Space for More Tea!

Space for More Tea!

With the arrival of the film ‘First Man,’ starring Ryan Gosling, our minds turn back to the heroic journey four astronauts took nearly fifty years ago on July 21st 1969, creating history as the first humans to visit the moon. The enormity of the achievement cannot be overstated: the technological and mathematical wizardry to launch human beings on such an audacious and precise mission, and to bring them back safely again; the skill, courage and determination of the astronauts on board; the pressure that the country was under politically—battling against Cold War rivals Russia to win the ‘space race’ and the sheer scale of the risks involved in plunging into the howling darkness and exploring new frontiers.

It’s one small step for man…one giant leap for mankind. These were Neil Armstrong’s famous words as he stepped foot on the moon’s surface—but what must have been going through his mind at the time? He was already an experienced pilot, having flown nearly two hundred types of aircraft, and completing seven gruelling years of training and missions since becoming an astronaut in 1962. But even for a hardened veteran, there is no precedent for placing your boot where no man has gone before. He must have experienced fear, anticipation, exhilaration, curiosity—not to mention all practical information and knowledge he needed in order to complete his mission. His training would have given him vital preparation, but as a human being, stray thoughts of his family and of home must have crept in—doubts as to whether he would ever see them again, and reflections on the phenomenal distance between himself and the planet on which he was born and raised, and the tremendous isolation that must create.

But in the end, Armstrong and the team completed the mission, and came home to a hero’s welcome (and 21 days in quarantine in case they’d come back with an unknown space disease!)

These days the frontiers have moved further outwards. The Mars One non-profit foundation aims to put one hundred human colonists on Mars by 2031. Candidates are currently being assessed under a wide range of criteria, including health, psychological stability, motivation, ability to work in a team, and resilience. The wellbeing and compatibility of the colonists are so important because the mission is a one-way trip. Mars will become these pioneers’ home; the first colony of its kind created to stretch the bounds of the possible, inspire future generations and bring the world closer together—just like the Armstrong and the Apollo 11 team in 1969. What an amazing achievement it would be—and what an extraordinary privilege and responsibility for those that make the journey. How do you come to terms with the fact that you will never see Earth again?  Leaving behind friends, family, loved ones. For some of us, this burden may seem insurmountable. But for the select few, the challenge, the thrill, the sheer audacity of the mission is too much to resist. Their names and achievements etched into the history books for all time—forever linked with courage, adventure and hope. As President John F Kennedy said in 1962: “We choose to go to the moon in this decade, and do other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”

  At Hoogly, we have a slightly different perspective. In fact, it’s exactly the opposite. We do things not because they are hard, but because they are easy. The inspiration behind our teas, Hygge, is all about enjoying the simple pleasures of life and incorporating them into your daily routines. Hygge is about relaxation and comfort. It’s about indulgence and treats. It’s about putting yourself first for once. It’s about being around the people that bring you joy. Going into space is a phenomenal, awe-inspiring achievement—but going around to your friend’s place for a cuppa is just as wonderful. The universe is full of mysteries, wonders and the unknown—but we love things that are familiar, cosy and safe.  And through our delicious range of brews, we want you to experience all these things too.

So, flip on your kettle, pull out a mug and embrace tantalising flavours such as Chocolate Brownie, Danish Pastry, Spiced Orange, Rhubarb & Vanilla, Marzipan Rooibos and Raspberry, Liquorice & Lavender. It’s one small sip of tea—one giant leap for tea-kind!

Written by Chris Bedford

www.hooglytea.com

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Black and White Tea!

Black and White Tea!

Greetings Hoogly fans! As I was curled up on my sofa the other day, laid low by a nasty little cold, I flicked through the TV channels and came across a lovely old black and white film called Since You Went Away, a 1944 American flick about a family dealing with those they love being sent away to war. As I sipped my Hoogly Tea, I instantly relaxed as the opening credits rolled, with a fireplace framed in shot, the names of the cast members drifting upwards as the orchestral piece swelled and built to crescendo. I felt a comforting veil of tranquillity fall over me as the film began, the characters communicating with such lovely manners, eloquence and naïve enthusiasm. As the plot played out, there were moving sequences of loss and grief, as well as romance, humour and slapstick, all held together by sweeping violins, cellos and trumpets.

The world the film evoked was so pure and perfect—I was struck by a strange sensation of longing or nostalgia for a time gone by, even though I was born nearly forty years after the film was made. Here, in black and white, was somewhere safe. A retreat from the complexities and pace of modern life. A window into a simpler time, when emotions seemed somehow sharper, when love and loss seemed magnified and bigger than life itself. Which, for a wartime film, was almost certainly the case. Those watching Since You Went Away would’ve been experiencing all the same anxieties, insecurities and loss as the characters in the film. Watching it play out on the big screen, however, may have gone some way to dispelling their emotions: knowing that they weren’t alone, that others were going through similar trials and that by pulling together they might just emerge unscathed on the other side….

