The Afternoon Tea Awards

I was lucky enough to attend second annual Afternoon Tea Awards at  London’s Grosvenor House Hotel, thanks to the event’s fabulous sponsors, luxury tea company, Newby Teas.

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As if that wasn’t exciting enough the awards were presented by author and star baker, Martha Collison and hosted by AfternoonTea.co.uk (a brilliant website for afternoon tea recommendations).

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Newby Teas welcomed us with gorgeous tea-filled goody bags and a chance to sample all their blends. There were also bubbles from Lanson and of course, some delicious afternoon tea treats. I think it’s fair to say it was certainly the best awards ceremony I’ve ever been too!

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The awards are set up to recognise the best in afternoon tea and tea service, from some of the UK’s best hotels and restaurants. A team of expert judges anonymously call in for afternoon tea and look at all aspects of the experience for each prestigious venue (how can I get this job?!).

So, where are the best of the best places to enjoy tea and cake?

Afternoon Tea Award Winners 2017

  • Best Traditional Afternoon Tea – Hotel Café Royal
  • Best Contemporary Afternoon Tea – Mirror Room at Rosewood London
  • Best Themed Afternoon Tea – Churchill Afternoon Tea at The Wellesley
  • Best Children’s Afternoon Tea – Millennium Hotel London Mayfair
  • Best Tea Service – Fortnum & Mason

There were also several venues who received a highly commended accolade, including local hotel Lainston House (see the full list here).

Newby Teas

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The team at Newby Teas are no stranger to awards themselves, they actually have over 100 awards, making them the world’s most-awarded international brand in high-end luxury tea. So naturally, I was keen to try their range and I’ve steadily been working my way through the goody bag. I have to say I am loving Newby Teas’ Milk Oolong blend, which is a yellow green in colour with a natural sweetness and creamy aroma of caramel. I’m also enjoying the green tea and earl grey blends.

Thank you to Newby Teas for the invite to the awards and to AfternoonTea.co.uk for putting on such a fabulous event.

***All the fabulous photos in this post were supplied by AfternoonTea.co.uk***

 

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.

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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.

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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.

 

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

 

 

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! 🙂

In Nature’s New Red Rose Tea – My Review

I think you all know how much I love tea, so I was absolutely delighted to be contacted by the lovely people at In Nature, who make high grade pure flower tea. They’ve just launched four new teas and very kindly sent me a box of their brand new Red Rose Black Tea to try. And what a beautiful box it was! I was like a child at Christmas when the post came…

What a lovely treat to find in the post…a beautiful box of tea!

Opening the lovely box to reveal the bag loose leaf tea inside was rather exciting and made quite an occasion of making a nice weekend cup of tea, especially with the five detailed steps to follow on brewing the perfect cup of tea. Yes, the tea also came with a little printed leaflet all about tea and a guide to brewing – it even taught me a thing or two! For instance, I had no idea that making a second cup of tea from the same tea leaves a the first cup actually tastes even better, but I gave it a try and found this statement to be true, what a wonderful discovery!

I opened the box to find some fragrant loose leaf tea and an interesting little leaflet all about tea

I could write more about the interesting little leaflet, which came with all sorts of extra information including the many health benefits of tea, but I guess I should get down to business and talk about the tea itself…

Brewing my cup of In Nature’s new Red Rose Tea

The Red Rose Tea had an intense earthy aroma that reminded of being in a garden on windy day and inhaling the scent of a variety of flowers and plants. It had a wonderful dark, but sweet flavour, quite rich and full-bodied (yes I just described a tea as ‘full bodied’ – just go with me on this!). As it was a black tea I had mine with a little bit of skimmed milk, but if it didn’t necessarily need this, if you drink your earl gray black you’d enjoy this tea black too. Overall I found this fragrant tea very soothing to sip on wet and windy evening.

Ahh…lovely tea

Now I must advise that this tea will be a little different if you’ve only ever enjoyed tea made with standard teabags before. In Nature teas are all imported directly from China and are completely pure, with nothing added and this definitely comes across in the flavour of the tea. If you’re unused to loose leaf teas or more traditional tea from China, the taste may be a little strange at first but it is quite pleasant, you get a real sense that you are drinking something natural and good for you. My partner Tom does business in China and is sometimes given tea to bring home and there’s just something about the taste of the tea, it’s like you’re tasting hundreds of years of tradition in a cup.

Tradition in a cup

I urge you to try give proper pure Chinese tea a try if you haven’t before. Before the people at In Nature contacted me I wouldn’t have known where to buy such high quality tea from China, but now I’m happy to recommend them – so check out their website to find out more. They’ve got quite a variety of special blends, even the famous Puerh Tea (drunk by Victoria Beckham for it’ health properties!). Right now there’s even a special offer on – throughout October you’ll receive a free box of Floral Oolong Tea with every order!

So go forth tea lovers and enjoy…I think I might just indulge in a little tea shopping  spree myself at www.innteas.com

Off to put the kettle on!

xXx