Hoogly Blogs

Affordable Luxury

Affordable Luxury

Greetings Hoogly fans. The Christmas season has crept up on us again: kids are scribbling down lists, adults are starting to feel a greater sense of urgency and the streets are getting busier. Shops have already decked out their interiors with tinsel, stars and fir trees, enticing us in with shiny gifts and familiar festive music. But this year, the world is a different place. As the weather worsens, so do many issues that affect households up and down the country, not least of which is the cost-of-living crisis. It’s a grim fact that many of us will have to be more mindful than ever of how we budget this Christmas, finding ways to make our funds go further.

With this in mind, we at Hoogly would like to highlight some of our exclusive gift range, giving you some ideas for presents that are original, unusual, and luxurious—without costing the earth. 

First off, we would like to present our snuggly and huggly hot water bottles. Our gorgeous range of winter-beating warmers are all hand-crafted from luxury fabrics and come in an attractive selection of colours, including red, cream and brown. We do things Danishly at Hoogly, and in that part of the world, they know how to keep warm in style—and now you can too!

Up next is one of our personal favourites, the Hoogly filter teapot! This elegantly branded glass pot has a silver lid with a filter which can be removed after the tea leaves have been brewed. Perfectly portioned for one person, simply add two teaspoons of loose leaf or a tea pyramid—then sit back, relax and watch as your tea leaves unfurl! Suitable for both hand wash and dishwasher, this little beauty makes a simple, practical and novel present, perfect for someone who likes to unwind and shake off the stress with a cuppa in true Hoogly style.

Santa is not the only one bringing a sack of presents this year! We at Ho Ho Hoogly are now offering a gorgeous, branded cotton bag filled with fifty individually wrapped tea pyramids! Although we don’t advise throwing it down a chimney! Teas include a huge range of our customer favourites, including Cosy Chamomile (herbal tea), Rhubarb and Vanilla (green tea), English Breakfast (black tea) and Danish Pastry (Rooibos). This really is the gift that keeps on giving, not only providing you with a strong and stylish shopping bag, but also a delightful surprise each time you flip the kettle on and choose one of our tasty brews!

If you feel like being really fancy, then there is only one gift choice for you. Our supremely elegant and branded wooden tea tray comes with two lovely Hoogly mugs, complete with bamboo lids/coasters and golden spoons! The perfect gift for couples, this wonderful package is rounded off with 20 envelope-wrapped teas, featuring a wide range of our most popular blends. Replicating the experience of a luxury hotel, this attractive gift is the perfect way to make an impression this Christmas!

For all of these gifts—and more—visit https://hooglytea.com/collections/all

 

And we’ll finish today with our Tea of the Month—our Hoogly recommendation for November! Beat the winter blues with Banoffee Pie black tea, an indulgent and sweet treat in a cup, combining a rich black tea with subtle warming banana and toffee flavour. Mixing a British classic with a hint of the exotic, this sublime cuppa will warm your cockles and put a smile on your face when the weather gets you down!

 

Stay safe, tea lovers. See you soon!

Written by Chris Bedford

www.hooglytea.com

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A Spook Full of Sugar

A Spook Full of Sugar

Greetings Hoogly fans! One of the most exciting times of the year will soon be upon us; a period rich in history and tradition; a night packed with mischief and mystery. For some, it is a bit of good fun; for others, an unsettling plunge into the dark side. I’m talking, of course, about Halloween! As a child, I used to adore heading out into the crisp October chill in one of my many disguises, including Batman, Count Dracula, Spiderman and various Victorian ghosts. Knocking on people’s doors and collecting chocolate seemed like an excellent way to spend an evening (it still does) but I don’t have any children of my own, and it seems extremely weird to borrow some for this purpose, or to trick-or-treat alone as an adult. One time during my childhood, however, there was some actual horror amidst all the fun. After collecting a hatful of sweets, I felt a pang of hunger and decided to unwrap a few chocolates and gorge to my heart’s content. It turned out that one of the sweet treats was not chocolate, but some kind of hard candy, which proceeded to chip my tooth and subsequently cut my gum. So, with very real blood dribbling down my chin, I returned to the nearest house, arms outstretched in panic, slapping a doorbell until a strange adult opened up and (after jumping back in shock) allowed me to come in and use the bathroom and get cleaned up. My friends were delighted with my antics, and it was clear that I had ‘won’ Halloween that year (as the kids say these days). I was in pain for a month afterwards, though, and I ended up with a tooth that was more werewolf than human (which is still prone to savaging my cheek from time to time), but I guess this is an adequate price to pay for a gob full of blood and some genuine scares on the spookiest night of the year!