…See how easy it is to be swept up in the wave of sentiment?! Gotta love the golden oldies!

After the film finished, it dawned on me just how Hoogly the old black and white movies really are. Our ethos is all about feeling calm and cosy, and making a regular habit of filling your life with the things you love. Watching these classics is like slipping on a comfy pair of pyjamas and socks: soft, reassuring and relaxing. You know exactly what you’re going to get. They demand nothing from you, and you have to give nothing in return. This is Hygge in a nutshell. And once the film is over—simply find another one and do it all again!

And if you can’t decide on a film, here are some Hoogly recommendations:

  1. Wuthering Heights (1939) A dark, brooding interpretation of Emily Bronte’s classic novel set in the Yorkshire Moors starring Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon. Full of passion, obsession, love and tragedy, this beautiful film is complimented by a rousing score that stays with you long after the end credits. Best enjoyed with Around the Fire Oolong Tea, a cosy combination of smoky tea leaves and warming spices, licked by flames of safflower and crushed chilli—sure you get you through any stormy night on the Moors!
  2. Brief Encounter (1945) An atmospheric romance starring Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard, following a married woman’s chance encounter with a doctor at a train station, which leads to an affair. Full of clipped English accents and repressed emotion, this stunning film explores complex moral issues and has one of the most masterfully constructed final scenes of all time. Woven together by Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto number 2, this is definitely best enjoyed with traditional English Breakfast black tea—simple, but full of hidden depths.
  3. Casablanca (1942) Arguably the greatest film of all time, starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. An American expatriate runs a bar in Casablanca and comes into possession of documents that allow free travel across German-occupied Europe. When his former love Ilsa arrives with her resistance hero husband, she demands the papers, but Rick and Ilsa have unfinished business. With a timeless score, memorable lines and career-best performances, this is a treasure to be enjoyed time and again. Best served with Chocolate Brownie black tea, a wonderfully rich and unapologetically decadent treat that just gets better with each sip!

So, there we are—from Hygge to Hollywood and back again, all you need for complete tranquillity and cosiness is a black and white film and a mug of Hoogly tea!

 

THE END

Written by Chris Bedford.

www.hooglytea.com

 

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Cornish Delights!

Cornish Delights!

I recently crossed a longstanding item off my to-do list by visiting Cornwall, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! From a base in West Sussex, the drive West was scenic and unhampered by traffic, offering a passing glimpse of the ancient structure of Stone Henge. As I passed the stones, evening fell, and there was some sort of event taking place, which caused Stone Henge to illuminate with flashing neon lights. While not exactly an authentic historical representation of English history, it was certainly eye-catching and an exciting way to get the holiday started!

On the first day I visited Tintagel, a picturesque village that is the stepping stone to a breath-taking walk encompassing stunning clifftop panoramas with links to the legend of King Arthur! You can visit the ruins of Tintagel castle, a medieval fortification, which offers a great insight into the past. If you’re feeling energetic, you can hike across to Tintagel island, whose vantage point offers an unparalleled view of the sea and surrounding verdant country. I chose to take the narrow, steep steps down to Tintagel beach—which offers a small cave, a waterfall, a gentle tide and, fortunately for me, a rare visitor in the shape of a sunbathing seal! Everywhere I went there was fresh air, smiling faces, dogs charging about and beautiful glimpses of the natural world. It was a hugely relaxing and a truly Hoogly way to spend a day!

In the next couple of days, I experienced a number of small, Cornish villages, which offered a glorious sense of community, character and charm. I paid a visit to Padstow, a stunning fishing port near the Camel River. With sandy beaches, water-sports, ferries to nearby attractions and a stunning boat-filled port, there was no shortage of things to see and do. I sampled some local fudge, spotted chef Rick Stein’s local restaurant, delighted in the local craft and gift shops and had a traditional Cornish pasty that knocked my socks off!

From Padstow, I travelled to Boscastle, a hugely attractive medieval harbour and village tucked away in a steep valley. Some of the cottages that line the small stream that runs through the village date back to the 15th century. Boscastle marked the beginning of a mini paranormal tour of Cornwall at the local witchcraft museum, which was full of fascinating stories, artefacts and models that explained the history of witches, the persecution they’d received, and how witchcraft and nature are intertwined.

Things really started to go bump in the night at the famous Jamaica Inn, a pub and hotel located in the romantic wilderness of Bodmin Moor, made famous by Daphne Du Maurier’s novel, and now one of Britain’s most haunted places! A three-course meal was followed by a paranormal investigation as guests were invited to visit haunted rooms—in the dark—and test out ghost hunting equipment such as EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) recorders, temperature gauges and electromagnetic sensors that detected movement. Needless to say, there were a lot of creepy moments, unexplained noises and loud bangs that made me scream! The tour was completed at the atmospheric Bodmin Jail, another famously haunted site, where I was given a talk on the history and workings of the prison—the site of numerous executions—and told about various ghost and spirit sightings. At one point the tour group heard what sounded like a child’s rattle coming from one of the empty cells. This was more than enough for me: I chickened out of the overnight investigation and decided I’d done enough hard time for one evening!

