that the easiest (and often the most satisfying) thing to do is to slump on the couch with the TV remote and disappear into a good box set or movie. But if you find that Netflix and ice cream doesn’t always get the job done, then why not try a few activities that will make you happier, healthier and more productive in the long run?! 

 

1. Exercise: This might seem like a ludicrous suggestion after a long, draining day in the office, but it is well known that running can keep your brain young, reduce anxiety and improve your mood. If you’re not the jogging type, then try a brisk walk, listening to your favourite podcast or audio book, and burning some calories while you enjoy the fresh air.

 

2. Read: This is a wonderful way to escape the worries of everyday life, plus it has the added benefits of helping to improve your memory, reduce stress and increase your attention span. Try a genre or style that you normally wouldn’t choose, and you’ll be surprised what exciting surprises the literary world has to offer!

 

3. Cook: Some people (myself included) find cooking incredibly stressful, but for others, following a recipe and measuring out ingredients is an extremely therapeutic hobby, boosting creativity, mood and a sense of control. Plus, you (hopefully) end up with something delightful at the end of the process, preferably something big and cakey.

 

4. Clean: Another counter-intuitive suggestion, but this chore can actually work wonders for your mental health. Tidying, organising and decluttering your personal space allows you to view your home as more restful, clearing out the chaotic thoughts that can often mirror the environment around you.

 

5. Journal: There are many benefits to journaling, including organising your thoughts, helping to purge your mind of repetitive thoughts or anxious feelings, and better understanding yourself and your emotions. The act of writing is itself mindful: even if you’re only drawing simple shapes or letters, it’s a nice way to focus your concentration, noticing the way the pen or pencil interacts with the paper, paying attention to how you feel as you create, and allowing yourself to enjoy the moment.

 

6. Digital detox: It’s always a good idea to ration your screen time, but especially so after a hard day of checking emails and conjuring spreadsheets. It’s important to cut off from the working day where possible, allowing your mind to have the rest it deserves, and focussing on the people and things around you. Do this often enough, and you may find that your mood improves, as well as your sleep, leaving you feeling more refreshed and ready to face the working day.

 

7. Drink a cup of Hoogly tea. Obviously, we’ve saved the best for last! Having a cuppa after work is one of life’s great pleasures, but at Hoogly, we take things to the next level, providing a relaxation sensation that is hard to match! Our teas are lovingly crafted with your mindfulness as our top priority, allowing you to unwind in luxury, enjoying our scintillating scents and tantalising tastes. With this is mind, allow us to present a glorious pick-me-up for the autumn months: Tiramisu black tea! This Italian-inspired masterclass is an indulgent blend of Sri Lankan black tea, coffee beans and cocoa, dazzling your senses with a rich and creamy taste that will soften the blow of the shortening days and reluctant sun. 

 

That’s it for now, Hoogly fans. Keep a look out for the Hoogly Tea Lodge in Preston Park, opening soon to offer the people of Sussex (and beyond) their fix of beautiful brews, classic cakes and a gorgeously laid-back atmosphere packed with Hygge charm. I was fortunate enough to be invited for a sneak preview of the venue, and I was blown away by the friendly team and the quality of the products on offer. If you get the chance to check it out, you will leave with a smile on your face, guaranteed!

 

Written by Chris Bedford

www.hooglytea.com

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A Little Bit of You-Time with Hoogly

A Little Bit of You-Time with Hoogly

Have you ever looked at the clock and it seems to be moving backwards? The passage of time is a strange phenomenon; we all remember occasions when it screams past too quickly—but when it’s sluggish and ugly, it can do weird things to the hands of a clock, or the digital readout on a watch. 

Waiting for a delayed train is one of my personal, time-bending bugbears. Or perhaps labouring through a tedious project at work. Maybe even during a date with a person who is totally wrong for you: a quick glance at the watch to see that seven minutes has elapsed, and you were sure it was two hours. 

Sometimes having the kids home in the summer holidays can feel like this. And especially so after the yawning time-chasms of the national lockdowns, where many parents and guardians became full-time educators as well as boredom-fixers. Six weeks is a long time in anyone’s books, but with littles one around all day long, demanding to be fed, to go on adventures, to play games and to do it now, then the pressure can build on those poor souls looking after them.  What’s worse is the debate and controversy about foreign travel, which has kept many families grounded, unable to get away and put their feet up in the sun. And I haven’t even mentioned the poke-nudge-tantrum when it comes to screens: one family app calculated that parents will be hounded 521 times over the holidays about getting behind a phone, tablet or console. That’s some high-quantity pestering! It can be expensive too, with working parents seeing the bills mount up for childcare and holiday camps—a prospect that is difficult to swallow after the financial and career uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

One thing you can be sure of, dear readers, is that the time will pass, the kids will eventually have a nap or go to bed, and the summer holidays will end. And at the end of the day, when you’ve finally got the couch and the remote to yourself; when your back aches and your head is throbbing; when your feet are blistered from hiking and your hands are sticky from glitter and glue—remember that you’ve earned yourself this time. You deserve the rest—and you deserve the most luxurious treat to accompany your me-time.

