First Food Festival of 2016

Tasty food from Surrey Food Festival in Richmond

Tasty treats from Surrey Food Festival – tea, coffee, cakes, cookies and olive oil

I visited the Surrey Food Festival at Richmond’s Old Deer Park last weekend, and had a lovely time trying out lots of tasty food and drink in my local area and meeting some great people.

I met some fantastic artisan food providers, from the wonderfully meaty cuisine of Meat The Chef (chicken skin skin-on fries, anyone?), to Sussex oil and vinegar makers, Stratta, to the delightful team at tea and sweet treat makers, Brew and Bites, who tempted me with Persian sweet treats and their beautiful tea and coffee blends. I also found plenty of gluten and dairy free fare to taste and take home, thanks to Wholesome Bakes and online marketplace Free From Market. We even bought a few cheeky bottles of wine from The Vineking, which we were able to try out and taste at the festival and then, once we’d got expert advice from the wine experts on the stand, bring our favourites home with us.

So much good food and drink to take home
I returned with an impressive haul: herb flavoured olive oils from Stratta, Rosy Grey tea and Colombian coffee from Brew and Bites, gluten and dairy free cakes and cookies from Wholesome Bakes, and, of course, a cheeky Prosecco and Cabernet Sauvignon from local wine specialists, The Vineking.

Afternoon tea at home with treats from Surrey Food Festival

My own afternoon tea at home with tea and treats from the Surrey Food Festival and my new bespoke coasters from Individually Inspired

Time for tea
The obvious thing to do when I got home was to have my own special afternoon tea with my tasty treats, so I brewed up a refreshing and delicate pot of Rosy Grey, a blend of Ceylon black loose leaf tea, bergamot, rose petals and rose buds.

The tea is so pretty and smells divine – almost too good to drink! But drink it I did, and it was exactly what was needed after wandering around outside for a few hours and feeling a little tired after all the fresh air!

Paired with a gluten and dairy free raspberry cupcake and served on the lovely Tea with Rachael coasters that Individually Inspired made for me, it was the perfect time to take a moment and relax. I also had a good look through the show guide and the Taste Awards brochure for inspiration for other fabulous foodie finds!

Rosy Grey tea from Brew and Bites

Rosy Grey tea from Brew and Bites – looks and smells too pretty, but tastes just as good to drink!

I’ll be heading to Foodies Festival at Syon Park again next Bank Holiday weekend with some fellow foodie friends, so am looking forward to enjoying our VIP tickets and trying even more tasty treats!

Until next time, hope you also get to enjoy some fabulous food this Bank Holiday weekend – a whole extra day to take the time to sit back, relax, and have a good cup of tea! (And maybe a cake or two…!)

Enjoy,

Rachael xx

 

It’s 2015: Time for tea!

Newby Tea at The Bingham, Richmond

A lovely pot of Newby tea and pretty china at The Bingham, Richmond

Happy New Year!

After a blogging hiatus towards the end of last year, following injury, illness and a number of other reasons, I’m looking forward to making this year “The Year of the Blog”!

2014 wasn’t exactly the year I was expecting, but I have high hopes for the New Year and am feeling positive!

 

A New Year’s Eve to Remember

I saw in the New Year with my lovely husband eating a fabulous six-course tasting menu at Richmond’s beautiful  Bingham hotel. We had a lovely room overlooking the river, inspiring a search for a new home by the river, where we hope to move in March. I can’t wait to wake up to the peaceful, comforting sight of the river and being surrounded by greenery once more!

Miller Harris toiletries at The Bingham

Luxury Miller Harris toiletries at The Bingham

A stylish room at The Bingham

Our stylish room at the Bingham

Do Not Disturb sign at The Bingham, Richmond

Celebrating in style at The Bingham, Richmond

Time for Tea…

I had several lovely cuppas courtesy of Newby Teas, and thoroughly enjoyed my moments of luxury!

In the spirit of “New Year, New You”, I was recently introduced to SlenderTox Tea by the BloggersLove Hub. I’m delighted that this is a health product based on one of my favourite things – tea! I am keen to try the 14 day teatox and see if it helps improve my overall health and wellbeing, ups my energy levels (which are in need of a jumpstart right now!) and that the evening teatox helps me enjoy a good night’s sleep.

I will update you on the results as I go along – very excited to be trying out another tea experiment!