On the journey back, I visited the Somerset town of Cheddar, and Cheddar Gorge. The little town was full of lovely craft shops and tea rooms, leading up a hill to the Gorge itself, a set of caves discovered in the in the early 20th century. Inside there are vast caverns and openings filled with limestone in all sorts of beautiful contortions, having been eroded and shaped over hundreds of thousands of years. It was in these caves that ‘The Cheddar Man’ was discovered—Britain’s oldest complete human skeleton, dated to the Mesolithic period some 9000 years ago! His remains are now in the Natural History Museum, but a replica is still there, and it gives you a sense of awe at the vast age of these caves, and the excitement the first explorers must have felt as they came across wonder after wonder: crystal clear rock pools, undulating ‘waterfalls’ of limestone, stalactites and stalagmites, and crevices in the rock’s ceiling that shoot up for hundreds of feet. The caves are now used to ripen the famous Cheddar cheese, giving it its distinct and delicious flavour. Once back in daylight, I went to a local shop and bought enough cheese to see me through an apocalypse, and made my way home a very happy bunny!

So, Hoogly lovers, if you want a lovely ‘stay-cation’ that couldn’t be more Hoogly, head South and West and keep on going! And when you get there, be sure to start and end each day with a relaxing Hoogly Tea, crafted to create cosiness, tranquillity and mindfulness in everything that you do! And at Hoogly, we’re all about treating yourself to the best things in life. So, if you fancy a Cornish Pasty and ice cream to accompany your tea, I can assure you they are the best in the country!

Written by Chris Bedford!

www.hooglytea.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Not-so-smartphones and the Hoogly Solution!

Not-so-smartphones and the Hoogly Solution!

It appears that Smartphones are bad for our health. A plethora of recent studies have looked into our daily habits and discovered that there are a myriad of ways in which our favourite toys are doing us harm, some of which are obvious, some of which are really quite surprising. How many of these phone-busting facts were you aware of…?

Phones are a pain in the neck! (and back). The number of young people with back problems has risen sharply over the last year or so, with up to 45% of 16 to 24-year-olds feeling the effects of leaning and stooping over their phones, which can put pressure on spinal discs. And as anyone who has experienced back ache will tell you, it can be fierce, repetitive and a real drag on your mood.

Talking of stooping and leaning over your phone, the risk of accidents whilst absorbed in your screen jumps hugely. You are much more likely to walk into a solid object, trip over your feet, and walk into the road without looking or paying attention to traffic lights. And as any police officer will tell you, using your mobile while driving—even simply listening to someone else talk—is a bad idea and can lead to critical loss of attention.

And if you’re not meandering into a road or smacking into a lamppost, it probably means you’re sitting down—which is another negative offshoot of technological advancement. Lack of physical activity is rife in the smartphone era: it’s so much easier to phone or text than step out of the house or office to go see someone. And that’s not even mentioning the endless hours of games we play on our phones on the commute home and in our living rooms. But our sedentary lifestyles are catching up with us. Obesity increases the risk of serious cardiovascular diseases and some cancers, and puts a huge strain on our bodies. All-you-can-eat data is not a good thing.

Research also indicates that depression and anxiety are on the rise, with many young people affected. Having constant access to the web, with its dark corners, is not ideal, but a lot of mental health issues can arise from surprising avenues. With the knowledge that most people have their phone with them 24-7, a slight lull in email or text alerts can falsely convince a person that they’re being ignored or excluded by people who mean a lot to them. In addition to this, there’s been lot of research into the negative effects of social media on self-esteem: young people are constantly exposed to photos and profiles that are curated and perfected, leading to the false impression that their friends all have perfect, stress-free lives, which can build an inferiority complex and anxiety that you are doing something wrong, or living life in the wrong way. Social media is a powerful tool that has the power to bring people together, but its downsides are an extremely serious issue that has yet to be properly addressed.

Another danger of smartphones is that it can impact your sleeping patterns. Exposure to even small amounts of bright light, especially later in the evening, can interfere with the brain’s production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness. In addition to this, answering emails last thing at night, or playing a stimulating game, will put you into a state of alertness or stress that is less than ideal for drifting off to the land of nod.

Interrupted sleep leads neatly onto the next topic of reduced attention span. The constant exposure to links, updates or alerts—and the dopamine hit that this gives us—greatly reduces our ability to concentrate on one task with full concentration. And as nearly all phone-users know, even the physical presence of a mobile can distract us and take our attention away from our nearest and dearest, as the true extent of our addiction (and let’s make no bones about it—it is an addiction) becomes cruelly apparent. And as we become more phone-centric, we lose connection not only with our friends and family, but we can also impair the development of our children. For thousands of years babies and children have bonded with us through eye contact and learned social cues by observing us communicate and examining our facial expressions. Experts have warned that if we have our eyes locked on our phones when interacting with those around us—and with our children—then we risk losing some key connections and developmental milestones down the line.

