Rachael’s Adventures in Tealand – Part Two – Breakfast with Twinings at the Savoy

I love the Autumn!  The new season always brings with it new adventures, as well as new
smells, tastes and experiences that come with this most lovely of seasons.  This month has opened the door to even more fun adventures in Tealand!

Time for a Twinings English Breakfast at The Savoy

I always seem to be better at eating a proper breakfast in the Autumn, so I was delighted to be invited to an exclusive breakfast hosted by Twinings and 2011 Masterchef winner and culinary alchemist, Tim Anderson at London’s luxurious Savoy.

This was not just any breakfast, but the 80th Anniversary of
Twinings English Breakfast tea, the first ‘designer tea’, created in the 1930s!  I was very excited to be greeted by Stephen Twining, Brand Ambassador for Twinings when I first arrived, who shared with me his tips on brewing the perfect cup of English Breakfast – make sure you brew it for at least three minutes!  Many people complain that they don’t like English Breakfast tea because it’s not strong enough, but the trick is in the timing.  True to his word, it was a refreshing, tasty cup of tea – much needed after my travel across busy London!

The theme of the event was, of course, breakfasts throughout the last eight decades, paired with English Breakfast tea, of course!  With my love of all things vintage, this was a combination of a fascinating trip down memory lane and an interesting anthropological study of how eating behaviour has changed over the years – and continues to evolve.

I’m not sure what I loved more – the fabulous retro Twinings packaging, the vintage teapots, tea cups and tea sets, or the food itself!

Tim Anderson then talked us through his vision
for the breakfast of the future – which is certainly innovative and different from the normal fry-up/cereal/pastry on the go that we’re so used to today!  Tim’s idea was that people will turn to more sustainable food sources in the future, eating things that may have seemed unappealing in Western countries before, such as insects in your muesli – crickets, ants eggs and mealworms, anyone?!
I very much liked the idea of more gamey meats featuring on the breakfast table, like Tim’s smoked duck bacon – smoked with Twinings tea, naturally – and rabbit and venison sausages (although, rather childishly, I still can’t bring myself to eat rabbit or venison, which conjour up images of Thumper and Bambi!)Innovation is an important theme for Twinings, too – I didn’t realise that they were pioneers of the teabag in the 1950s and de-caff tea in the 1980 – and the evolving packaging through the ages has reflected the styles and fashions of the era.  I particularly liked the 1970s packaging, which I think would be very fashionable again today!
I was also delighted to meet Mike, Twinings’ master blender, chatting with him about my favourite Twinings blends and how different tea leaves add those all-important layers of flavour to different tea blends.  Mike created a special, strong blend to accompany the breakfast of the future and cut through the strong flavours of the food.  This was a strong, comforting and fragrant cup of tea, that really stood up to the robust flavours of the futuristic breakfast.I was equally impressed with the special, limited edition 80th anniversary blend of Twinings English Breakfast, a blend of Assam, Ceylon and Kenyan teas, in its fabulous Art-Deco-inspired packaging. Twinings’ master blenders have continued to tweak the blend of English Breakfast throughout the years to match up to the popular breakfasts of the time and to ensure consistency.Since getting my paws on this special anniversary blend, I have been enjoying this strong, malty cuppa every morning for my first breakfast cup of tea – brewing for at least three minutes, naturally!Until next time, hope you enjoy your breakfast cuppa!Rachael x

An Afternoon with Earl Grey

When I’m busy and feeling a bit tired and stressed in the afternoon, I like to take a tea break with Earl Grey.  And not just any Earl Grey, oh no!  I have a select list of favourites – and would like to share them with you!

Twinings Earl GreyThe Classic Earl Greys – a strong kick of bergamot to get you through the day…

Twinings Earl Grey – a true classic

I have a friend who swears by this blend and no other – and you can see why.  Always a failsafe cuppa –  a light, floral flavour with a strong kick of bergamot that enlivens the senses!  And it works very well in baking too!  As a novice baker myself, I’ll leave this to the experts – check out this fabulous Twinings Earl Grey Cake recipe, tried and tested by the same ever-faithful friend!  Scrumptious – and best enjoyed with a steaming pot of Earl Grey!

Ahmad Earl Grey – the discerning choice…

Ahmad Earl GreyThis is a real classic – great flavour and a strong aroma, again with a clear hit of bergamot.  This is very drinkable, as it has a lighter flavour than some other blends.  It works particularly well when you want to make up a nice big pot of tea.  I also find this very refreshing, so it suits all weather!  Note to self – don’t drink up all your stock at once!  I’m planning on stocking up on more of this lovely tea when I head over to America in a couple of weeks’ time.



Time for something a little bit different…

Twinings Lavender Earl Grey – two of my favourite things: lavender and tea! 

Twinings Lavender Earl GreyThis is great for winding down at the end of the day, or for the morning after the day before (have been known to provide this after parties to soothe those pesky hangovers)!

I come back to this favourite time and time again.  My husband bought me a full Twinigs tea chest last Christmas, where I was delighted to find this little treasure!  I have since stock-piled boxes of twenty teabags and find myself getting through them remarkably quickly!

I do find this tea rather addictive – one cup is just never enough!

Teapigs Darjeeling Earl Grey – a match made in heaven!

Teapigs Darjeeling Earl GreyI’m a big fan of Darjeeling, so when I first walked past a cafe selling Teapigs Darjeeling Earl Grey a few years ago, I was intrigued and excited! This blend is really unusual and a very refreshing, malty, comforting taste.  I like this tea first thing in the morning as well as an afternoon refresher – I find it goes well with breakfast, or keeps me going nicely when on the go.  And I have to say, I love the packaging – I’m also a big fan of sausage dogs, so the quirky label always makes me smile!

English Garden Empire Earl Grey – the Empire Strikes Back!

This is smoky, sultry and smells fabulous – either in or out of the pot!

English Garden Empire Earl GreyI made a pot of this after I was feeling sorry for myself and suffering following a wisdom tooth removal.  My friend, another fellow tea enthusiast, came round to the house to cheer me up and we decided to do a mini-tasting of the best Earl Greys and my favourites.

I particularly liked this flavoursome blend, firstly for the smell of the dry leaves, then the aroma once the pot was brewing, then the comforting, light Earl Grey taste. What makes this blend different is the smoky aftertaste, which is really quite different to anything I’ve tried before.  You can strongly smell the bergamot in the dried leaves, but once brewed it’s a very subtle flavour, and I think the smoky, malty taste makes it quite unique.

I’m feeling a bit tired and worn-out again today, so think it’s time for a tea break.  Looking forward to spending another evening with Earl Grey!

Until next time, enjoy your tea break (and why not join the marvellous Earl Grey?!)

Rachael X