And this is where Hoogly tea comes in!

Our Hygge-inspired brews were created with mindfulness and relaxation at their core; they are liquid tranquillity, luring you in with tantalising aromas, before leaving you spellbound with an array of delicious tastes. Our teas are the perfect way to unwind and let go of the shrieking madness of the day-gone-by. Hoogly moves at your pace. It won’t bug you; it won’t tug on your shirt; it won’t demand Minecraft or Fortnite. It will, however, leave you yearning for another cup, drawn in by the naturally healthy and vegan ingredients, woven together in original and elegant ways, and dazzled by the way it makes you feel. You can even rely on Hoogly to look after the environment while you chill, with our plastic-free bags and ethically sourced, fair-trade ingredients!

But if a cup of spectacularly delicious tea just won’t get you there—why not try our seriously indulgent Salter Caramel hot cocoa?! Using Himalayan salt and coconut nectar sugar, this sweet treat is the ultimate way to put the day behind you, with more warmth and comfort than a childhood blanky!

That’s it for now, tea lovers! Good luck with the rest of the holidays, and remember to flip on the kettle whenever you need little bit of Danish delight from Hoogly!

Written by Chris Bedford

www.hooglytea.com

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What are you afraid of…?

What are you afraid of…?

I suspect it’s fair to say that most of us are afraid of something. Some people can’t cope with heights; others run a mile at the sight of a spider; a large number of us are scared of the dark; and who doesn’t hear the dum-dum, dum-dum theme song from Jaws whenever you swim out a bit far in the ocean? My personal fear is people wearing large animal heads. Some people say that’s irrational and tease me about it—but when the bunny-men come for us all, they won’t be laughing, will they?!

But there is one lesser-known fear that we at Hoogly would like to draw attention to today. In fact, it’s more than a fear: it’s actually a phobia—and one that goes to the very heart of what we do as a company…

Tepidophobia

This is the fear of a badly-made cup of tea.

I think we at Hoogly all suffer from this in various degrees. The thought of a bad cup of tea brings us out in a sweat. We strive for perfection, and this means putting a smile on our customer’s faces with every brew. So we understand the feeling of dread that can mount when entering someone’s home for the first time and hearing the kettle rumble and puff, wondering if the person making the cuppa will ask how you take it. Will they mention the dunk-time? If they don’t, is it a faux-pas to bring it up? Just a quick in-and-out for me, mate. Or perhaps: Leave the thing in there; I like it as close to coal as possible. And what about the milk? A cup of tea can be savaged by inappropriate dairy levels. And what creaminess, too? Full-fat, green or red-top? Or perhaps no milk at all? Do they have alternative milks? Oat, almond, soya? And we’ve not even considered how long the kettle is allowed to cool down before being poured. So much to think about. But then you’ve found yourself in an engrossing conversation; the tea has not been drunk—it’s gone cold on the side. Don’t worry, your host says. I’ll bung it in the microwave. Your heart begins to pulse. The terror moves over your skin like a snake. Don’t do it, you try to communicate with your eyes whilst smiling. Thanks very much, you actually say, because you’re a good person. And now they’ve gone to all that effort—opening the microwave door and twiddling the knob—you’ll have to drink it. Muddy, creamy, overboiled, cold and reheated tea. Maybe you can’t be friends with this person, after all. It’s all been a horrible mistake. Ping…

Should have asked for herbal.

Should have asked for Hoogly!

We get it, tea lovers. We’re on your side. We want to take the fear away—and we invite you to discover our hygge-inspired range of mindful teas, perfect for sweeping away those stressful thoughts, calmed by the knowledge that our teas smell and taste delicious every time.

Introducing…Apricot Blossom White Tea. The perfect accompaniment to an afternoon tea, this blend of downy leaves, Chinese Pai Mu Dan and green tea is drenched in summery soft-stone fruit flavours, creating an elegant elixir for the pain of a mediocre restaurant cuppa.

Revive your senses this summer with Citrus Bloom Herbal Infusion! Luscious lemony notes are complemented by the tantalising trio of peppermint, rosemary and sage, rounded off with the sweet warmth of scattered fennel seeds. This elegant brew is perfect for parties and barbeques, keeping those long, lazy evenings alive with a bit of Hoogly magic.

