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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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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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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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RELAX

RELAX

After a long day at work, there’s nothing better than kicking your shoes off at home and finally being able to unwind. Everyone has their own ways to de-stress and chill out, but I think most of us would admit that the easiest (and often the most satisfying) thing to do is to slump on the couch with the TV remote and disappear into a good box set or movie. But if you find that Netflix and ice cream doesn’t always get the job done, then why not try a few activities that will make you happier, healthier and more productive in the long run?! 

 

1. Exercise: This might seem like a ludicrous suggestion after a long, draining day in the office, but it is well known that running can keep your brain young, reduce anxiety and improve your mood. If you’re not the jogging type, then try a brisk walk, listening to your favourite podcast or audio book, and burning some calories while you enjoy the fresh air.

 

2. Read: This is a wonderful way to escape the worries of everyday life, plus it has the added benefits of helping to improve your memory, reduce stress and increase your attention span. Try a genre or style that you normally wouldn’t choose, and you’ll be surprised what exciting surprises the literary world has to offer!

 

3. Cook: Some people (myself included) find cooking incredibly stressful, but for others, following a recipe and measuring out ingredients is an extremely therapeutic hobby, boosting creativity, mood and a sense of control. Plus, you (hopefully) end up with something delightful at the end of the process, preferably something big and cakey.

 

4. Clean: Another counter-intuitive suggestion, but this chore can actually work wonders for your mental health. Tidying, organising and decluttering your personal space allows you to view your home as more restful, clearing out the chaotic thoughts that can often mirror the environment around you.

 

5. Journal: There are many benefits to journaling, including organising your thoughts, helping to purge your mind of repetitive thoughts or anxious feelings, and better understanding yourself and your emotions. The act of writing is itself mindful: even if you’re only drawing simple shapes or letters, it’s a nice way to focus your concentration, noticing the way the pen or pencil interacts with the paper, paying attention to how you feel as you create, and allowing yourself to enjoy the moment.

 

6. Digital detox: It’s always a good idea to ration your screen time, but especially so after a hard day of checking emails and conjuring spreadsheets. It’s important to cut off from the working day where possible, allowing your mind to have the rest it deserves, and focussing on the people and things around you. Do this often enough, and you may find that your mood improves, as well as your sleep, leaving you feeling more refreshed and ready to face the working day.

 

7. Drink a cup of Hoogly tea. Obviously, we’ve saved the best for last! Having a cuppa after work is one of life’s great pleasures, but at Hoogly, we take things to the next level, providing a relaxation sensation that is hard to match! Our teas are lovingly crafted with your mindfulness as our top priority, allowing you to unwind in luxury, enjoying our scintillating scents and tantalising tastes. With this is mind, allow us to present a glorious pick-me-up for the autumn months: Tiramisu black tea! This Italian-inspired masterclass is an indulgent blend of Sri Lankan black tea, coffee beans and cocoa, dazzling your senses with a rich and creamy taste that will soften the blow of the shortening days and reluctant sun. 

 

That’s it for now, Hoogly fans. Keep a look out for the Hoogly Tea Lodge in Preston Park, opening soon to offer the people of Sussex (and beyond) their fix of beautiful brews, classic cakes and a gorgeously laid-back atmosphere packed with Hygge charm. I was fortunate enough to be invited for a sneak preview of the venue, and I was blown away by the friendly team and the quality of the products on offer. If you get the chance to check it out, you will leave with a smile on your face, guaranteed!

 

Written by Chris Bedford

www.hooglytea.com

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A Little Bit of You-Time with Hoogly

A Little Bit of You-Time with Hoogly

Have you ever looked at the clock and it seems to be moving backwards? The passage of time is a strange phenomenon; we all remember occasions when it screams past too quickly—but when it’s sluggish and ugly, it can do weird things to the hands of a clock, or the digital readout on a watch. 

Waiting for a delayed train is one of my personal, time-bending bugbears. Or perhaps labouring through a tedious project at work. Maybe even during a date with a person who is totally wrong for you: a quick glance at the watch to see that seven minutes has elapsed, and you were sure it was two hours. 

Sometimes having the kids home in the summer holidays can feel like this. And especially so after the yawning time-chasms of the national lockdowns, where many parents and guardians became full-time educators as well as boredom-fixers. Six weeks is a long time in anyone’s books, but with littles one around all day long, demanding to be fed, to go on adventures, to play games and to do it now, then the pressure can build on those poor souls looking after them.  What’s worse is the debate and controversy about foreign travel, which has kept many families grounded, unable to get away and put their feet up in the sun. And I haven’t even mentioned the poke-nudge-tantrum when it comes to screens: one family app calculated that parents will be hounded 521 times over the holidays about getting behind a phone, tablet or console. That’s some high-quantity pestering! It can be expensive too, with working parents seeing the bills mount up for childcare and holiday camps—a prospect that is difficult to swallow after the financial and career uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

One thing you can be sure of, dear readers, is that the time will pass, the kids will eventually have a nap or go to bed, and the summer holidays will end. And at the end of the day, when you’ve finally got the couch and the remote to yourself; when your back aches and your head is throbbing; when your feet are blistered from hiking and your hands are sticky from glitter and glue—remember that you’ve earned yourself this time. You deserve the rest—and you deserve the most luxurious treat to accompany your me-time.

