Hoogly Blogs / love tea

Book Club

Book Club

It’s that time again! We’re here to help you relax and unwind in authentic Hoogly fashion with our top reading recommendations for the summer and autumn! After the lockdown pause, books are well and truly back in our lives again, and there’s even more to come, with August bringing a wealth of new publishing, plumped up by many titles which were delayed earlier in the year. It’s a very exciting time to be a book lover, people!

First up: we have ‘The Giver of Stars’ by Jojo Moyes. You may be familiar with Jojo’s novel ‘Me Before You’, which was a huge best-seller, and went on to become a hit Hollywood movie of the same name. Her latest book is a wonderful, warm-hearted story about friendship and the power of books. Set in Kentucky during the Great Depression, the book tracks five women across the dust bowls and prairies of America as they encounter hardship and oppression, and tells of their journey to overcome everything by bringing a travelling library of books to those who need them most. With Jojo’s trademark wit and wisdom, as well as beautiful descriptions of Kentucky, this is an absolute must-read! As an accompaniment to this great novel, we recommend our indulgent Luxury Hot Cocoa: a sweet and creamy delight that you will crave over and over again, and just like Jojo’s book, you will feel the need to tell all your friends about it!

Our second pick is Bill Bryson’s ‘The Body.’ Bryson has proved time and again that he is the perfect travel companion, taking us all over the world in his journals, allowing us to see and experience people and places we had never seen before, and offering a window into the lives of others with his trademark sense of humour and fun. This time, Bryson is taking us on a tour of our own bodies, neatly following up from his amazing ‘A Short History of Nearly Everything,’ which laid out the story of science in a zippy, fun and accessible style. Now we have the opportunity to learn about the miracle of our physical and neurological makeup, encountering amazing facts and astonishing stories about how our bodies function and possess the remarkable ability to heal themselves. This is truly a book for anyone! To accompany this great read, we recommend naturally caffeine-free Sweet Orange Rooibos: a delicious sip of sunshine from South Africa, with a lively, zesty natural citrus flavour, and a playful hint of strawberry. Guaranteed to put a smile on your face!

Our final pick is for the little ones in your life. ‘Look Up!’ by Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola is a joyous and life-affirming new picture book about loveable Rocket, a space-obsessed girl who wishes everyone was excited as she was about the upcoming meteor shower! If she’s going to be the greatest astronaut, star-catcher and space traveller that has ever lived, she’ll need to convince her big brother Jamal to stop looking down at his phone and start LOOKING UP at the stars. Bursting with fun, energy and eye-popping illustrations, this amazing story will reignite your desire (in true Hoogly fashion) to switch off those screens and switch on to the world around us! And how about something sweet and delicious to complement such a fun-filled story? Try Raspberry, Liquorice & Lavendar black tea, a delightful blend of sharp raspberries and super-sweet liquorice root, sprinkled with lavender flowers for a fresh, floral twist! This is a great summer beverage, equally tasty as an ice lolly, but can be enjoyed at any time of the year, whether you’re reading, relaxing, chilling with friends, or just having some Hoogly time around the house!

If you enjoyed these books, pop into your local Waterstones for some great new recommendations, and remember to flip the kettle on as soon as you’re home—there’s so many different Hygge-inspired brews to try, you’ll never run out of gorgeous-scented, taste-tastic choices!

Written by Chris Bedford

www.hooglytea.com

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COME DINE WITH ME

COME DINE WITH ME

Greetings Hoogly fans! I hope everyone is doing well. It’s great to see the country creeping back into some sort of normality after such a long and difficult few months. While there still seems a fair way to go in this surreal and unprecedented journey, we can at least begin to do some of the things that have been denied to us during lockdown, including eating out! This is a favourite pastime of mine; I love everything about the experience of dining away from home. I especially enjoy the simple pleasure of not having to cook my meal: this is an underestimated joy, and is matched only by the delight of avoiding the washing up. These factors most easily explain why I spend far too much time (and money) in restaurants and pubs—but I can’t help it. There’s something magical about it.

Another huge part of the pleasure of eating out, of course, is the sociability. I think this was one of the things I found hardest about lockdown; the inability to meet regularly with friends and family over a table of good food and catch up on gossip, or put the world to rights with far-reaching debates and conversations. The love of cuisine is something that binds us together; and the experience of the restaurant is something that is best when shared. It starts with the perusal of the menu; the giddy anticipation that comes with the wealth of choice; the slight disappointment that your decision must be boiled down to only one selection, and the promise of something sweet to end the meal.