What’s the solution to all this glumness? Well, I’m not sure there is a quick-fix or antidote, but we at Hoogly have an idea how to take a step in the right direction: Put the kettle on, make a gorgeous cup of Hoogly tea, wrap both hands around the mug, let the taste and scent elevate your senses and bring you a sense of mindful tranquillity—and then repeat!!

 Written by Chris Bedford

www.hooglytea.com

 

 

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Hoogly Book club for Kids!

Hoogly Book club for Kids!

Reading is one of life’s simple pleasures. Children the world over fall in love with books, transfixed by the story, the world within which it is told, and the adventures that their beloved characters are thrown into. Whether it’s funny books, scary books, thrillers & mysteries or books that help us learn about the world, there are few better ways for kids to find a few moments of calm, mindfulness and intrigue than a good read.

With this in mind, Hoogly are delighted to suggest some fun titles for three different age brackets—books that we think will bring excitement and magic to your child’s downtime. Hygge is, after all, about relaxing and focusing on the things you love most—and there are few things more wonderful than the feel and smell of a new book, and the thrill of turning to page one and seeing what awaits inside…

First off, a book for the little ones: we recommend ‘Ruby’s Worry’ by Tom Percival. This is a lovely book about a fun-loving girl called Ruby who one day discovers a worry (which looks a little cloud with eyes). The worry gets bigger and bigger and threatens to spoil Ruby’s fun—can she find a way to get rid of it? This is a beautiful and poignant introduction to emotions, with lovely and inventive illustrations. It should be a must for all children’s bookshelves!

For the 7+ age range, we recommend “The Trapdoor Mysteries” by Abie Longstaff. This is an exciting, magical story about a servant girl called Tally, who works in a large manor house. One day she meets a squirrel and discovers an underground place of magic—and must use the help of both to solve a burglary!

For the 9+ age range, we recommend “Secret of the Sun King” by Emma Carroll. This is a thrilling, old-fashioned adventure story that will keep you gripped from the first page! It’s 1922: Lil and her friends must return a secret package to Egypt in order to break a Pharaoh’s curse and protect those they love. It’s a race against time—can they save the day, or will the perilous journey be their last...?

And while the kids have their noses buried in these brilliant books, why don’t you put your feet up and chill out with a cosy, calming Hoogly tea? Our brews are lovingly crafted to be the perfect tonic for a long, hard day, helping you stay mindful and enjoy your well-earned slither of peace.

As your inner balance returns, try a mug of our dazzling Vanilla Chai black tea: this combination of bold and fiery chai spices and super-smooth vanilla offers a unique taste experience that will draw you in, seduce you and have you rushing back for more!

Alternatively, for an invigorating taste sensation, we recommend Lemon & Ginger herbal infusion. This marriage of zest and fire will energise your day, giving you a refreshing and zingy new way to enjoy one of life’s simple pleasures.

So, there you have it: books and tea, thrilling young and old for generations. And with Hoogly—and our book club—they both just keep getting better and better! Enjoy!

Written by Chris Bedford

www.hooglytea.com

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Hoogly Tea Party!

Hoogly Tea Party!

Greetings Hoogly lovers! It looks like the heatwave has subsided for now and our lawns and plants have been given a long-overdue drink from Mother Nature—and we’ve had a chance to turn off our fans and wear at least some of our clothes. This feeling of pleasurable relief is something we’re always looking to replicate in our teas: a lovely treat to look forward to after a long day at work or with the kids; a tasty and refreshing way to take a deep breath and regain your inner balance once more.

And the best thing to do with a good feeling once you’ve got it? Share it around! One of the most Hoogly things you can do—in cool or warm weather—is to host a tea party! Our Danish ethos of Hygge is all about feeling calm and content, surrounding yourself with your favourite people and things and building bonds and memories that sustain and enrich us. So what are you waiting for? Get those invites out and let’s get the fun started!

With Hoogly’s delightful range of brews, there’s something wonderful waiting for every single one of your guests, making the day easy and exciting. You can thrill your visitors with sweet and indulgent treats like Chocolate Brownie black tea, Apple Strudel green tea, or our brand new crowd-pleaser: Berrylicious herbal infusion! For the more traditional tea-drinkers, you can serve up charm and elegance with our English Breakfast black tea, Earl Grey or the calming delights of Chill Out Mint herbal infusion. If your guests want to try something unique and different, why not indulge them with the liquid luxury of Marzipan Rooibos, the national treasure that is Danish Pastry rooibos, or the zest-tastic Spiced Orange herbal infusion. With all these flavours and styles, you can try a different and delicious Hoogly blend with each mug, keeping your taste buds dancing for joy.

And what party would be complete without cake? The Danes are masters at gathering together to get hands-on in the kitchen, keenly aware of the benefits. Being with friends and loved ones, creating in partnership, making a mess and licking the spoon—these are not only a great way to spend an afternoon, but they also help us bond, lower our stress levels, keep us away from those pesky phones and tablets, and hopefully result in a yummy masterpiece!