And this is where Hoogly tea comes in!

Our Hygge-inspired brews were created with mindfulness and relaxation at their core; they are liquid tranquillity, luring you in with tantalising aromas, before leaving you spellbound with an array of delicious tastes. Our teas are the perfect way to unwind and let go of the shrieking madness of the day-gone-by. Hoogly moves at your pace. It won’t bug you; it won’t tug on your shirt; it won’t demand Minecraft or Fortnite. It will, however, leave you yearning for another cup, drawn in by the naturally healthy and vegan ingredients, woven together in original and elegant ways, and dazzled by the way it makes you feel. You can even rely on Hoogly to look after the environment while you chill, with our plastic-free bags and ethically sourced, fair-trade ingredients!

But if a cup of spectacularly delicious tea just won’t get you there—why not try our seriously indulgent Salter Caramel hot cocoa?! Using Himalayan salt and coconut nectar sugar, this sweet treat is the ultimate way to put the day behind you, with more warmth and comfort than a childhood blanky!

That’s it for now, tea lovers! Good luck with the rest of the holidays, and remember to flip on the kettle whenever you need little bit of Danish delight from Hoogly!

Written by Chris Bedford

www.hooglytea.com

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A Flask of Freedom

A Flask of Freedom

As I write this, the evening sun is painting the garden gold, and the sky is a perfect, limitless blue. There is a gentle breeze caressing my face and the enthused chitter of birds from hedges and bushes. From the neighbour’s garden, a sprinkler swivels and whispers as it shoots out a misty haze. At the back of the neighbour’s yard, they have a pond, where a loved-up pair of ducks have just produced eleven chicks, little bundles of fluff who follow their parents about with adorable clinginess, as Mum and Dad quack aggressively at any perceived threat. On the TV, another match from Euro 20/21 is about to start, the second of three today, following England’s opening win. This is a decidedly lovely day.

Alas, Freedom Day has been postponed—we have one last push to get back to normal—but, on a day like this, I don’t feel as though I can complain. As it stands, things feel nice and Hoogly. The dog is chewing the plastic washing liquid cup, because it was there, and my wife is reading a novel about a husband who lies and cheats and then tries to kill his Mrs, which I try not to take personally. The only thing that’s missing from this scenario is something refreshing. Something delicious to accompany this glorious weather. Something simple, straightforward and moreish.

I expect you’ve guessed that I already have the answer to this conundrum! Yes, it’s none other than Hoogly’s dazzling selection of Iced Teas!

To make a family-friendly and summery iced tea for four, do the following:

 

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

 

Now for the fun part: which Hoogly blends to use for your cosy cup of chill?

 

For a bit of zest and fire, why not start off with Lemon and Ginger herbal infusion? This energising customer favourite tastes like sunshine and smiles, and can be ratcheted up a few levels by adding lemon zest and grated ginger!

 

For a playful party piece, why not bring out Berrylicious herbal infusion? Bursting with beautiful berries, this dynamic drink builds to a fruity crescendo, before giving way to the rich, caramelised notes of dandelion root. To be especially fancy, add strawberries and raspberries, and you’ll have a sweet sensation that will thrill your family and friends!

 

For a cooling, calming alternative, why not try Chill Out Mint herbal infusion? This invigorating menthol cuppa is especially good for those who have overdone it at the barbecue, offering a soothing fix for full bellies, whilst giving you a fresh and bracing way to unwind and relax after a hard day’s sunbathing.

 

If Iced Teas are not your…um, cup of tea…then why not try a cheeky Hoogly lolly?! We’ve got the perfect flavours to make this traditional treat work: simply brew your bags for twice the usual time, pour the contents into a mould, and then leave in the freezer overnight!

 

For a bit of traditional Hoogly charm, why not try Danish Pastry Rooibos? This riff on the Danish national treat creates a sumptuously sweet lolly, with a chocolate and cinnamon scent, and a cheeky pastry taste!

 

Our next succulent summer sensation is Raspberry, Liquorice and Lavendar black tea! Sharp raspberries combine with super-sweet liquorice, sprinkled with lavender flowers for a flesh and floral twist. Pick this one out the freezer when you want a delicate and delicious treat that will thrill your taste buds!

 

Our final lolly-licious pick is Baked Apple Chai black tea! The Sri Lankan base flavour is overflowing with the combined charms of apple, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves, giving you an exotic frozen adventure! This one is perfect for the grown-ups amongst you, full of subtle charm and elegance, ideal for dishing out to guests on those baking summer afternoons.

 

That’s it for this time, sun-lovers. As freedom approaches, 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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A New Page

A New Page

Greetings Hoogly fans! I hope you are all safe and well. Since the last blog I’ve had my first vaccination jab, which was an extraordinarily efficient process, with hundreds of people being manoeuvred with military precision through a large hall, with the whole thing (including the fifteen-minute precautionary post-jab wait) only taking about half an hour. Remarkable work by the healthcare and admin teams, and another step closer to freedom. Fingers crossed things continue to look so positive!

