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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GOING GREY!

GOING GREY!

The snow has finally gone and the ‘Beast from the East’ has subsided. No longer are we huddling in front of the fire, putting hot water bottles under our jumpers and tobogganing to work. Our mild, grey mornings with intermittent rain showers and sunless afternoons now appear somewhat welcome; there’s no need to hack at the car with ice picks before setting off in the morning, and no immediate threat of turning into Bambi on ice when braving the pavements. And as I write this, on a thrilling rail replacement bus service, that big orange thing in the sky has even dared to make an appearance, poking its face through a cumulus nimbus, hinting playfully at the promise of weeks to come.

All this excitement calls for a celebration. And what better way to celebrate than with a warm, delicious, cosy and Hoogly cup of tea?! This week our feature brew is Earl Grey black tea, our riff on the classic favourite, which we think you’ll go potty for. Perfect as an accompaniment for breakfast and just as good as a treat or pick-me-up throughout the day, our Earl Grey is a thrilling combination of Sri Lankan black tea and natural bergamot oil, infused with zesty lemon peel and sweet orange blossom. The seductive citrus scent is a joy for the nostrils, and the unique taste will have you racing back to the kettle for more!

The assumption is that Earl Grey is named after Charles Grey, the second Earl Grey, Prime Minister of Britain in the 1830s, who was given a diplomatic gift of tea flavoured with bergamot oil by the Chinese. There are stories—not known to be verified—about a Chinese mandarin gifting Grey the tea after one of Grey’s men rescued the mandarin’s son from drowning, but it has to be taken with a pinch of salt as Grey never set foot in China. It would be nice to think, though, that this delightful blend had such a heroic start to its glorious life in England!

Whether you’re a Prime Minister, a mandarin or simply a tea enthusiast, there are certain rules to follow if you want to make the most of your brew. Here’s our Hoogly step-by-step guide to making the perfect Earl Grey cuppa: Start with fresh, cold water—never pre-boiled water that has been left to cool and subsequently re-boiled. Next, heat the water to 208˚ Fahrenheit, or just under boiling point. Before you pour, warm the pot or mug! This is an important one: when hot water is poured into a cold environment it will cool quicker, which doesn’t allow proper and consistent steeping of the blend. Simply pour hot water in, swirl, and pour away. Finally, experiment with how long you want to steep—or brew—the tea. It’s different for different brews—and different tastes—but once you’ve found your style, you’ll soon be in Hoogly heaven!

Now you’ve got your tea, it’s time to get Hoogly. Get your friends or family over, pull on your comfiest, loungiest clothes, crack out the cakes, bakes and sweets and have a super-chilled evening of light chit-chat, board games and digital detox! This is what our company ethos Hygge is all about, and it’s the perfect way to shed your stress, ditch your dramas and unwind. And with our uniquely delicious Earl Grey blend at your side, you’ll soon be as calm, cosy and contented—just like all those delightful Danes!

 www.hooglytea.com 

Written by Chris Bedford!

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The Hunt For Hoogly!

The Hunt For Hoogly!

Believe it or not, the weather will eventually warm up and Spring can begin in earnest. One of the most highly anticipated events in the coming weeks is Easter, a time for family bonding, gift giving and relaxation.  It’s also a time to indulge in serious amounts of chocolate, as shops are stacked floor to ceiling with our favourite brands in egg form. And there is something extra exciting about finding chocolate within chocolate, with some eggs containing bonus treats!

Easter celebrations take place around the globe, but not all cultures refer to it by the same name. Early Christians knew it as Pesach, the Hebrew for Passover; and today many languages use a variation of this word: Pesach in French, Pasqua in Italian and Pask in Sweden. In Christian tradition, Easter Sunday celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion, but the historical roots of contemporary festival practices are more widespread.

The origin of the English word is that of a pagan fertility goddess called Eostre, whose celebratory festival always took place during the Spring Equinox. Early European Christian missionaries slowly began to merge the pagan names, timings and some of its symbols into the Christian celebrations. Eostre’s symbol, in fact, was that of a hare or rabbit, thus creating one link to the Easter Bunny! Rabbits also tend to give birth in Spring, so as people saw fields overrun with baby bunnies at this time of year, it was natural to incorporate them into the celebrations, and eventually into Easter.

 And the tradition of eggs goes back even further than the time of Jesus. Many ancient cultures, including the Egyptians and Greeks, viewed the egg as a symbol of fertility and renewed life. Eggs were used in pagan rituals, hung in temples and utilised for mystical practices. As missionaries observed people hunting for eggs in Spring, they began to assign value and meaning to the eggs to describe Christ’s resurrection and renewed life. Eggs would be dyed symbolically: yellow for resurrection, red for the blood of Christ, blue for love. Children would hunt for hidden eggs, and then recount the story associated with them. 

Nowadays, Easter is big business around the world, especially in America, where spending at Easter can reach up to the tens of billions through a mixture of cards, candy and other gifts. This year, make sure you incorporate the gift of Hoogly into your celebrations! Our delicious teas are the perfect accompaniment to your relaxing, family-orientated holiday, created with the Danish concept of Hygge in mind, which focuses on being calm, cosy and enjoying life’s simple pleasures. 

And one of life’s greatest simple pleasures is flipping the kettle on and putting your feet up with a warming brew, surrounded by your favourite people. We at Hoogly can take this simple pleasure to another level with our tantalising range of tasty teas. As Easter approaches, put the stresses of the working week behind you with brews such as Cosy Chamomile, a gorgeous herbal infusion combining snuggly chamomile with lemon verbena, lime leaves and lavender, all especially chosen for their ability to soothe the body and mind. It’s a hug-in-a-mug—what are you waiting for?

If hunting for hidden eggs and other treasure is your thing, then track down and discover Sparkling White Tea!! A magical and elegant blend of Chinese White Tea, fruit pieces and flowers, this sensationally seductive brew will add a touch of glamour to your Easter break!  As with all our teas, it smells as delightful as it tastes, bringing you back again and again to experience its charms!

However you spend this Easter, we hope you feel relaxed, renewed and recharged. And don’t forget to hunt down Hoogly!

By Chris Bedford

www.hooglytea.com
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Pancakes & Tea

Pancakes & Tea

Greetings tea lovers! It’s one of the most Hoogly dates in the calendar: 
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