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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Written by Chris Bedford.

 www.hooglytea.com 

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