Then comes the wait. The mouth-watering pause between waiter/waitress visitations, and the smell of the kitchen wafting through the room. And then the plate arrives, placed in front of you like a dream, artfully presented or piled high; a glorious, indulgent reason to be cheerful. The first bite is everything: perhaps you go quiet for a moment. Block everything else out. Spend some alone-time with your main course; taking in the flavour, the texture, the delicate acrobatics of your taste-buds as they are caressed by the food. Once you’ve got to grips with the treat in front of you, the conversations can begin again; declaring how delicious your meal is to others as they confirm the quality of their own dish; swapping stories of where inferior or superior versions of the same meal have been experienced in the past, or perhaps tales of cooking the same dish at home with good or bad results. Sometimes things are left unsaid, however. Jealous glances followed by rueful thoughts. I wish I’d chosen what she’s having. I knew I should have ordered chips. Would it be wrong to ask for seconds?

But food aside, as I mentioned earlier, the loveliest part of dining out is being in the company of those you love and cherish, experiencing a joint adventure that keeps us connected and in touch, creating memories that sustain us through the working week, and through the hardships that inevitably arrive at our door. And the most recent global hardship has made the art of eating into a quite different experience, but one that I think will gradually help us move away from the darker months that preceded these. It will take time, of course. There is naturally, and rightly, an undercurrent of caution to getting back into our old habits, but I think a shared love of quality grub, conversation and lack of kitchen chores will eventually become second-nature once again.

And, of course, there is no better way to round off an evening—whether you’ve been at work, out for a meal, or spending the day at home—than flipping on the kettle and settling down with one of our amazingly relaxing Hoogly teas! We have a huge range of brews that represent our cosy, mindful ethos, helping you find that perfect moment of calm in the storm of modern life. The Hoogly range have scents that are as enticing and delicious as their flavours, and will soon find a special place in your daily routine—and maybe even your heart! We’re all about treating yourself to something special, which is why we love having a meal out, and which is why we design all our teas to put you, the customer, first, helping you focus on the simple things in life that bring you joy and calmness.

Our recommendation today is: Baked Apple Chai black tea. This versatile delight is an excellent accompaniment to any occasion and climate, working from a base of mellow Sri Lankan black tea, which overlaps with the dazzling flavour combination of apple, ginger, cinnamon and vanilla pieces. Throw some blackberry and lime leaves into the equation, and you’ve got yourself a luxurious mug of happiness that will put a smile on your face time and again.

So until next time, stay safe, go at your own pace, and love tea!

Written by Chris Bedford, 

www.hooglytea.com

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A walk on the wild side!

A walk on the wild side!

Greetings Hoogly fans! As the lockdown is gradually eased, many of us are taking the opportunity to step outside and cautiously enjoy exercise in the wider world once again. Spending such a long time indoors has been truly testing (even with our endlessly varied and delicious Hoogly brews to enjoy!) and now that we are starting to stretch our legs, the surroundings that we’ve barely seen in weeks take centre stage once more. But it’s not just the beautiful woods, forests and parks, replete with plump trees, radiant flowers and vast swathes of glistening grassland that demand attention; it’s also the amazing creatures that dwell within. Personally, I love nothing better than to watch wildlife busily going about its business: squirrels scurrying and pestering nuts; ducks with fluffy chicklets drifting across glinting ponds; geese sculling overhead in military formation; foxes on a dusk prowl, flitting into hedge furrows with a flash of orange. And, of course, there are the hundreds of varieties of dogs, hauling their humans around, blissfully unaware of the world’s problems, tongues lapping out like slabs of bacon as they urge yet another lap of the park. Don’t forget, too, the insects, arachnids and reptiles that dart about, burrowing, hiding, marching, flying and hunting beneath and around our feet—a whole other world of stunning intricacy, complexity and imperious design…if only we look close enough.

Watching animals go about their lives has always given me a sense of calm, an escape from whatever else I’m thinking about. It’s oddly comforting knowing the simple, binary prerogatives of these creatures: safety, warmth, food, sex. But it’s not always simply about survival; there are secrets and magic to be found in the wild; chase and play, fun and games, mating rituals, elaborate communication, tender acts, and lifelong relationships. There is so much to admire—and envy—In the animal world that I thought I list a few amazing facts for your enjoyment—nuggets of information that will dazzle, surprise and give you fresh perspective on our wild neighbours!