Finally…fall in love with a rose. Our gorgeous, aromatic Rose Blush White Tea brings the glamour of nature to your mug, with pink rosebuds creating a luxuriously lavish floral taste, combined with subtly sweet grassy tones. This is a drink to share with someone special; and, yes, that includes treating yourself to some well-deserved Hoogly time!

That’s it from me on Freedom Day! Stay safe, enjoy the sunshine and don’t forget to add a bit of Danish delight to your tea collection!

Written by Chris Bedford

www.hooglytea.com

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A Flask of Freedom

A Flask of Freedom

As I write this, the evening sun is painting the garden gold, and the sky is a perfect, limitless blue. There is a gentle breeze caressing my face and the enthused chitter of birds from hedges and bushes. From the neighbour’s garden, a sprinkler swivels and whispers as it shoots out a misty haze. At the back of the neighbour’s yard, they have a pond, where a loved-up pair of ducks have just produced eleven chicks, little bundles of fluff who follow their parents about with adorable clinginess, as Mum and Dad quack aggressively at any perceived threat. On the TV, another match from Euro 20/21 is about to start, the second of three today, following England’s opening win. This is a decidedly lovely day.

Alas, Freedom Day has been postponed—we have one last push to get back to normal—but, on a day like this, I don’t feel as though I can complain. As it stands, things feel nice and Hoogly. The dog is chewing the plastic washing liquid cup, because it was there, and my wife is reading a novel about a husband who lies and cheats and then tries to kill his Mrs, which I try not to take personally. The only thing that’s missing from this scenario is something refreshing. Something delicious to accompany this glorious weather. Something simple, straightforward and moreish.

I expect you’ve guessed that I already have the answer to this conundrum! Yes, it’s none other than Hoogly’s dazzling selection of Iced Teas!

To make a family-friendly and summery iced tea for four, do the following:

 

  • Place four Hoogly Tea Bags in a 1 litre jug.
  • Add boiled water until the jug is a third full.
  • Brew for five minutes.
  • Pop some cold water in until the jug is two-thirds full.
  • Add some ice and fresh fruit for extra pazazz!

 

Now for the fun part: which Hoogly blends to use for your cosy cup of chill?

 

For a bit of zest and fire, why not start off with Lemon and Ginger herbal infusion? This energising customer favourite tastes like sunshine and smiles, and can be ratcheted up a few levels by adding lemon zest and grated ginger!

 

For a playful party piece, why not bring out Berrylicious herbal infusion? Bursting with beautiful berries, this dynamic drink builds to a fruity crescendo, before giving way to the rich, caramelised notes of dandelion root. To be especially fancy, add strawberries and raspberries, and you’ll have a sweet sensation that will thrill your family and friends!

 

For a cooling, calming alternative, why not try Chill Out Mint herbal infusion? This invigorating menthol cuppa is especially good for those who have overdone it at the barbecue, offering a soothing fix for full bellies, whilst giving you a fresh and bracing way to unwind and relax after a hard day’s sunbathing.

 

If Iced Teas are not your…um, cup of tea…then why not try a cheeky Hoogly lolly?! We’ve got the perfect flavours to make this traditional treat work: simply brew your bags for twice the usual time, pour the contents into a mould, and then leave in the freezer overnight!

 

For a bit of traditional Hoogly charm, why not try Danish Pastry Rooibos? This riff on the Danish national treat creates a sumptuously sweet lolly, with a chocolate and cinnamon scent, and a cheeky pastry taste!

 

Our next succulent summer sensation is Raspberry, Liquorice and Lavendar black tea! Sharp raspberries combine with super-sweet liquorice, sprinkled with lavender flowers for a flesh and floral twist. Pick this one out the freezer when you want a delicate and delicious treat that will thrill your taste buds!

 

Our final lolly-licious pick is Baked Apple Chai black tea! The Sri Lankan base flavour is overflowing with the combined charms of apple, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves, giving you an exotic frozen adventure! This one is perfect for the grown-ups amongst you, full of subtle charm and elegance, ideal for dishing out to guests on those baking summer afternoons.

 

That’s it for this time, sun-lovers. As freedom approaches, remember to stay hydrated, wear sun cream and, most importantly, be Hoogly to each other!

Written by Chris Bedford

www.hooglytea.com

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A New Page

A New Page

Greetings Hoogly fans! I hope you are all safe and well. Since the last blog I’ve had my first vaccination jab, which was an extraordinarily efficient process, with hundreds of people being manoeuvred with military precision through a large hall, with the whole thing (including the fifteen-minute precautionary post-jab wait) only taking about half an hour. Remarkable work by the healthcare and admin teams, and another step closer to freedom. Fingers crossed things continue to look so positive!