To get you all the mood for the big day, we at Hoogly have cobbled together some of the most genuinely creepy places in the UK, to be avoided all costs if you are afraid of ghosts and other things that go bump in the night. 

 

1. Ancient Ram Inn, Gloucestershire. This 12th century inn is purportedly ‘the most haunted house in Britain,’ having apparently been witness to suicide, child sacrifice, black magic and been used as a hideout for criminals. Visitors have claimed to have seen or felt the presence of a pair of demons, orbs, a witch and many other apparitions. Even hardened fans of the supernatural have admitted the Ram Inn is the scariest place they’ve ever visited. 

 

2. Borley Rectory, Essex. This Victorian Mansion first gained a spooky reputation in the 1860s when footsteps were heard during the night; in subsequent years the ghost of a nun, a pair of headless horsemen, a ghostly carriage and phantom servant bells have all been reported. The rectory’s hauntings came to prominence in 1929 when famed paranormal investigator Harry Price and the Daily Mail covered the strange goings-on. In a further twist, the building was sadly destroyed by fire in 1939.

 

3. Berry Pomeroy Castle, Devon. A picturesque castle in a pretty town harbouring a sinister secret! Two female spirits, The White Lady and the Blue Lady, stalk the halls of the old structure. The White Lady is said to haunt the dungeons; The Blue Lady is reported to haunt the tower, luring strangers to her aid, resulting in a lethal plunge if the passer-by intervenes. 

 

4. Ballygally Castle, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The castle dates to 1625 and is steeped in history. Lady Isobel Shaw fell to her death more than 400 years ago after her husband (Lord James Shaw) locked her up for failing to produce a son. Isobel’s tragic fall occurred during an escape attempt. It is said that her ghost wanders the hotel to this day, wrapping on doors, as well as appearing and vanishing in rooms. Madame Nixon, a 19th century inhabitant of the castle, has also been seen and heard roaming the castle in her silk dress. Some visitors also claim to hear the running and giggling of ghostly children.

 

5. Pluckley Village, Kent. Pluckley has featured on many television programmes and is a popular haunt for ghost hunters and paranormal enthusiasts from around the UK. Guinness World Records 1989 named it the most haunted village in England, having as it does between 12 and 16 ghosts, including a screaming man, the Fright Corner highwayman, a school teacher found hung by a group of kids, and an old smoking woman on a bridge. Visit if you dare!

 

And what can possibly keep us safe from places of death, misdeeds and horror? Well, nothing, sadly. But a nice cup of tea will help. We heartily recommend Around the Fire Oolong tea for the frosty chill of late October. One of our customer favourites, this gorgeous brew is a cosy combination of smoky tea leaves and warming spices, licked by flames of safflower and sprinkled with crushed chilli for a hint of fiery charm. It’s the perfect shield against the creeping draughts of winter, ideal for winding down at the end of the day, as well as faithful and delicious companion as you watch late-night horror movies or read some spine-tingling ghost stories!

 

That’s it for now, tea lovers. Stay safe and have a horrific…I mean happy…Halloween!!

 

Written by Chris Bedford

www.hooglytea.com

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Hoogly Games Night!

Hoogly Games Night!

Greetings Hoogly fans! The days are gradually getting shorter, the night creeping in earlier. As they are keen to inform us in Game of Thrones: winter is coming. We will be spending more time indoors, shielding ourselves not from undead White Walkers, but from the cold and the dark. But fear not! We at Hoogly love a cosy evening inside. It’s what makes us who we are: warm socks, the low light of candles, comfy pillows and the lovely, carefree conversation of close friends and family. Our whole ethos is about focussing on the things that bring us joy, being mindful and enjoying the moment, and treating ourselves to the nice things in life. And not only this, we know how to have fun—which is why we’re the biggest fans of games nights. What better way to bring your nearest and dearest together than a laugh-out-loud, entertaining night of competitive mayhem, strategic decisions, trivia knowledge, mystery solving and eccentric dice-rolling techniques.

To get you in the mood, we’ve cobbled together a list of our favourite games, all of which are guaranteed to delight your guests, young and old. 

