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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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