    

  • In 1945, a Colorado farmer decided chicken was on the menu, and chopped one of his rooster’s head off with an axe; unfortunately, his aim was slightly off, and despite removing the head, the rooster’s brainstem remained mostly intact, and a clot saved it from death by blood loss. When ‘Mike’ continued to run around, the farmer knew he had something incredible on his hands, and soon the rooster became famous, delighting and shocking visitors for eighteen months, before he eventually succumbed to the inevitable!
  • The bombardier beetle, when threatened, cooks up a chemistry set of destruction in its belly: hydroquinone, hydrogen peroxide, catalysing enzymes and water, a jet of which shoots out of its rear end with a loud pop, scaring and stinking predators away! Thankfully, the beetle also has an inner valve which closes so that the beetle doesn’t explode!
  • Some lizards and salamanders can ‘drop’ their tails when a predator grabs it; this process of autotomy happens when the lizard contracts certain muscles, cleaving a vertebra and causing the tail to fall (and sometimes wiggle independently to further befuddle an attacker) Often, a new tail tip made from cartilage may grow back, but the bones are gone forever.
  • It may not surprise you to know this, but cats have adapted to skilfully manipulate their owners. A study showed that cats that want something from their humans emit a unique, high-frequency purr, which is of a similar pitch to the impossible-to-ignore wails and cries of a human baby, ensuring we soon top up the bowl and put a smile on moggy’s whiskers.
  • In 1986, a five-year-old boy fell into the gorilla enclosure at Jersey Zoo, knocking himself unconscious. Jambo, the head of the gorilla group, took the situation into his own hands, guarding the boy, and stroking his back, keeping his curious fellow gorillas back. When the boy came round and started to cry, Jambo stepped back, allowing keepers to rescue the boy unharmed!
  • An African Grey Parrot called Alex, according to his handler, had the ability to understand concepts, recognise colours and shapes and knew around 100 words, including some the parrot had made up himself! When Alex saw his first apple, he christened it ‘banerry,’ a portmanteau of ‘banana’ and ‘cherry,’ two fruits he already enjoyed!

 

To celebrate the outside world, and all the majestic creatures that inhabit it, why not indulge in one of our finest summery brews: Spiced Orange herbal tea! This fresh, zesty delight has a generous dose of mulled spices, and is infused with a fruity centre that will quench your thirst and thrill your taste buds at any time of day!

Until next time, stay safe, be Hoogly, and don’t let the cat twist your arm!

Written by Chris Bedford

www.hoolgytea.com

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IKIGAI

IKIGAI

Here at Hoogly, we base our products on the concept of Hygge: the Danish lifestyle ethos that values cosiness, mindfulness, and focussing on the things you love the most. Although Hygge is our driving force, we’re always on the lookout for other concepts and ideas that can have a positive influence on our everyday lives, and we think we’ve found just the ticket with an ethos that originates on the other side of the world in Japan.

Ikigai (pronounced ick-ee-guy) is, at its most simplistic, your reason for getting out of bed in the morning. Finding your purpose, or a calling, can be a huge factor in living a long, healthy and fulfilled life. But Ikigai goes further. It asks you to examine yourself, listen to your instincts, and to step outside of the practical routines we adopt in our day-to-day lives, moving closer to the things we feel passionate about.

Your ikigai is a combination of four elements:

-What you love.

-What you are good at.

-What the world needs (your mission)

-What you can get paid for.

Ikigai sits in the centre of where these four elements converge, and helps clarify what makes our life worthwhile. It’s worth spending some time examining the list, making detailed notes on each category, and seeing if there are any overlaps that you hadn’t thought about before. It could be that this is the starting point for finding your ikigai. And even if things don’t seem rosy now, many people who live by ikigai use the concept as a means of looking forward to a brighter future. Much like Hygge, Japanese people see happiness as the sum of small joys experienced in everyday life, whether that is in work or at home. And the more you focus on what it is you actually love, the more you increase the small—and big—joys you will experience.