 

  1. Agatha Christie, Death on the Cards. Do you like murder mysteries? Do you like deceiving your friends and family? Then this is the game for you! Players must harness their inner Poirot to solve a murder and find out who among your guests has committed the ghastly crime! Work cooperatively and use your detective skills to unmask the killer—but trust no-one, as one of the players will be working against everyone else, keeping themselves hidden and attempting to escape justice! Each player also has dark secrets they must keep concealed from other players to avoid being disadvantaged and suspected! Do you have what it takes to solve a crime? Do you have what it takes to get away with murder…?
  2. Codenames. An unpredictable game of espionage and subterfuge as two spymasters attempt to make contact with their 25 agents, who are known only by their codenames. The codenames are laid out on the table in the form of single words. Players must give one-word clues to their teammates, who must identify the correct word, while avoiding the enemy spies and the lethal assassin, whose icy touch ends the game immediately. This is a brilliant game for two groups of two, testing your ability to communicate savvily with your partner, proving whether or not you are on the same wavelength. It is a game of risk-and-reward and high stakes, where the wrong answer can prove fatal! 
  3. Herd Mentality. This is a hilarious, cow-themed party game in which you’re given random questions, and you have to answer as you think everyone else would in order to win cows and avoid being the outcast with the solitary pink squeezy cow! It’s great fun to hear everyone else’s answers and learn some (odd) things about them, like their favourite muppet, the largest fruit they could fit in their mouth without chopping it up, or who in the room they think is the best dressed! If a player is taking too long over their answer, the rules state you are allowed to moo at them to hurry it up! Up to twenty people can play and it’s endlessly re-playable because the answers are never the same, even with the same players!
  4. Poetry for Neanderthals. A family-friendly game, similar to Taboo, where players earn points by getting their teammates to guess words and phrases. The twist is that you’re only allowed to use the one-syllable words of a friendly caveman! So, to describe ‘Netflix’ you might say ‘Watch this with friends; pay for it and stream. Much good shows. Not Prime!’ If you accidentally spill a two-or-more syllable word, your opponents are required to bop you on the head with the caveman’s inflatable club, whilst saying, ‘NOPE’! Hours of prehistoric party fun!

 

So, what delicious Hoogly tea would best accompany a games night? Well, we want something fun, crowd-pleasing and moreish. Something you can enjoy time and time again. Something that will put a smile on everyone’s face with its simple charms. 

Look no further than Apple Strudel Green tea!! A stylish and warming gem for the colder evenings, this classic combination of juicy apples and sweet spices, bound by a roasted green tea, offers a well-baked delight with every sip. It's one of our favourite brews here at Hoogly, a dependable and tasty mug of love that everyone will enjoy, and is a treat for anyone wishing to bring a bit of cosiness and Danish delight into their lives.

That’s it for this time, tea lovers. Until next time, get gaming!!

Written by Chris Bedford

www.hooglytea.com

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Books, books and books!

Books, books and books!

Greetings Hoogly fans! It appears that the heatwave has finally broken, with big blobs of intermittent rain stubbing the glass of my window, and a breeze that seemed almost unimaginable three days ago wafting over me. With the unforgiving sun finally off our backs, it’s time to start enjoying our downtime again, and that starts with filling our bookshelves with some excellent new reading material. At Hoogly, we are all about the mindful, calming and treasure-finding joy of literature, and we like nothing better than sitting down with a cup of tea and a best-seller. With so many good books out there, however, it can be difficult to choose, so we have taken it upon ourselves to point you in the direction of some sure-fire successes!

 

First up, we have A Fatal Crossing by Tom Hindle. This is one of those books that completely transports the reader and can be gobbled up in one or two sittings. It’s set in the 1920s on board a luxury liner called The Endeavour, with 2000 passengers on board—and one killer…

 

When a body is discovered at the bottom of a flight of stairs, the ship’s first officer and a Scotland Yard detective begin to investigate. They soon discover a web of intrigue surrounding a priceless painting, but all is not as it seems, and the clues—and twists—keep on coming, until an ending that completely knocks you sideways!!

 

This is a great read for Agatha Christie fans, and anyone who enjoys a gripping murder mystery, with complex, flawed characters, pacy writing and an intricate and imaginative plot. The perfect book to escape your stress!

 

Second up is Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. This one has been all over social media and is a huge word-of-mouth hit. It takes place in the late sixties in North Carolina and centres on a girl called Kya, who has survived for years alone in the marsh she calls home, befriending gulls and drawing lessons from the sand. When two men from town, intrigued by Kya’s wild beauty, offer new possibilities for touch and love, she opens up to a new world—but then the unthinkable happens. 