In the meantime, I reckon it’s time to once again delve into the delights of the literary world, discovering which books are the new must-reads as the summer season approaches. Books have been a much-treasured lifeline for many over the lockdowns, their escapism and immersion so much more pointed and urgent than in regular life, giving us an opportunity to relieve a bit of pressure from the valve that steadily builds in confinement. In fact, one of the silver linings of my time on furlough was the ability to read a lot more, which creates the space to try new authors and genres, something that can be the most unexpectedly pleasurable and satisfying experience, and one that people often wish they had tried earlier.

For me, the discovery was American author Anne Tyler, a name I had seen countless times on bestselling lists and on bookshelves, but whose book covers and plots had never appealed to me. I sat down with a mug of Hoogly Earl Grey and started a book called ‘A Spool of Blue Thread,’ which is about three generations of a family in Baltimore, their loves and losses, their triumphs and successes, and the way each generation impacts on the next. I instantly fell in love. Tyler has a forensic understanding of family dynamics; her characters are all relatable, their decisions—good and bad—mirror our own, and we feel their sorrow and joy, crying and laughing with them. Humour, in fact, is sprinkled lovingly throughout the book, with seemingly every other line infused with a wry smile or a wink to the reader, which offers a counter-balance to the more emotional scenes, some of which you have to read a few times to properly understand how beautifully crafted, meaningful and poignant they are. Tyler writes, in fact, just as many of us experience family life: with love and fun, intersected with thunderbolts of drama, woven together with compassion, comfort and few unwelcome surprises! I heartily recommend all of her many novels; you couldn’t find a more Hoogly author if you tried!

So what books are making a splash as we speak? Our first Hoogly recommendation is ‘The Lamplighters’ by Emma Stonex. Inspired by true events, this is the story of three lighthouse keepers who vanished from their lighthouse in 1972, with the entrance door locked from the inside. Within the walls, the clocks have stopped; the weather log speaks of a terrible storm, but the skies have been calm all week. Twenty years later, a writer approaches the women the keepers left behind and invites them to tell their story. As they confront their darkest fears, the truth begins to surface… With critical and popular acclaim, ‘The Lamplighters’ is going to be a must-read novel for the summer ahead!

Our next pick is a stunning mash-up of genres. ‘The Devil and the Dark Water’ by Stuart Turton is a historical mystery thriller with elements of crime and the supernatural. It takes place in 1634 as the world’s greatest detective Samuel Pipps is being transported as a prisoner to Amsterdam aboard an East India Company merchant vessel. Almost as soon as the ship leaves the harbour, the devilry begins, with strange symbols appearing on the sails, a dark figure stalking the decks, and animals being slaughtered. Can Pipps and his faithful bodyguard solve an impossible theft and a brutal murder before the ship’s passengers descend into terror and anarchy? The author brings the scenes vividly to life with acute observed details and a poetic descriptions, drawing you into the era and the setting from the very first page, and then carrying you along on a wild and scary ride as the super sleuth follows the clues and battles enemies real and imagined! If you fancy something inventive and different, this is the book for you!!

For kids around ages 9-12, we highly recommend ‘Harklights’ by Tim Tilley. This is the story of Wick, who lives in the terrible Harklights Match Factory and Orphanage, working without rest for Old Ma Bogey. As he dreams of escape, he happens across a tiny baby in an acorn cradle. As midnight chimes, Wick is visited by the Hobs, who are miniature protectors of the forest, who thank Wick for taking good care of the baby. But their gratefulness does not end there: the Hobs offer Wick an amazing opportunity—escape from Harklights and start a new life and adventure with them in the wild! This is a beautiful book, extremely Hoogly in its themes of friendship, family and the natural world, and offering a much-needed message of hope during the difficult times we have all experienced. Kids will love the world that is created inside the covers, and will embrace the Hobs and their urgent need to protect the world around them.

As for the perfect accompaniment to your literary treasures, look no further than a beautiful mug of Hoogly tea! We can’t think of better way to relax and wind down than to pick a cosy nook of your home, curl up with a good read and sip a delicious brew while you immerse yourself in a good story. How about kicking off the summer with a cup of Spiced Orange herbal infusion?! This is a zesty sensation that sings of sunshine, combining fruit and mulled spices to create a taste that will thrill you during those long, warm nights with friends and family!

For something a little different, why not try Blueberry Muffin Rooibos? This tantalisingly toasty brew is infused with sweet berry tones to recreate a classic naughty treat, perfect to accompany breakfast, or as a Hoogly mindful moment at any time of the day as it’s naturally caffeine-free! Sure to become your new favourite cuppa—and as restrictions ease, it will become your guests’ favourite too!

That’s it for now; take care of yourselves, pop the kettle on and stay Hoogly!

Written by Chris Bedford

www.hooglytea.com

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