In order to unlock our purpose, we have to cling on to curiosity. Philosopher and civil rights leader Howard W Thurman states, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

The Japanese have some of the longest-living people in the world, and there’s a strong chance ikigai plays some part in this. Author Dan Buettner, who has written about longevity, thinks it is not enough to simply know your purpose: you have to put it into action. “In Japan, older people are celebrated, and they feel obligated to pass on their wisdom.” This gives them a focus outside of themselves, in service to the wider community. In Japanese work culture, the team is valued more highly than the individual, and workers are driven by being held in high esteem by their colleagues, being thanked, and being useful to others.

If your work is a strong part of your ikigai, it does not necessary follow that working harder and longer is vital to your happiness. Fulfilment comes, in many cases, from feeling that you are making a difference or helping people. Small gestures matter, even something seemingly trivial as acknowledging someone and smiling. Bigger gestures follow later, as we discover what we love, what breaks our heart, and what makes us come alive (or possibly a combination of all three!) When we know more about these three things, we are a step closer to changing our lives—and even the world—for the better.

We’ve got a pretty strong idea of our purpose here at Hygge: making incredible tea that helps you unwind, relax and find that special moment of bliss in your busy life. We feel good about what we do, and we want you to feel good too, which is why all of our teas are vegan—as well as delicious!

Hoogly’s pick for this month? Well, it has to be Genmai Cha green tea! Like ikigai, this brew comes all the way from Japan, and is now enjoyed as a worldwide delicacy in its own right! Indulge in the intriguing mix of vibrant sencha and toasted rice, combining to create a fresh and invigorating brew that will give you a brand-new way to feel refreshed, rejuvenated and relaxed!

So, until next time, it’s ikigai and goodbye!

 

Written by Chris Bedford

 

www.hooglytea.com

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Black and White Tea!

Black and White Tea!

Greetings Hoogly lovers! I hope you had a lovely Christmas and New Year! How are your resolutions coming along? Congratulations to everyone who is attempting Veganuary! This is a truly exciting and virtuous mission, helping the planet and its animals in numerous ways, and we at Hoogly are fully behind you! Don’t forget that all of our tantalising teas are vegan, so you can complement your new menu with our relaxing, eclectic selection of scent-sational brews!

Aside from being tidier and better with money, my resolution for the new year is to indulge in a regular routine of retro movie nights. This is a simple and relaxing pleasure I have drifted away from in recent years, especially since the advent of streaming, and the constant deluge of new content provided by the giants of TV subscription. When I was younger, my parents introduced me to some of their favourite films, and watching them I discovered a whole new world that seemed distinct and separate from the films I was watching at the time. Firstly, the oddity of black and white. It took a while for me to fully understand that this was a limitation of technology and not evidence that previous generations had actually lived in a world without colour! As I grew older, the films my parents raved about so much began to take on new meaning for me. I began to appreciate the craft involved, the style and scale of some of the productions, the beautiful orchestral music, the purity of the dialogue, and the magnetic draw of the shining stars that appeared in them. Humphrey Bogart, Laurence Olivier, John Wayne, Vivien Leigh. Names my parents spoke about with such reverence, such joy, such fond recollection. I began to understand why Mum and Dad had watched these films over and over, endlessly, never tiring of what was being offered. It was an escape—all good movies are, of course—but these films of the forties, fifties and sixties seemed a breed apart. They were reassuring. Comforting. Like an old friend. They reminded people of a different era, and in many ways (although reality almost certainly differed) a better time. A period of respect and understatement. A period where awful things were implied but not shown. A period in which everything felt ordered, safe, aligned. An idea that, for ninety minutes, nothing else mattered, and everything was as it should be.

From the hundreds of films my parents introduced me to, a handful have stayed with me forever, and now make up the hit-list of retro movie night. But before I get into the details of this glorious rollcall of cinematic delight, I must share with you the proper way to enjoy your relaxing retro evening.  First of all, you must wear pyjamas. If you don’t own a pair of PJs, then a t-shirt and lounge pants are acceptable. Secondly, you must have a duvet or sheet: you never know when the movie night may extend beyond reasonable hours—it might be midnight already when Gone With the Wind starts, and you’ve got four hours to get through yet, so it’s wise to make arrangements to sleep where you sit! Thirdly, you need copious snacks, preferably popcorn, but I will allow any reasonable assortment of chocolates, crisps or nuts. Fourthly, you must have an endless supply of Hoogly Tea at your side! As you know, like Hollywood movies, our teas range from the classic to the exotic, from elegant simplicity to flavour fiestas, taking your around the world on a chilled and refreshing journey. So get your kettle and bags ready—lights, camera, action!