 

This is simultaneously about the beauty of the natural world, a gripping coming-of-age story and a surprising tale of a potential murder. The characters are sensitively drawn and the novel has an impeccable sense of time and place. You will be thinking about this wonderful book long after you have read the last page, and thrusting it into the hands of friends and family!

 

Thirdly, we have one for the kids. Alex Neptune, Dragon Thief by David Owen is ideal for ages 8-12, introducing us to a shy boy named Alex, who is convinced the sea is trying to kill him! So when a group of weird and wonderful sea creatures drag him to an abandoned aquarium in order to rescue an imprisoned water dragon, he’s not overly happy! But how can he refuse a magical myth?

 

Teaming up with his best friend Zoey, knower-of-legends Anil, a sharp-shooter octopus, four acrobatic otters and a shifty seagull, Alex plans to break the dragon out. And soon he discovers the sea might not be so bad after all. In actual fact…he might just have its power at his fingertips!

 

This is a hilarious, action-packed and easy-to-read adventure, perfect for kids who love Percy Jackson, Harry Potter and all things magic and mythical! 

 

And, as mentioned, no book-reading session is complete without a tantalisingly tasty cup of Hoogly tea! So here are our recommendations for the books we have chosen:

 

For Fatal Crossing, bask in the elegant glory of Rose Blush White Tea. Imagine yourself in the ornate dining room of the Endeavour, surrounded by men and women in their finest attire, a band playing violins and cellos on a raised platform, waiters in black and white bringing silver-platter meals, and the Captain in his starched white uniform meeting and greeting enthralled guests. Your aromatic Pai Mu Dan tea contains pink rose buds and offers a luxurious floral taste, complemented by subtly sweet grassy tones. As you sip the delicious brew, keep an eye on the other guests. The killer could be anyone…

 

For Where the Crawdads Sing, we invite you to try Berrylicious Herbal Infusion. Drawing on the glory and beauty of nature, this sweet brew combines apple pieces, rosehips, hibiscus, roasted dandelion root and freeze-dried strawberries and raspberries for a vibrant infusion, which—just like the plot—will have you coming back for more. You won’t want the book or the tea to end!

 

Lastly, for Alex Neptune, Dragon Thief, we invite you to indulge in Chocolate Brownie Black Tea. This is an unashamedly fun brew, a treat for anyone, a cup of timeless pleasure that will take you back to your childhood and put a big old smile on your face. And after you’ve unleashed the power of the ocean and launched an ambitious dragon heist, sit down for a well-earned five minutes to yourself and revel in the chocolatey splendour!

 

That’s it for now Hoogly lovers! Until next time, take care and stay Hoogly!

Written by Chris Bedford

www.hooglytea.com

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A Lolly Good Idea

A Lolly Good Idea

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it’s a bit…warm. As I write this, I’m melting into my leather sofa, three cups of water at my side, a cold flannel wrapped around my forehead like the headband of a 70s tennis player. As I look up over my monitor, I can see the dog sitting in a shaded corner of the garden, trying to dig out some carrot and chicken from his rubber Kong toy. Just watching him makes me feel weary. I know this sounds a little pathetic, but I’m just one of those people that don’t do very well in the sun. It’s almost certain that perched on a branch in some long-lost part of my family tree lies a Factor 50 vampire. (I also don’t like garlic and am vulnerable to stakes through the heart) At the merest hint of sunlight my body shuts down and my skin begins screaming for mercy. If I look outside into dazzling sunshine without sunglasses for more than ten minutes, I get a whopping headache that is unacceptably tough to shift. 

So, you won’t be surprised to learn that when I discovered we were about to experience a heatwave—and possibly the hottest day ever—I wasn’t racing to don my Speedos and blow up my flamingo dinghy for a day at the beach. In fact, the most enthusiasm I could summon was an obsessive impulse to check my weather app every fifteen minutes to see if the forecast had all be some incredible hoax or mistake. When it became clear that there weren’t great blizzards piling in from the north, I finally resigned myself to a few days of stickiness, irritability and lack of movement. 

But every cloud has a silver lining.

