Wandering in Whistable.

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I love Kent. It’s probably my favourite county in the entire country – it’s so accessible from London and has such a variety of landscapes and things to see+do!

As you know, I’m trying to go on more adventures this year, so my friend, B, and I decided to do a little road trip down to Whitstable. I’ve only ever heard of it in relation to the the oyster fair, so was excited to go on a little visit! It was pretty fun and stress-free, thanks in part to the chocolates B wisely took along, although there was a minor scare when I left home and realised that I hadn’t taken my asthma inhaler with me… Oops. Thank goodness the fresh sea air and bracing breeze did the trick and opened my lungs right up and I was fine. Otherwise it would have been a much less fun day spent in casualty!!

We went wandering through a few vintage shops (we really are spoilt in this country…) and then on to the beach which was COVERED in oyster shells. I mean… wow. I wasn’t expecting that!! Whitstable is such a charming seaside town. We might go back in the summer and stay in one of the cute little beach chalets!

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Drinking it all in…

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“I am so fond of tea that I could write a whole dissertation on its virtues. It comforts and enlivens without the risks attendant on spirituous liquors. Gentle herb! Let the florid grape yield to thee. Thy soft influence is a more safe inspirer of social joy.”
― James Boswell, London Journal, 1762-1763

I love tea – tea on its own, or with scones and cake and buttered toasts; tea on a summery evening or on a cold, winter morning. Today I visited Best of Britannia (you should definitely go have a look – it’s a market stocked full of all types of British designer-makers), and discovered the wonderful Comins Tea House, in Dorset (more on them next time!). Rob, the co-owner/founder of the teahouse, has such respect for Oriental tea-drinking ceremonies and traditions. It reminded me of tea drinking as a child with my father – his Chinese roots had instilled in him a real reverence for and delight in taking tea properly, and he loved to share those traditions.

When Dragonfly Tea (a family-owned British company with over 100 years experience) gave us a copy of their new guidebook, Brewed With a View, we were really intrigued. I rather love taking my tea in bed or while lounging on a sofa, but this guide book paired tea with locations, and encouraged the reader to connect the flavours of the tea with the scenery. I guess tea drinking is supposed to be a public and communal experience! Think of all the poetry reading and calligraphy that must have happened under moonlit pavilions in China…

I chose Pu’er, a fermented black tea with a slightly earthy taste. As you can see, I still take my loose leaf tea without straining – a Chinese habit! Brewed with a view paired my choice of tea with Glengoyne Distillery in Strathclyde (I think the connection is smokey whisky?) – imagine drinking tea in a distillery! Would love to try that. 

Of course, I paired my tea with a chocolate chip cookie, because, really, if we are thinking of tea as a comfort, cookies definitely fall under that definition! We do intend, however, to give the guidebook a whirl – wouldn’t it be fun to sip tea that evoked connections with your surroundings?

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A limited first-run of the Brewed With a View guidebook (which comes with tea samples) is available at the following visitor centres and on dragonflytea.com:

–       Liverpool Tourist Information Centre, Albert Dock
–       Tatton Park Visitor Centre
–       Kibble Palace Shop
–       Glengoyne Distillery Shop
–       Roman Baths Tourist Shop
–       Glamis Castle Visitors Office

Let us know if you do manage to pick one up and use it!

For more information, visit http://dragonflytea.com.

 

Images & Styling: Courage & Dash