I had a lovely New Year surprise this week, winning some delicious-smelling teas from JollyBrew. The packaging is stunning, making a welcome addition to my tea cabinet and matching the blue themes of my kitchen. I can’t wait to try all three loose-leaf teas – I will share the verdict, but I predict they are going to be amazing!

The Gift of Tea

The elegantly packaged JollyBrew Teas

The elegantly packaged JollyBrew Teas

Festive gifts of tea and coffee

The gift of tea…and coffee!

I received some wonderful tea related gifts from family and friends over the festive season: a real favourite tea of mine, Harney & Sons’ Tower of London Blend Tea, a wonderful blend of black tea with Bergamot and dried fruits; Christmas Thanks from Twinings, which tastes like Christmas cake and is pure comfort in a mug; several lovely mugs; lots and lots of Teapigs; and Christmas Blend teas from Whittard of London and Kent & Sussex.

Slendertox Tea

Time for a TeaTox

This was all after a pre-Christmas visit to one of my favourite shops in Covent Garden, The Tea House, to stock up on my favourite Ahmad blends, Vanilla Tranquility and Cinammon Haze. I’ve been drinking these in abundance, both at work and at home.

Gingerbread Lattes, anyone?

I also received various gingerbread-themed gifts, as my obsession with gingerbread lattes shows no signs of waning! I have to admit I drink them all year round, rather than just as a seasonal treat. I am really looking forward to trying out the Gingerbread Body Lotion from the fabulous Sniffy Whiffy – keeping that festive feeling going through the dark January days! I’m collecting my parcel tomorrow, so will keep you posted…

Until next time, wishing you a very Happy New Year – here’s hoping 2015 is a fantastic one!

Enjoy your January tea break,

Rachael XX

 

Time for a Real Tea Break

Welsh dresser full of tea pots and cupsNot enough time for a tea break?!

Well, things have been so busy so far this year, that I have been neglecting to take regular tea breaks!  I’ve moved house (and now have a big kitchen to experiment in and my own proper garden – bliss!  So expect some new recipes and sunshine-filled garden posts on the horizon!)

I also had a wisdom tooth taken out, which meant I have been taking it easy, was stuck with very soft food and feeling a bit yucky for quite a while, so haven’t been as adventurous as I would usually like to be on the food and drink front!  Although it did mean I consumed copious amounts of comfort food, like mashed potatoes and home-made gravy (And Yorkshire Puddings, once I was able to chew a little bit more!)

So I’ve been neglecting the poor Tea Break blog. 🙁
And like buses, you wait for ages and several come along at once!  There’s so much I want to write about at the moment – the many fun things to do in the beautiful Borough of Richmond, delightful new teas and tea-related activities that I’ve been trying out, and summer interior design – in the house and in the garden!

To try and fit everything in, I’ve been working on a new website for Tea With Rachael – watch this space for a tea time one-stop-shop with a mix of food, drink, fun, fashion, things to see and do and, of course, all things tea-related!

In the meantime, I have been trying some lovely new teas and exploring some fun things to see and do, particularly in and around Richmond and Twickenham.

English Garden's Special Reserve Assam TeaTime for tea

English Garden's Special Reserve Assam Tea - packagingYesterday, I was feeling a bit under the weather, so I made a pot of English Garden’s Special Reserve Assam.  I find that a good strong cup of black tea does wonders when you’re feeling a bit below par, and this certainly did the trick!  The comforting, malty smell from the moment I poured the water over the leaves was so comforting.  It brewed beautifully, leaving me with a rich, deep-flavoured cuppa – exactly what I needed!  I savoured every drop and was very impressed – exactly the kind of blend I like, as I’m a big fan of strong black tea blends and always turn to these as my default/favourites!  I am also looking forward to trying their Empire Earl Grey later this afternoon – will let you know what it’s like in my next feature, on my favourite Earl Grey blends.

 

 

Thought I’d give you a little preview of the next few posts, that should be on the new website very soon!

Coming soon…

  • Time for Tea – An afternoon with Earl Grey
  • Time for Tea – Afternoon Tea at the Four Seasons, Canary Wharf
  • Out and About – Richmond Spring/Summer Special
  • Fit for Foodies – A gastronomic tour of Twickenham
  • Fit for Foodies – Foodies Festival 2013, Hampton Court
  • Kitchen Corner – Use by dates: recipes to make sure you use it all up!
  • Library Corner – Save the planet while catching up on your reading
  • Party Time! Fun party ideas for this summer

Until then, enjoy YOUR Bank Holiday tea break!

Rachael X