The one thing that always puts a smile on my face when the sun is baking down is the refreshing joy of indulging in Hoogly Iced Teas and Lollies! …And you thought we were all about hot, mindful, cosy masterpieces! Think again, tea lovers! Hoogly has a deliciously Danish answer for everything that life throws our way, including temperatures creeping up the mid-thirties. Our summer sensations our so easy to make; all you need to do is:

 

  • Pop four Hoogly Tea Bags in a 1 litre jug.
  • Add boiling water until the jug is a third full.
  • Brew for 5 minutes.
  • Put some cold water in until the jug is two-thirds full.
  • Add some ice and refreshing fruit for extra pazazz!

 

The perfect iced tea!

 

The hard part is choosing which of our amazing teas to select for your icy brew! But don’t fear, as ever, we’ve come up with a few suggestions to help you out this summer.

 

It doesn’t hurt to invert! A tea that usually warms the cockles will provide the perfect chill-out experience in its iced form: Apple Strudel Greet Tea! This classic combination of juicy apples and sweet spices is as refreshing as a dip in the pool, with a tantalising taste that make a splash and lures you back time and again!

 

For those who are after a zinging brew full of summer zest, then we highly recommend Citrus Bloom Herbal Infusion. Bright citrus notes sing in harmony with a melodious trio of peppermint, rosemary and sage, while fennel seeds add a twist to your icy treat!

 

And who could resist the cup of liquid luxury that is Marzipan Rooibos?! This rich and indulgent flavour is a perfectly elegant way to cool down in a heatwave, combining almond pieces with mallow flowers and vanilla pieces. Once you’ve taken a sip, you’ll forget the sweat and decompress from the stress!

 

If Iced Teas don’t work for you, then why not delight your family and friends with some luscious lollies? Simply brew your bags for twice the usual time, pour the contents into a mould, and then leave in the freezer overnight!

 

Kick off your sunbathing session with Spiced Orange Herbal Infusion. Our riff on the classic flavour is a beautifully balanced combination of fruit and mulled spices, treating Hoogly lovers young and old to a dazzling new way to enjoy the sunshine.

 

Or how about the extremely grown-up, extraordinarily luxurious Apricot Blossom White Tea? A lolly for those who are taking life slow and enjoying the moment. A lolly that is a treat for the adults while the kids are off playing and you can have ten minutes to put your feet up.  A complex mix of Chinese Pai Mu Dan and crisp green tea, drenched in sunny, ripe, soft stone fruit flavours, frozen to perfection to treat you something gloriously Hoogly. 

 

That’s it for this time, sun-lovers. As the temperatures rise, 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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Making a splash with Hoogly

Making a splash with Hoogly

Greetings Hoogly fans! As I write this, the country is in the grip of a mini heat-wave, with temperatures in some parts soaring to over 30⁰. This wonderful exhibition of sunshine, however, can leave us a little hot under the collar, to say the least, so I thought I’d spend some time thinking about one of my favourite—and most refreshing—past-times: the simple joy of swimming!

Historical evidence has indicated that swimming was enjoyed as early as 2500 BCE in Egypt, and later in Assyria. In ancient Greece and Rome, swimming was part of military training and education for males. The Romans built pools, distinct from their famous baths, and Gaius Maecenas is thought to have constructed the first heated pool. 

In Asia, swimming appears to date back to the first century BCE, with evidence  found of races taking place throughout the region. In 17th century Japan, compulsory swimming lessons in schools were implemented by Imperial edict. 

In Europe in the Middle Ages, a lack of swimming activity seems to be evidenced by the fear of infection and epidemics spreading through close contact in water. Later, in the 17th century, there are reports of swimming at British seashore resorts, in conjunction with water therapy. In the 19th century, however, swimming increased in popularity both recreationally and for sport. By 1837, when the first swimming organisation was formed, London had six indoor pools, each with diving boards. 

The first swimming championship was held in 1846 in Australia and then annually thereafter. Competitors had to race over 400 metres. Swimming was included in the modern Olympic Games from their inception in 1896. Events were originally men-only, but women were brought into the fold in 1912. Some of the first events were a little odd compared to contemporary conventions: in 1900, when the event took place in France’s river Seine, competitors had to climb over a pole and a row of boats before swimming under them! When official body FINA took over, the races were codified and simplified, with strokes being reduced to crawl, breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly. 

You don’t have to be an Olympic swimmer, of course, to feel the benefits of exercising in the water. Swimming is an excellent workout, requiring the movement of the entire body against the resistance of the water. Amongst other great benefits, swimming can:

-Keep you heart rate up whilst taking impact stress off the body. 

-Increase endurance, cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength. 