Why not go even further? Once in a while, make a whole batch of cakes, cookies or muffins, give them a price tag and sell them at your party. The money you raise can go to a charity of your choice—and there are loads of official fund-raising tea parties to help you organise, such as the Marie Curie Blooming Great Tea Party, which seeks the support of tea and cake lovers up and down the country to raise funds and awareness for cancer care—a valuable cause that will affect most of us directly or indirectly at some point in our lives. So invite your friends and neighbours around and get the whole street sipping, scoffing and rock and rolling to create memories that will last for years to come.

And once it’s over, do it all again! What better way to put life’s stresses behind you than to flip on the kettle, turn on the oven and have a Hoogly good time!

Written by Chris Bedford

Visit www.hooglytea.com

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Berrylicious!

Berrylicious!

 

At Hoogly, we are always looking for ways to give our customers a true feel of our Danish ethos Hygge through our teas—even though this is a little tricky to pin down. Essentially, Hygge should feel like home. It should feel like the first time you sit down after a long day on your feet. It should feel like the comfort PJs and fluffy socks. Hygge should feel like warm memories of childhood and sunlight on your eyelids. It should feel like laughing with your best friends. It should feel like fresh air and open spaces, with nothing but hope on the horizon.

As one of the happiest nations on Earth, the Danes are unsurprisingly good at incorporating these feeling of Hygge into their everyday life—especially their culinary experiences. Take, for example, one of their signature desserts: rødgrød med fløde (red berry pudding). This tricky-to-pronounce national treasure has been a staple of Danish homes since the late 19th century, incorporating a selection of sun-ripened berries thickened with potato starch or arrowroot (to make rødgrød—red porridge) and served with heavy cream. It offers a deliciously sweet taste with a soup-like consistency that gets better with every mouthful. The combination of red and white also references the Danish flag, making it even more special to our Scandinavian friends!

Tapping into the simple beauty of berries has long been key to summer culinary success. But these little squishy treats are not just yummy, they’re also very good for us—which is always a lovely bonus! Blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are all high in fibre, which is great at keeping our digestive tracts working efficiently. One cup of strawberries contains an entire day’s worth of vitamin C, which helps boost our immune system. In addition to this, some berries contain antioxidant properties, which can help protect the body against damage and disease.

Looking after your body and mind is key to Hygge—focusing on the things that bring you health and happiness are the central pillars of our Danish ethos, and live at the heart of our teas (with the odd indulgence here and there, of course!) And so, with happiness and Hygge in mind, we’re extremely proud to introduce our latest tea blend: Berrylicious berry tea! With no added sugar, this summer spectacular combines the natural sweetness of strawberries, raspberries and apple pieces with rosehips, hibiscus and roasted dandelion root to bring you a wonderful feeling of comfort and joy—mixed with a little bit of sunny adventure!

Feel free to enjoy our yummy new-comer hot or cold as the weather dictates—and for the peak of the heatwave—why not try popping the tea in a lolly mould in the freezer overnight for a icy and refreshing treat to keep the sweltering skies at bay!

So, there you have it—if you want something new and exciting this summer, go with Hoogly Berrylicious, and keep the good times rolling!

Try it at www.hooglytea.com

Written by Chris Bedford.

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Tea at the Theatre!

Tea at the Theatre!

Going to the theatre is one of life’s rare treats. The excitement builds at home when the tickets or email arrives confirming your attendance, making it real. Then the anticipation ratchets up as you hear friends and co-workers rave about the show, and the critics continue to lavish it with praise. On the big night, you crack out your finest clothes, shoes and accessories and admire yourself in the mirror: you are ready for a big night out! When you arrive at the venue, you drink in the surroundings, admiring the ornate fixtures, the plush carpet, the history of the place. You imagine people from different generations, even a hundred or more years ago, treading the same well-worn path into the stalls. And then you see the stage—the curtains drawn back, the set perfectly arranged and painted, the props in place. The anticipation builds again until the lights dim and a voice announces that it is time to start.

It’s at this point that the real fun begins. The lights go up, the actors take the stage and the drama unfurls. You immediately sense how much more intimate and absorbing this set-up is than any television or film production. The drama takes place within touching distance, the actors speak, shout and sing as if they are communicating directly to you across a room. You can see their sweat, read the anguish or delight on their faces, even sometimes notice the glisten of their eyes.  You appreciate the imagination and craft of the props: the way one object can become many if viewed from a different perspective; the way a well-designed backdrop can imply depth and size that isn’t there; the way the lights add mood and focus and drama all of their own.

My favourite genre of play has to be the murder-mystery, especially the classic tales of Agatha Christie. From Murder on the Orient Express to And Then There Were None, Christie’s stories have thrilled theatre-goers for generations with their attention to period detail, eccentric and eclectic casts of characters, a famous sleuth trying to solve a murder, and a suspect list that includes everyone except the corpse. Even if you know the story (and the identity of the murderer) inside out, there is still enormous fun to be had watching the whole thing unfold—the deathly scream from another room, the discovery of a body, and delicate assessment of clues and statements until the killer is revealed. It is a tried and tested formula that works a treat every time.

