Introducing OTeas

I’m well known for my love of tea and trying new blends, so I was delighted when the lovely people at OTeas wrote to me to tell me about their range. And what a range it is, featuring some of my favourites including Earl Grey and Moroccan Mint as well as some fruit, herbal and green teas, plus a detox collection.

Oteas range

Just a selection of the OTeas range

Over the past few weeks I’ve been enjoying making my way through the OTeas range, including their 14 Day Detox Teas. My somewhat haphazard mission to be healthier and embrace cleaner eating is something I’ve spoken about before, so I thought these teas might just help me stay on the right path. There’s a daytime tea and a night time one, each with different ingredients to help cleanse your body. The night time blend was my favourite with pleasant citrus notes that made for a soothing evening drink. I’m always looking for new options to keep me caffeine free in the evenings, usually I choose hot water and lemon, so the OTeas night time detox blend made for a nice change. Drinking the teas seems to have had a positive impact, I feel better and they’ve certainly been setting me up on the right track for the day and encouraging me to unwind and prioritise sleeping in the evenings.

Oteas detox

My morning detox blend from OTeas

Speaking of sleep, the OTeas wellness range includes a special ‘Sleepwell’ tea which I’ve also been enjoying in the evenings. It’s a refreshing and aromatic blend of chamomile and green rooibos, with notes of orange, peppermint and lemon too. I do love my rest and actually take preparing for a good night’s sleep quite seriously – it’s the one thing I cannot be without! So I loved having a tea specially designed to aid a restful night’s sleep.

As a big early grey fan, I normally judge a tea range by it’s earl grey and the OTeas blend didn’t disappoint, it was light and enjoyable and the 15 tea bags in the pack were soon gone! I loved the fresh Moroccan Mint blend too, made with the roots of mint leaves for a strong but pleasant flavour, just the thing after a meal.

This is just a small selection of the OTeas range, it’s a really fantastic collection with a wide range of blends. From black teas including traditional English Breakfast to some delicious sounding fruity blends such as Date & Lime Tea and Orange & Ginger Tea – there’s something to suit all tea drinkers and all moods.

Has this short post tempted to you try the OTeas range? Take a look at their website to learn more about the blends on offer www.o-teas.com.

 

Two Tea Treats

FoodTeaLife’s been a little quiet lately, mostly thanks to a holiday diet and denying myself the pleasures cheese and wine far too much. However, there have been a few indulges to brighten the diet days – you’ve got to have things to look forward to after all.

First up was a fabulous afternoon tea in London at The Berkeley, a real girly treat. Named Prêt-à-Portea, it’s something of an unique twist on the traditional afternoon tea, with all the cakes and treats inspired by designer fashion and the latest trends. It was a colourful affair, reflecting the Spring/Summer 14 season’s designer collections with cakes and biscuits in the shape of shoes and bags and colours straight off the catwalk. It was delicious too, from the delicate sandwiches to the chocolate shoes – I ate a lot of fashion themed treats that afternoon!

afternoon tea the berkeley

Beautiful fashion inspired treats – thanks to Aminah for the image

The staff at The Berkeley were wonderful too, taking the time to explain the fashion inspiration behind every sweet treat and bringing more of anything you wanted! I haven’t even started on the tea yet (which there was unlimited supply of!). I sipped earl grey and later moved on to a delicate fresh mint tea. My companions however enjoyed a caramel tea and a ginger tea – there were plenty more interesting blends too. Even the coffee was fabulous too.

Cutest cappuccino ever? Thanks again to Aminah for this lovely image

Cutest cappuccino ever? Thanks again to Aminah for this lovely image

I must say a huge thanks to Aminah for organising such a wonderfully decadent girly get-together and for the beautiful photos! It certainly was an occasion to remember.

Treat number two was a little more local, a special pre-birthday indulgence with my mum and sister at The Winchester Hotel and Spa. I was treated to a manicure, something I’ve never actually had before. I was delighted with the results – I’m loving my elegantly coloured nails! Let’s see how long I can keep them chip free for.

We followed our beauty treats with a foodie treat, a cream tea! And what a spectacularly generous cream tea it was, we got far more that simply scones and tea…

Tea at the Winchester Hotel & Spa

My wonderful birthday treat at The Winchester Hotel & Spa

There were rhubarb pastries, strawberries, miniature éclairs and more. It was a real feast and we enjoyed it sipping earl grey outside in the sunshine. Perfect weather and the best company – probably the best Sunday ever I’d say! A massive thank you of epic proportions goes to my sister and mum for this special treat.