And so to my favourite retro films. If you haven’t seen these already, then you’re not living your best life. Sort it out!

 

  1. Brief Encounter. A chance meeting of a married woman and a doctor at a steam-covered train station leads to a romantic affair, and a dramatic exploration of loyalty, regret and the choices we make. Has one of the greatest—and most English —endings in cinema history.
  2. Wuthering Heights (1939) This adaptation of Emily Brontë’s novel is a wind-swept and moody saga of love, loss and obsession, with a sweeping and underrated orchestral score, and fine performances by Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon. Have a hanky ready!
  3. Casablanca. Humphrey Bogart plays night club owner Rick, who agrees to help his former lover and her husband stay a step ahead of the Nazis—but old feelings are soon rekindled. This masterpiece has some of the greatest lines of dialogue ever written, a beautiful score, high drama, and never fails to delight, no matter how many times you watch it.
  4. Carve Her Name With Pride. The true story of Violette Szabo, an English war-widow who became a secret agent in occupied France during World War 2. A film about courage, love and doing one’s duty, this a fitting tribute to a remarkable heroine—the first woman to be awarded the George Cross. Included in the film is the reading of a love poem Szabo was given to help encrypt messages while she was in France—it is a thing of rare beauty, and the moment the poem appears will stay with you forever.

 

If you fancy a seductive treat to add a little bit of Hollywood glamour to your movie night, why not try one of our Hoogly hot cocoas?! We have three decadent flavours to choose from: Luxury Hot Cocoa, Cocoa & Mint, and Salted Caramel Cocoa! These sweet sensations will knock your cosy socks off, and keep you coming back for more! So give one an audition today!

Until next time, good luck with all your resolutions and enjoy your movie night!

www.hooglytea.com

Written by Chris Bedford.

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Rooibos!

Rooibos!

Greetings tea lovers! Today, I’m going to talk about a Rooibos, or Red Bush, a relative newcomer to the world stage, but whose popularity and reputation is growing day-by day. The history of Rooibos is rooted in the Cedarberg region of South Africa, where indigenous Khoisan bushmen have used leaves from the Aspalathus Linearis plant for centuries as herbal remedies for a variety of ailments, and for their unique taste. The tea may well have been lost to history with the decline of the Khoisan tribes, but a botanist called Carl Humberg came across the leaves in 1772 and created a more widespread interest in the drink. The mantel was then picked up by Benjamin Ginsberg, a Russian immigrant with tea manufacturing links, who marketed the beverage as a herbal alternative called ‘Mountain Tea.’

With the onset of the Second World War, tea importation from Asian countries became virtually impossible, paving the way for Rooibos to become a credible alternative, shipping all over the world. However, due to the high cost of the seeds, retailers were struggling to keep prices down, and the tea was difficult to buy for many people. However, in the late sixties, Rooibos encountered a stroke of luck, or perhaps fate. A South African mother called Annique Theron wrote and published a book on the tea’s health benefits, which led to more studies being carried out, the results of which created an explosion of interest in Rooibos, and a sharp incline in popularity and uptake.

So, what exactly are these health benefits? First of all, Rooibos is caffeine-free, meaning you can enjoy it at any time of the day without worrying about experiencing any crashes, or getting too ‘wired!’ Additionally, each cup is only 2-4 calories, allowing you to enjoy the smoky brew guilt-free, or incorporate it into a weight-loss programme. Its antispasmodic properties also mean that it can soothe abdominal cramps or pain.

Rooibos has also, in some cases, been shown to be good for your skin! It contains alpha hydroxy acid, which studies have shown can help improve the look of fine lines and wrinkles, and the tea’s soothing effect can reduce redness and irritation, further improving skin tone.

Another health benefit is the presence of antioxidants, which stop harmful free radicals from damaging the body’s cells and causing inflammation that has been linked to serious illness. In addition, Rooibos is rich in healthy bioflavonoids, which can block the release of histamines, helping stave off seasonal allergy symptoms!

So, what on earth are you waiting for? Visit our shop now and feast upon our healthy delights! We currently have two Rooibos blends, the first of which is Danish Pastry, a tasty treat straight from the home of Hoogly, warming you up with a chocolate and cinnamon aroma and a subtly delicious pasty taste. This beautiful brew has all the hallmarks of our wonderful ethos: cosiness, relaxation and indulgence!