Right now, you can experience an Agatha Christie play with a difference. Witness for the Prosecution is currently showing at London’s County Hall, which for 64 years served as the headquarters for local government in London. At the heart of the hall is the octagonal council chamber, which provided seating for over two hundred council members, as well as four press and public galleries which overlook the chamber. For the purposes of the play, the chamber is transformed into a court room, and you are invited pass judgment on the trial of Leonard Vole, accused of the murdering a widow to inherit her wealth. It really does feel as though you are witnessing a real trial—there are moments when you get so absorbed in the action you want to shout out—and the story of deceit, passion and betrayal is one of Christie’s best. So don’t be guilty of missing out on a unique and riveting theatre experience. Get yourself on jury duty right now!

And when you get home, why not treat yourself to a nice mug of Hoogly tea? Our delightful Danish brews have all the luxury and indulgence of the finest trip to the theatre, crafted to deliver an elegant and refined cuppa that combines Hoogly comfort with the thrill of something new.

You don’t even have to wait until you’re home! Why not take a flask of unapologetically decadent Chocolate Brownie black tea with you for a sweet treat in the interval? For a start, you’ll avoid the bar queue, and secondly, you’ll have a uniquely warming and delicious way to pass the time! If the drama is too much for you, why not calm yourself with Chill Out Mint herbal infusion? This is a classic brew, crafted with soothing menthol and mint, combined with fresh herbs to help settle and satisfy any tea lover!

So there you have it: for a brew that has all the seductive appeal, excitement and just-as-good-the-fifth-time-round star quality of the theatre, then the only choice is Hoogly!

Written by Chris Bedford.

www.hooglytea.com

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Check In With Hoogly!

Check In With Hoogly!

One of the most satisfying things about summer is escaping the grind and going on holiday. And one of the most satisfying things about going on holiday is checking into a lush hotel. As the doors to the accommodation open you can breathe a huge sigh of relief; the stress of packing, driving, flying, document-checking and queuing are over. You can wheel your suitcase inside content in the knowledge that you now have one or two weeks of complete, unadulterated leisure miles away from the rat-race and the strains of everyday life.

I’ve taken the liberty of listing just a few of the reasons that hotel stays are so gloriously pleasing:

No cooking or washing up! This is my personal favourite; being waited upon and served delicious meals every night without lifting a finger, and sauntering off after pudding has been devoured, knowing that someone else has to do dishwasher duties!

A tidy room! This is such a luxury—the wonderful world of housekeeping; somebody kind and patient to make the bed, clean the bathroom and straighten up our suncream-smeared books, spare flip-flops and endless wet towels.

Room service! Now we’re talking! A menu of food and drinks only a phone call away—and you don’t even have to leave the bed! When your stomach hasn’t quite adjusted to the new time zone and you absolutely, positively must have burger, chips and tequila at 10pm…voila, there is it. Genius!

A pool to lounge around! Of course this makes the list; it’s the whole reason we go, isn’t it? A fierce determination to get the perfect sunbed, soak up the rays in a calm, quiet environment, catch up with the latest thriller, and bomb into the pool when we start to look/feel a bit barbecued.

Staying in a hotel is all about indulgence. Treating yourself to something wonderful…just because. It’s about focussing on relaxation and switching off from the world. It’s about experiencing somewhere new whilst never feeling too far from home. And all of these things fit wonderfully into our ethos, Hygge. The Danish mindful way-of-life asks us to seek out pleasure and comfort in all its forms and bask in them. To laugh and to be cosy. To bake a cake with friends and not count the calories. To talk about things that bring us together. To experience the world around us and revel in its beauty.

Drinking our teas is like checking in to a lovely hotel. You can leave your cares and worries aside and be swept away by the indulgent flavours and exciting taste combinations. Allow our calming brews to restore your equilibrium, like the best spa day, draping you in a silk sheet of tranquillity. But don’t forget to party hard with our sweet and naughty offerings, remembering that there’s no judgement on our watch—only lives lived to the full, through pleasure and luxury.

The à la carte recommendation from Hoogly today is Danish Pastry rooibos tea—a wonderfully warming chocolate and cinnamon aroma combined with a subtly delicious and familiar pastry taste. Based on our famous national treat, this brew is seductive, succulent and sensuous—a gift for any tea lover.

As a sensational alternative, why not try Vanilla Chai black tea—with bold and fiery chai spices tempered by elegant and smooth vanilla pieces, this is a well-crafted and distinctive tasting brew that is sure to have you returning for more.

Wherever you go away to this summer, be sure to take a pack of Hoogly tea with you—it’s the perfect accompaniment to a perfect holiday, a slice of delicious Danish indulgence to make you feel at home anywhere in the world.