Feeling very lucky right now (and full of cake).

xXx

Top Tea Review: The London Tea Company

I  am in absolute tea heaven at the moment thanks to the lovely people at The London Tea Company! Over the past few weeks I’ve been busy sampling a selection of their wonderful blends, so I thought I’d tell you about some of my favourites from the range.

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I was so excited to receive such a wonderful selection of teas from The London Tea Company

Firstly let me say it’s a great range, with classic blends like Earl Grey and Darjeeling but also some delightfully different ones too including White Tea Pear Tatin and my favourite Peach & Rhubarb. So there’s definitely something to suit everyone!

I’ll start with a classic and firm favourite in my household, the London Breakfast blend. If you like a strong, flavoursome cup of tea to kick off your morning I highly recommend this one. It’s a rich and malty Assam tea that I find helps de-mist my sleepy mind with every sip. It’s definitely become a permanent fixture in my morning routine.

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Sweet-toothed tea drinkers will love the Vanilla Chai blend, which is just bursting with sweetness and spice. Inhaling it is sheer delight, each tea bag gives off an exotic aroma of vanilla, cinnamon, cloves and ginger. I tried pairing this tea with hot frothed milk to make a delicious chai latte style drink, a lovely treat that I highly recommend!

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The London Tea Company’s Peach & Rhubarb Infusion has the most amazing scent. As a little girl my family grew our own rhubarb so I grew up eating a fair bit of it and I’ve always loved the sharp, sweetness of it. I had never heard of it being used in a tea infusion before though, so was really excited to try it (especially with the wonderful smell). I’m pleased to report it tasted as good as it smelt, refreshing and fruity – it was like summer in a cup. This would be a fabulous served chilled as an iced tea too I think (must do this!).

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A close contender for my favourite blend was the Raspberry Inferno, it certainly tastes as lively and full of flavour as it sounds. Fairtrade Hibiscus brings this blend to life, giving the bright red colour and working so well with the fresh, fruity berry flavours. This is perfect for summer evenings when I find myself still wanting to drink tea (when do I not?!) but know that I shouldn’t be having caffeine so late in the day.

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Back to another classic blend now, Earl Grey. I always think you can judge a tea brand by its earl grey, it’s sort of a benchmark for me. We drink a lot of it in my family and I’m very partial to it (I drink it at least once or twice a day!). I particularly enjoyed the earl grey from the London Tea Company, it was wonderfully fragrant and refreshing, without being overly perfumed (as some earl grey blends can be). There’s a lovely citrus note to the tea too, a quick look at the flavour notes tells me that the blend includes natural bergamot and lemon, orange and grapefruit peel to give this flavour. I think this is an earl grey tea which will please both the purists who drink it black with lemon, and, the many people who prefer it with a little milk.

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I also really enjoyed The London Tea Company’s Green Tea Tropical too. I found it light and delicate but equally packing a bit of a tropical punch with fruity flavours an real ginger. If you think you don’t like green tea, give this a try, I think you’ll be surprised – it’s a pleasure to sip!

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I think there’s just enough time to squeeze in another tea mention for the Zingy Lemon & Ginger tea too. This is certainly a zesty one, full of the warmth of pure Fairtrade ginger root, lemongrass and lemon. It would definitely warm your cockles on a dreary day.

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Although it feels as if I’ve written reams, this is actually just a mere snapshot of the blends available from The London Tea Company – there’s also Morroccan Mint, Rooibos, Pure Camomile, Sencha Green Tea and lots more! I recommend a visit to their website www.londontea.co.uk to have browse. They also have a brilliant collection of tea gifts on their website too, always a perfect pressie I find.

I must also add that all the blends from The London Tea Company are Fairtrade too, which is certainly reassuring when you drink as much tea as I do! I’m personally trying to really think more about where my food comes from and the quality of it. So it’s nice to know that their tea is ethically sourced and that as a company they take this so seriously. It just means I can enjoy every sip even more.

All that’s left is to say is a big thank you to The London Tea Company for sending me so many of their delightful teas to try, it’s been an absolute pleasure working my way through the range.

Off to put the kettle on!
xXx

 

 

Foodie Christmas Gift Guide

Well, with less than a month to go it’s time to start shopping! So, without further ado here’s some of my favourite foodie Christmas gift ideas this year…

Prestat Velvety Milk Chocolate Wafers with English Earl Grey Tea

Prestat

Earl Grey and chocolate wafers combined – what’s not to love? These delicate little treats are made by infusing Earl Grey tea in cocoa butter and adding bergamot oil. I love the beautiful packaging too, an indulgent stocking filler!