-Help keep you at a healthy weight.

-Be good for your heart and lungs.

-Tone muscles.

-Improve posture, coordination and balance.

-Improve flexibility.

And it’s not just the body that benefits from swimming. This form of exercise can be extremely peaceful and relaxing, immersing yourself in water can be a truly mindful experience, as well as being incredibly refreshing and invigorating on a blazingly hot day. Swimming is also well known to alleviate stress, and is available at a multitude of places such as beaches, lakes and rivers, offering the calming beauty and soundtrack of nature. (You must always take care to ensure that the environment you are swimming is safe, however.)

Once you’ve finished your revitalising dip, you’ll need a tasty treat to keep the refreshment topped up! Hoogly heartily recommends Citrus Bloom herbal infusion! This bright and beautiful brew combines summery citrus with the lively trio of peppermint, rosemary and sage, topped off with a scattering of fennel seeds. Equally delicious as a cuppa, an iced tea or a lolly, this sun-kissed sensation is perfect to dive into for the hot weather!

Or how about a firm customer favourite: Raspberry Liquorice and Lavendar black tea? Make a splash this summer with this dazzling combo of sharp raspberries and super-sweet liquorice root, sprinkled lovingly with lavender for a fresh, floral twist. So delicious you’ll want to fill the pool and swim in it!

That’s it for now, Hoogly fans. Remember to stay safe in the sun and drink lots of water—but save some room for our luxurious and mindful cuppas—the perfect treat to spoil yourself as the weather shines and shimmers. 

Written by Chris Bedford

www.hooglytea.com

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HYGGE HOTEL

HYGGE HOTEL

Greetings Hoogly fans! Many of you, I’m sure, will be thinking about heading off on holiday in the next few months, perhaps for the first time in over two years. Airports and planes are filling up gleefully and international travel provides a much-welcome opportunity to leave your stresses behind for a week or two, to soak in some warm rays, lounge at a pool or beach, and eat like kings without worrying about washing up. 

And those of you who have the chance to escape will most likely end up in a hotel, which—if it’s done right—is one of the best parts of travelling: a environment where you feel pampered, important, carefree and relaxed. A good hotel will be centred around you, offering a luxurious, comforting and attentive experience, giving you the confidence to sit back and let someone else think about the duties and details. A good hotel should create fond memories and inspire the urge to return—for the setting, for the company, for the mindful ambiance. It should entertain and inspire, offer warmth and familiarity, but at the same time allow its guests to discover new and exciting experiences. 

The emphasis on luxury and comfort that defines the best hotels is also at the heart of what we do at Hoogly. We want you to ‘check in’ with our broad selection of indulgent and delicious teas and then sit back, relax and let our creations do all the hard work. We aim to give take you on a journey of glamour and exotic tastes, as well as acknowledging the importance of simple pleasures that remind us of home. Our ethos is centred on allowing you to treat yourself to some well-deserved me-time, providing a cosy, mindful and elegant way to unwind and focus on restoring yourself to full capacity. And like the best hotels, we have a sneaking suspicion that once you’ve discovered Hoogly, you’ll want to return over and over again. 

For the sun-drenched joy of the poolside bather, we heartily recommend Apricot Blossom White Tea. This exquisite combination of Chinese Pai Mu Dan and crisp green tea is complemented by soft stone fruit flavours to create a subtle masterclass in summer relaxation. 

For the fine-diners amongst you, why not try Rhubarb and Vanilla Green Tea? This tantalising pairing of tart rhubarb and sweet vanilla is a beautifully balanced brew, perfect for any time of day or occasion, making it one of our firm favourites, and a joy from first to last sip.

Those who enjoy the carefree, fun-filled pleasures of the beach will be enthused by the sun-soaked sensation that is Spiced Orange Herbal Infusion! This is a zesty, fruity mix, propelled by a generous dose of mulled spices, squeezing every ounce of pleasure from the mug. 

And for those who wish to be pampered in the massage parlour, we’ve got just the indulgent delight for you! Chocolate Brownie Black Tea is unapologetically decadent, ironing out all those stressful creases with its rich and delicious simplicity, making you sigh and smile with every taste. 

That’s it for now, tea lovers! If you’re off on holiday soon, I wish you safe travels and all the best for your adventures! Remember the three most important items for your trip: passport, boarding card and a box of Hoogly Tea safely stowed in the suitcase!  

Written by Chris Bedford

www.hooglytea.com 

 

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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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