Written by Chris Bedford.

www.hooglytea.com

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Serving a Winning Tea!

Serving a Winning Tea!

Disaster! Cue the violins! Throw the tennis racket against the wall in dismay! Our tennis hero Andy Murray has pulled out of Wimbledon 2018, citing that it was ‘too soon’ to push himself through the gruelling best-of-five set matches. It’s a very disappointing moment for all those who remember the sensational drama and history-making tournament of 2013 when Murray carried a nation on his back, playing with power, touch, courage and resilience to overcome Novak Djokovic in straight sets, ending Britain’s 77 year wait for a Wimbledon champion. Who could forget the screams of the crowd as Murray punched the air? The look of acute joy and relief on his face. His mother’s tears. Andy’s emotional dash into the crowd to celebrate with those who had guided him through his journey. And, of course, holding the beautiful trophy aloft, eliciting more euphoria from the cheering spectators.

But this year, we won’t have a repeat. Or will we? As Murray has been side-lined with injury, he has been replaced as the British number one by Yorkshireman Kyle Edmund, who recently beat Murray at Eastbourne. Edmund has had a breakthrough year, surging into the world’s top 20 after cracking the semi-finals of the Australian Open. Can we dare to dream again? The world number 18 has only ever won one main-draw match at SW19, but who’s to say that something unlikely can’t happen again on grass? We’re buzzing, too, about the prospects of national hero Johanna Konta, who produced sustained moments of magic and grit to reach last year’s Wimbledon semi-final, allowing her to climb to fourth in the women’s rankings. With legend Serena Williams returning after giving birth to her child, the path to victory for Konta looks tricky (Serena has not lost a Wimbledon singles match since 2014) but with enough self-belief and support from an phenomenal local crowd, Johanna has got all the tools she needs to take those final steps to glory!

So, with all this excitement, drama and tension during the tournament, how will you stay chilled? The answer, of course, is Hoogly Teas! With all the indulgent glamour of strawberries and cream, our beautiful brews are the ideal way to bring a bit of mindfulness into your viewing routine, building on the Danish ethos of Hygge, which teaches us to be calm, cosy and focus on the things that make us happy in life.

Serve up an elegant treat for the whole family with Jasmine Dawn green tea—a sumptuous combination of jasmine, vanilla and rose that will tantalise your senses and keep you coming back for more! If you want to serve up a surprising ace, why not try Marzipan Rooibos? This delicious herbal blend is pure liquid luxury, suffused with the rich flavour of Marzipan, transforming your five-minute break into a tranquil field of harmony!

For those who enjoy the traditional playing colours of Wimbledon, why not celebrate this year’s tournament with Sparkling White tea? This is a truly refreshing and refined Chinese brew, supplemented with invigorating flowers and fruit pieces that have all the poise and balance of a perfectly struck forehand winner down the line.

If this year’s tournament thrills and inspires you, why not get out and try tennis for yourself? There’s nothing more Hoogly than keeping your body and mind in good shape by having fun with sports, so pick up a racket, get yourself down to a court and get serving! This author played for the first time ever on holiday in May, and despite having the ideal physique and range for tennis, I was truly awful…but after a while I began to pick it up the basics and I had a wonderful time trying. And, best of all, all that running around made some more room for hotel puddings—even more Hoogly!

So, whether you’re heading to SW19 or sitting at home in front of the TV, make sure you sit back, relax and pour yourself some Danish delight to bring home the glory for Britain!

 Written by Chris Bedford,

www.hooglytea.com

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Let's all have an ice cup of tea...

Let's all have an ice cup of tea...

Can you believe it’s nearly July?! The summer is hurtling past, full of sunshine, laughter and fun. For Hygge fans, this is a wonderful time of year—an opportunity to experience all that the outside world has to offer, discovering new places to walk, cycle or drive, spending time together with loved ones as the long days stretch into long evenings. There is really no limit to the benefits of stepping out into nature, breathing in the fresh air of a green space, meeting new people and animals, and strengthening bonds between friends and family as you explore the wilderness that lies beyond your back yard.

Hygge veterans will know that once you’ve found the experiences and activities that bring comfort and happiness to your life, the real skill is to actively focus on these joyful treats, and ensure that you continue to make time for them in your ever-busier schedule. Just as the Danes guarantee that they carve out time in winter to get all cosy, warm and snuggly with their low-glow houses and fluffy socks—in summer they insist on hunting down sunlight and fresh air as if their lives depended on it, knowing full-well that the exercise, social interaction and absorbing adventure is as healing and mindful as pretty much any therapy or drug. Oh, and don’t forget those indulgent feasts on the barbecue—the hazy, mild summer evenings were made for burgers, sausages, chicken-on-a-stick and chit-chat about nothing-in-particular.