Joe & Seph’s Gourmet Popcorn – Glass Gift Jar

popcornThese guys make some fabulous varieties of popcorn including Mince Pie, Brandy Butter, Gin & Tonic, Gingerbread and lots more! A scrumptious treat for any foodie. What better accompaniment to a classic Christmas film than a jar filled with some festive flavoured popcorn?

Marmite Tea Pot

Marmite

I love all things Marmite and over the years have received some gorgeous Marmite gifts including Champagne infused Marmite, chocolate infused with Marmite (yes really) and some beautiful Marmite themed crockery and homewares. However I still can’t help finding this Marmite teapot rather lovely – perfect for those lazy weekend mornings with lots of tea and toast.

Char Teas

Char Teas

This wonderful shop in Winchester is filled with many wonderful varieties of loose leaf tea and you can spend quite a while choosing the perfect one. I think it’s always nice to give someone one of their classic Winchester blends such as Lady Winchester, Winchester Afternoon or Winchester Breakfast Tea. Of course there’s over 150 blends to choose from – so plenty of choice if you’re looking for something more unusual for a tea enthusiast.

Pair Of Mussel Eaters

Mussel EatersHow charming are these? These silver plated mussel eaters are a perfect gift for seafood lovers and a great buy for someone who has everything.  I think they’re quite simply adorable!

Plush Puffs Gourmet Marshmallows

Marshmallows

Another scrummy stocking filler, these posh marshmallows come in some delightful flavours including Mochaccino, Toasty Coconut and Luscious Lemony Meringue. Who could resist these little moorish fluffy bites?

Cath Kidston Mushroom Salt & Pepper Shakers

salt-and-pepper-shakerYou’ve got to admit these are pretty cute. There’s just something so magical and whimsical about mushrooms I think. These would surely be a lovely, quirky addition to anyone’s kitchen.

Personalised Christmas Pudding

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A traditional Christmas pudding personalised with your own message makes a perfect gift for your Christmas day hosts, or for someone who you wish you were spending Christmas day with.

Manuka Honey

Honey

Manuka honey is sweet, tasty and healthy, helping to boost your immune system at this time of year. A lovely little stocking filler for someone who likes something sweet on their toast.

I Could Eat A Horse Spaghetti Measurer 

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A super stocking filler for someone who has everything, or just loves things for the kitchen! This clever little gadget will measure out how much spaghetti you need for 4 people (or less people if they are hungry horses). It also will measure out a typical man, woman or child portion – pretty useful really!

VOM FASS Blood Orange Vodka

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I’ve not actually tried this but I want to! Who wouldn’t want to find this under the tree on Christmas day? The beautiful bottle and the bright, citrus-flavoured contents are sure to go down well!

Well, I do hope this eclectic mix of gift ideas has provided some festive inspiration for the foodie in your life. What are your favourite foodie gifts? I’d love to know of any other fabulous food and drink related things for Christmas so tweet, email or leave a comment for me with your suggestions!

Bank Holiday Bits & Bobs

Ahhh, the end of a four day working week – lovely! Wasn’t the bank holiday weather brilliant? I tried to make the most of it with some Winchester walks and a new forest day trip too. Here’s a little look my bank holiday weekend in pictures…

The perfect mode of transport for a bank holiday day trip…

Day tripping in style!

Day tripping in vintage style!

We paid a visit to the pretty little town of Lyndhurst in the New Forest…

I do love a bit of bunting!

I do love a bit of bunting!

We called in at The Tea House for some refreshments – how could I not with a name like that?!

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Tea and cake heaven!

It had to be a cup of vintage earl grey of course, which was absolutely lovely!

A pretty little pyramid of tea

A pretty little pyramid of tea

There were so many tempting cakes to choose from as well as scones, sandwiches and lovely lunch options too. I could have eaten everything on the menu but in the end made the snap decision to enjoy an omelette (I’m terrible at making them myself so it’s a treat to have a nice one made for me).

Too many cakes to choose from

Too many cakes to choose from!

Back in Winchester, the sunny weather left me a bit of golf widow – but I made the most of it with walks along the water meadows and up St. Giles Hill – you can’t beat that view of the city…

Beautiful Winchester

Beautiful Winchester!

