Wednesday, 30 September 2015

'Margaret's Hope' First Flush Darjeeling

I was lucky enough to be sent this wooden box by Whittard of Chelsea containing First Flush Darjeeling tea called 'Margaret's Hope'.  I love the import-style box and inside is foil-wrapped whole leaf tea from the very first harvest from those famous Indian Himalayas.  What a good opportunity to get my Whittard tea set out!

Notice the warm amber colour of the brew that is classic to Darjeeling.  Best without milk as it's so fine and delicate that you don't need it.   I believe it counts as a black tea but is quite unlike the others and I found it to have a grassy, peachy flavour that takes you straight back to early Spring.

Look at these lovely leaves.  This tea named 'Margaret's Hope' is named after the 'Margaret's Hope Estate' where this is grown.  An interesting story; Margaret was the name of the founder's youngest daughter who loved Darjeeling but passed away from a tropical illness before she could return.  Her Father changed the name of  the Estate in her honour in 1927, which is sad but lovely.

This refreshing tea is perfect for an occasion, or treating yourself with a slice of cake in the afternoon.  It would also make a lovely gift because of the box it comes in, which is very unique and can be refilled and kept long-term.  Some say Darjeeling first-flush teas are the best (the champagne of teas) so this 100g box will cost £18.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Homemade Turmeric Milk

We had our fourth family wedding of the year yesterday, so we're enjoying a chilled out Sunday today.  The weather is bright with an autumn crisp, which is perfect for a little walk and a cup of tea while reading the Sunday paper.  I only need a pipe now really!

I decided to try and make my own turmeric tea and with a coconut milk base rather than a water based one for a change! There was both turmeric and ginger in there which are both anti-inflammatory and good for soothing sore throats - just what I needed after a night of shouting over the music!

Quite pleased with my first attempt. Going to add even more turmeric next time to over-power the coconut a touch more.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Norfolk Break

Hi Everyone!  I thought i'd blog some pictures from our 'coupley' break in Norfolk last week.  I haven't been since I was a child so I really enjoyed looking around this chilled-out place with its stretched out fields, vast skyline, broads, marshland, coastal villages and of course the Queen's winter-home.  I think we were just in time to capture the last moment of summer sun...

A mecca for bird-lovers with all the marshland
We took an afternoon trip out on the Broads 

We loved our Californian Honeymoon last May/June, but this reminded us that there's still a lot to see here in the UK

Once we left the Norfolk Broads area, we took the camper van up to the north coast of Norfolk (this is a random picture of a boat, not the camper!)

Here is the Windmill at Cley Next to the Sea.  We were especially pleased to see this place since a friend had an amazing Wedding here last year and told us all about it.

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We didn't go in to Holkham Hall unfortunately but we did enjoy seeing the deer at the Holkham Hall Deer Park.

 Wells by the Sea was our next stop, a beautiful sandy beach with cute beach huts.  It wasn't very warm on this day but it was still a very popular spot for dog-walkers.

We had a lovely pub meal at the Salthouse Dun Cow, including my first experience of lobster.

Time for a hotel-stay!  We booked into The Pheasant Hotel last-minute and really relaxed after driving around in the camper.  Very nice place, comfortable beds and friendly-staff (in fact everyone in Norfolk seemed very friendly). 

photo taken from The Pheasant Hotel website

I wasn't feeling too good in the morning due to my M.E so they set me up with a tray to have breakfast in bed, which was so nice of them!  It was delicious especially along with the Twining tea.

Burnham Market; what a lovely quaint coastal village to look around and enjoy fresh food... We sampled a Ploughman's pie and some salted caramel chocolates, which I wanted to marry.

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Bumped in to this massive hat shop, which must be the best place to visit if you have a wedding coming up! 

On the way home, we visited Sandringham House, where the Royal Family live during the winter months including Christmas.  We had a great time looking around and the guides dotted around the house were very informed.  I told one of them I wasn't sure if we had time for a cup of tea in the tearooms, which he replied "oh, there's always time for a cup of tea...".  Love that!

We weren't allowed to take photos in the house but the museum was very interesting.

Inside  The Church of St. Mary Magdalene on the Estate where you see the Royal Family going on Christmas Day.

 And finally, a nice cup of tea to end the trip (in the stables!!)...

We really enjoyed visiting Norfolk and found it to be a very relaxed, scenic place even at night-time with stars galore in the sky.  It was fun in the camper, but there's also loads of really cute B&Bs and hotels or rental cottages if you really want to enjoy the lifestyle. Although I didn't get a photo, there were some great places to get picnic food, especially on the north coast, and having a picnic on the boat and also on the beach were some of my favourite memories.

So the summer draws to a close, but before us is the joy of Autumn and all it's colours...

Norfolk Fields of Pumpkin

If, like us you enjoy looking around the amazing history that England has to offer, English Heritage membership offers unlimited access to over 400 historic properties across the country. You can see a list of Norfolk's historic sites here, including Grime's Grave flint Mine from Neolithic times, crazy!