But what do you do when you need to wind down and get refreshed after your big day out? At this time of year, with the sun baking down and temperatures soaring into the silly numbers, you have to make sure you stay hydrated and cool where possible. Drinking enough water is vitally important for your mental and physical health, but once you’ve got that covered, it’s time to discover some new and delicious ways to chill! Of course, no sensible blog about summer fun would be complete without a mention of the age-old sugary delight of ice cream—but we at Hoogly would like to introduce you to our own cooling summer sensation—iced lollies and iced tea!

Using our eclectic and delicious, Hygge-inspired brews, you can create a fun, frosty and flavoursome treat that will keep you refreshed and calm on the hottest of days!

For a popsicle that will knock your socks off…try brewing two Spiced Orange herbal infusion tea bags for twice as long as usual…then simply pour the tea into a popsicle mould and put in the freezer overnight! In the morning, you will have a zesty, fruity, mouth-wateringly sweet summer snack to recharge your batteries for the adventures ahead!

For a seductive and chilled ice tea, why not try our wonderful Rhubarb and Vanilla Green Tea? The combo of tart Rhubarb, sweet vanilla and a classic Chinese green tea creates an elegant and refreshing drink to enjoy again and again as you take a well-earned moment to yourself. To create this mindful masterpiece, simply place two teabags into a heat-proof pitcher and cover with four cups of boiling water—then leave for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the teabags, sweeten with sugar or sweetener if required, then stir in 5 or 6 cups of ice until they melt. You can always modify and customise your Hoogly Ice Tea by adding slivers of your favourite fruits and leaving them to soak in. Refrigerate the finished article and enjoy at your leisure!

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s make the most of the summer months and take advantage of the beautiful countryside and green spaces that surround us. And when you need to take a break, do it the Danish way, and have an ice cup of tea!

Written by Chris Bedford.

 www.hooglytea.com 

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Tea Lions on Our Shirt!

Tea Lions on Our Shirt!

Prepare yourselves, people—this summer, the beautiful game is back in its most beautiful incarnation—the fantastic festival of football that is the World Cup! Yes, Russia 2018 is soon upon us—can you believe it’s been four years already? Four years since England finished bottom of their group after defeats to Italy and Uruguay. Four years since we last huddled in front of the television with a knotted mix of optimism and anxiety in our bellies. And two years since we were knocked out of another major tournament by Iceland…population 334, 252. Urgh, I thought I’d buried that memory…

Still, it’s not good to dwell on the past. Because quite frankly there’s a lot of dwelling to be done. We were last victorious in 1966, of course, and it hasn’t looked much like changing, despite a rousing semi-final appearance in 1990, complete with Lineker’s heroics and Gazza’s tears. This year we approach the tournament with a little less buzz, a little less chest-thumping belief. We’ve been humbled before—oh, how we’ve been humbled—and now England march to Russia not under the banner of potential favourites, but as maverick outsiders, a team of mostly young and upcoming starlets, many of which have never played tournament football. We don’t know what to expect from this squad, but we do know that youth and inexperience can often go hand-in-hand with courageous abandon, burning enthusiasm, and bags and bags of energy and pace! With the likes of Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lindgard, Deli Ali and Harry Kane, we have a core of young players who can compete with and scare any and all opposition. Personally, I’m betting on a semi-final place at least. But, of course, I say that every year…

But what makes a World Cup winning team? Most footy fans will tell you the same thing: it’s about the perfect balance of flair, technical ability, strength in defence and a potent goal threat. Well, and a bit of luck, of course. England’s ’66 team has these qualities in abundance: Gordon Banks in goal, athletic and graceful. Bobby Moore, elegant and solid at the back. Bobby Charlton, a goal machine and driving force from midfield. And Geoff Hurst—hattrick hero in the final—a constant threat to the opposition’s goal. It’s the same for all the great teams. Brazil in 1970, Germany in 1990, Spain in 2010. A blend of silky and smooth with rough and ready, devastating pace with patience and guile, mouth-watering skill with savvy experience. 

And speaking of perfect balances…Hoogly Tea is the ideal accompaniment to your 2018 World Cup matchday, a winning combination of classic and comforting brews, with exotic and undiscovered tastes from around the world!

Here’s a brief rundown of our squad for 2018: For traditionalists, we have delicious English Breakfast and Earl Grey teas—our relaxing riffs on cherished favourites—the perfect beginning, middle or end to any day! For those seeking a little bit of decadence to celebrate a victory or mitigate against defeat, then why not try chocolate brownie black tea, a rich and indulgent brew that caters to your naughty side! For those seeking something to broaden their tea-drinking experience, why not try Danish Pastry Rooibos, which has a seductive warming chocolate and cinnamon aroma with a subtle pastry taste. Or how about Spiced Orange herbal infusion…a zesty summer taste sensation, combining fruit and mulled spices that will thrill your taste buds?!

Whoever you are supporting this summer (Hoogly founder Tina hopes it is Denmark!) make sure you flip the kettle on and calm your nerves with a mug of beautiful Hoogly Tea. If you give us a go in 2018, there is only one winner…and that’s you!

Written by Chris Bedford.

www.hooglytea.com

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