Secondly, discover Marzipan Rooibos! This delectable delight is infused with almond pieces, mallow flowers and vanilla to create a cup of liquid luxury that exudes the distinctive taste that we all know and love!

Soon we’ll be adding three great new Rooibos teas to our shop: Classic rooibos, Ginger Biscuit and Sweet Orange, offering even more scintillating scents, tantalising tastes, and cosy comfort! So now there are even more reasons to take a Hoogly home!

 Written by Chris Bedford

www.hooglytea.com

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A Hoogly Year!

A Hoogly Year!

Is it me, or is it cold? Properly, bitterly, unacceptably freezing. The summer heatwave now seems like a bad joke, some distant dream involving t-shirts, Magnums and sleeping without a duvet. This morning it was the sort of temperature where getting out of bed seems like a direct contravention of my basic human rights; the sort of temperature where it wouldn’t be ridiculous to wear every single item of your clothing and ride a huskie sled to work. My greyhound has the right idea: he pokes his long nose out of the back door, assesses the climate, and promptly goes back to bed. His canine senses are telling him to prioritise survival over the comfort of his bladder or the filling of his tummy. If I suggest a walk, he looks at me as if I’ve just ripped up his favourite toy in front of him and binned his box of treats. So, we go back to bed, with a warm mug of Hoogly, of course, and wait for the sun to do its thing.

But this time of year is not all bad: we get to have some spooky fun with Halloween (big shout out to the Netflix series ‘The Haunting of Hill House,’ a brilliant story of families and ghosts to get you in the mood for the dark winter to come) In case you’re wondering, my Halloween costume this year will be a hibernating bear. If someone could kindly bring me some trick-or-treat chocolate to my cave, that would be splendid, thank you.

After Halloween we move to Bonfire Night. This is a truly Hoogly celebration, a way to get friends and family together all dressed up in cosy coats, scarves and fluffy socks. It’s a night for icy breath and wellington boots, of mesmerising orange flames and kaleidoscopic firework displays, of burgers and hotdogs with lashings of sauce. Unless it rains, in which case it’s a bit rubbish. But don’t worry you’ve always got a mug of our delightfully Danish tea to sustain you through the unpredictable weather.

And once we’ve navigated November, we move onto the serious stuff. The word that cannot be mentioned. The all-encompassing stress-monster. The jingling bells and familiar songs. The swathes of shoppers elbowing and bumping each other as they cross items their giraffe’s neck list. The day of gorging and regret, punctuated by the giving and receiving of gifts, and the repeat of a good film.

If you survive the-word-that-cannot-be-mentioned, you’ll then find yourself in January, a month of violent introspection and urgent self-improvement, with military-level supplies of fruit and veg stocked up to compliment our new regime of exercise, which we carry out in a manner that suggests we’re being chased down by a monster. Which is why our regime only really lasts until mid-January, February at best. Plus, we’re a bit hungry. For something other than carrots and quinoa.

And then it’s summer again, possibly another heatwave, beaches rammed with the same people who were brawling for presents in December, but this time with less clothes and more burnt skin and beer. At least you can go to work and come home again in daylight—which does improve the working day by 4-5% (the same percentage as getting a free coffee from the barista or discovering that the boss you dislike is off sick.) This is not quite as big as the 12-13% improvement in a working day when you are allowed to punch out early, especially if it’s a Friday and your extra free time bleeds into a weekend. As Mickey Flanagan says, we’re going out out! The list of things that make a working day worse are too long—and the percentages too big—to mention here, but we all know what they are. We’ll choose to ignore them in a burst of Hoogly mindfulness.

To summarise this rant, I would like to say that every season, every day, every moment is improved incalculably by flipping on the kettle and popping in one of our Hoogly tea bags. Bad moods, bad days, bad luck and bad bananas will fall away as you discover our tantalising variety of finely crafted treats, each designed to bring the cosy comfort of Hygge into your life, allowing you to become the centre of attention, the full focus of your relaxation, stripping away stress and strains as if they never existed. Whether you’re a traditionalist, an experimenter, a sweet-tooth or a smooth operator, there is something in our shop for everyone. You may even find the perfect gift for December, and it’s all just a couple of cosy clicks away!

Written by Chris Bedford, 

www.hooglytea.com

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Cornish Delights!

Cornish Delights!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Written by Chris Bedford!

www.hooglytea.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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