Somewhere I also found time to eat at Hotel Du Vin (very nice!) and fit in a trip to the cinema – how great is Winchester’s cinema? Okay so there’s not much parking, it’s a bit pricey and the popcorn can be hit or miss – but you can take in a nice glass of wine or a G&T! It does add to the cinematic experience I find!

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The fabulous HDV Winchester

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Love this cinema!

Hope I’ve provided you with some weekend inspiration…whatever you get up to this weekend – enjoy it!

xXx

Afternoon Tea Delights at The Vineyard

It’s well documented that I do like to partake in a spot of afternoon tea and so my mum’s recent birthday provided a great excuse to get the family together for some tea and cake. As a surprise for my mum, my sister and I booked the afternoon tea experience at The Vineyard at Stockcross, which turned out to be just lovely.

The-Vineyard

For those of you who don’t know it the Vineyard at Stockcross is in Berkshire (not Hampshire I know, but worth the drive!), it’s fairly near Newbury and just off the A34 so very easy for Winchester folk to get to. It’s a beautiful, grand looking place, known for its fine dining, so we knew we were in for a treat with their afternoon tea.

We were seated by the fireplace on comfy sofas as it was a special occasion, where we sipped cups of lovely earl grey tea. When the afternoon tea came, it certainly was a feast…

Vineyard Afternoon Tea

Small, perfectly formed sandwiches with crusts cut off to start, followed by hearty fruit scones with cream and jam.

Vineyard Scones

 

Although I don’t have a photo I must say that the choice of homemade jams was lovely…it’s always nice to have an alternative to the traditional strawberry I think.

Last of all, we enjoyed a beautifully presented top tier of delightful little petit four style treats, including macarons and peanut éclairs…

Vineyard Petit Fours

All in all, it was a fabulously indulgent treat and we all left feeling rather full! It was perfect for a birthday celebration though. I’d definitely recommend the Vineyard for its afternoon tea, they do it properly! If you plan to book with them make sure you tell them if it’s a special occasion too. Visit their website for more www.the-vineyard.co.uk.

…Hopefully one day I’ll have had enough afternoon teas to be able to compile an amazing top ten best list…

Exciting New Tea Range: Emeyu

I was lucky enough to be given some beautiful tea from Emeyu to try by the people at Mozzo Coffee. You know how much trying new teas excites me so this was quite a treat, especially as I was given so many different blends to try, including tea bags and loose leaf. In fact there was so much tea I had to get everyone in the office involved in some tea tasting!

A beautiful set of drawers containing Emeyu loose leaf tea and a silver tin of hand-stitched tea bags

Yes that’s right…hand-stiched tea bags! How wonderful. There were so many lovely blends it’s hard to know where to begin talking about them, but I’ll give you a little run through of some my favourites.

One beautiful little hand-stitched bag of green tea

I’m a huge Earl Grey fan and Emeyu’s Organic Earl Grey didn’t disappoint, light and delicate – it was delightful to drink black from a china cup. Likewise the Organic Assam had a nice, not too strong flavour and was ideal to start the day off with.

Always enjoy my Assam tea with a little milk

The fragrant fruit and herbal blends were very pleasant too, the wonderfully named ‘Eight Butterflies’ was a lovely afternoon treat, like a sweet, floral green tea is the best description I can give. The Organic Red Fruits tea was also very refreshing, as was the Rooibos Tea (which I don’t usually drink, but now think I might revisit…).

Very few of these lovely tea bags left

I could go on and on here, as there was also White Teas, Jasmine, the intriguingly named ‘Dragon’s Dew’ and so many more but I’m going to recommend you explore the Emeyu Tea website and treat yourself to trying some of this high quality Chinese tea…I’ve just been browsing and am feeling all a bit kid-in-a-candy-store right now. The tea is just packaged and presented so beautifully – so good for gifting!…Mother’s Day or Valentine’s – if you’re stuck, one of the Emeyu Tea Libraries  would make a perfect pressie.

Emeyu White Tea with Jasmine Pearls

So it’s top review from me for this stylish range of teas, with its excitingly named blends, pretty packaging and refreshing flavours…indeed even my little pet bird’s taken a fancy to Emeyu tea.

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Iago takes a liking to the Emeyu Tea range

And now, because I’ve become one of those people who looks for any excuse to post photos of their pets…here’s one last picture of Iago enjoying Emeyu tea to finish this post…

We’re a tea loving household

All that’s left to say is a big thank you to Mozzo for introducing me to the Emeyu range – thanks! 🙂

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