In the meantime, I reckon it’s time to once again delve into the delights of the literary world, discovering which books are the new must-reads as the summer season approaches. Books have been a much-treasured lifeline for many over the lockdowns, their escapism and immersion so much more pointed and urgent than in regular life, giving us an opportunity to relieve a bit of pressure from the valve that steadily builds in confinement. In fact, one of the silver linings of my time on furlough was the ability to read a lot more, which creates the space to try new authors and genres, something that can be the most unexpectedly pleasurable and satisfying experience, and one that people often wish they had tried earlier.

For me, the discovery was American author Anne Tyler, a name I had seen countless times on bestselling lists and on bookshelves, but whose book covers and plots had never appealed to me. I sat down with a mug of Hoogly Earl Grey and started a book called ‘A Spool of Blue Thread,’ which is about three generations of a family in Baltimore, their loves and losses, their triumphs and successes, and the way each generation impacts on the next. I instantly fell in love. Tyler has a forensic understanding of family dynamics; her characters are all relatable, their decisions—good and bad—mirror our own, and we feel their sorrow and joy, crying and laughing with them. Humour, in fact, is sprinkled lovingly throughout the book, with seemingly every other line infused with a wry smile or a wink to the reader, which offers a counter-balance to the more emotional scenes, some of which you have to read a few times to properly understand how beautifully crafted, meaningful and poignant they are. Tyler writes, in fact, just as many of us experience family life: with love and fun, intersected with thunderbolts of drama, woven together with compassion, comfort and few unwelcome surprises! I heartily recommend all of her many novels; you couldn’t find a more Hoogly author if you tried!

So what books are making a splash as we speak? Our first Hoogly recommendation is ‘The Lamplighters’ by Emma Stonex. Inspired by true events, this is the story of three lighthouse keepers who vanished from their lighthouse in 1972, with the entrance door locked from the inside. Within the walls, the clocks have stopped; the weather log speaks of a terrible storm, but the skies have been calm all week. Twenty years later, a writer approaches the women the keepers left behind and invites them to tell their story. As they confront their darkest fears, the truth begins to surface… With critical and popular acclaim, ‘The Lamplighters’ is going to be a must-read novel for the summer ahead!

Our next pick is a stunning mash-up of genres. ‘The Devil and the Dark Water’ by Stuart Turton is a historical mystery thriller with elements of crime and the supernatural. It takes place in 1634 as the world’s greatest detective Samuel Pipps is being transported as a prisoner to Amsterdam aboard an East India Company merchant vessel. Almost as soon as the ship leaves the harbour, the devilry begins, with strange symbols appearing on the sails, a dark figure stalking the decks, and animals being slaughtered. Can Pipps and his faithful bodyguard solve an impossible theft and a brutal murder before the ship’s passengers descend into terror and anarchy? The author brings the scenes vividly to life with acute observed details and a poetic descriptions, drawing you into the era and the setting from the very first page, and then carrying you along on a wild and scary ride as the super sleuth follows the clues and battles enemies real and imagined! If you fancy something inventive and different, this is the book for you!!

For kids around ages 9-12, we highly recommend ‘Harklights’ by Tim Tilley. This is the story of Wick, who lives in the terrible Harklights Match Factory and Orphanage, working without rest for Old Ma Bogey. As he dreams of escape, he happens across a tiny baby in an acorn cradle. As midnight chimes, Wick is visited by the Hobs, who are miniature protectors of the forest, who thank Wick for taking good care of the baby. But their gratefulness does not end there: the Hobs offer Wick an amazing opportunity—escape from Harklights and start a new life and adventure with them in the wild! This is a beautiful book, extremely Hoogly in its themes of friendship, family and the natural world, and offering a much-needed message of hope during the difficult times we have all experienced. Kids will love the world that is created inside the covers, and will embrace the Hobs and their urgent need to protect the world around them.

As for the perfect accompaniment to your literary treasures, look no further than a beautiful mug of Hoogly tea! We can’t think of better way to relax and wind down than to pick a cosy nook of your home, curl up with a good read and sip a delicious brew while you immerse yourself in a good story. How about kicking off the summer with a cup of Spiced Orange herbal infusion?! This is a zesty sensation that sings of sunshine, combining fruit and mulled spices to create a taste that will thrill you during those long, warm nights with friends and family!

For something a little different, why not try Blueberry Muffin Rooibos? This tantalisingly toasty brew is infused with sweet berry tones to recreate a classic naughty treat, perfect to accompany breakfast, or as a Hoogly mindful moment at any time of the day as it’s naturally caffeine-free! Sure to become your new favourite cuppa—and as restrictions ease, it will become your guests’ favourite too!

That’s it for now; take care of yourselves, pop the kettle on and stay Hoogly!

Written by Chris Bedford

www.hooglytea.com

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