The big day has almost arrived and we’re ready to launch our book, Brewed With a View!
Here we’ll take a closer look at the incredible destinations we visited, the exotic teas we selected, and bring you more from behind the scenes.
This shot, taken at York Railway Station, was not part of the final selection, making it a real blog exclusive!
From Kibble Palace, Glengoyne Distillery and The Lake District to the Roman Baths of Bath, Ashdown Forest, Liverpool’s Chinatown and London’s Leadenhall Market - amongst many others - we’ve scoured the UK for some of its most intriguing destinations with the help of the British Guild of Travel Writers. Along with fascinating places packed with historical and geographical significance, we’ve also sourced some of the world’s most sought-after teas, specially selected to accompany each spot. It’s all part of an effort to encourage you, our readers, to take a moment to appreciate the views in front of you - to look at familiar things with a fresh lens and experience them with all your senses, and appreciate the magic of the leaves in your cup.
The diversity of the world of tea is key to this adventure, paralleled by the diverse British landscape, in which we find the perfect setting. Our complicated geology gives way to vast regional differences in the look and shape of the land itself. This geology determines what people use to build their homes, the type of soil that is available, the sorts of plants that grow there, and consequently the local food and specialities.
As a region that has been open to the world in so many ways, Britain exhibits influences from all over the world. Emerging as a pioneer of innovation, exploration and trade, it is perhaps unsurprising that the diversity of Britain goes so well with the innumerable varieties, styles, flavours, occasions, rituals and sensations that tea has to offer. What we’ve endeavoured to do is provide a visual pairing to these teas, and we hope you enjoy taking the journey with us.
Let’s take a peek at some of the teas we’ve tasted and the places we’ve visited:
Margaret’s Hope paired with Glamis castleFind out more
Glamis castle Pronounced ‘glaamz’, this historic Scottish castle was the childhood home of the Queen Mother. Dating back as far as the 15th Century, it looks a lot like a French chateau with its towers and turrets, surrounded by extensive gardens in rural Angus. The castle featured in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and is also known as one of the most haunted places in Britain: ghosts include a grey lady, a servant boy and an evil earl. But the greatest mystery concerns the reported existence of a secret room - there are said to be more windows visible outside than there are indoors.
Margaret’s Hope One of the most celebrated Darjeeling tea gardens, this floral, fine black tea has been produced in Darjeeling for more than 150 years. According to legend, Margaret was the treasured daughter of the estate’s first owner. She loved the plantation dearly, but sadly became ill on a voyage to England and succumbed soon after to her illness. In her memory, her grieving father named the estate Margaret’s Hope, and it’s believed that her ghost wanders the gardens to this day. Buy here
Golden Yunnan paired with Kingley ValeFind out more
Kingley Vale A sort of primeval netherworld on the South Downs, this is Western Europe’s largest and oldest yew forest - the perfect place to compliment Golden Yunnan. With 30,000 trees creating tangled tunnels beneath the canopy, there are areas where the sun never penetrates. Not surprising then that it’s the source of many fables, with tales of druids, witches’ covens and Viking warrior spirits. The forest gives way to open grassland, where prehistoric bell barrows - possibly burial mounds for Bronze Age kings - look across the marshy Chichester Harbour to the Isle of Wight.
Golden Yunnan Hailing from southwestern China, the birthplace of tea itself, this is an exceptional artisan black tea. In the legendary forests here, one can find some of the oldest trees in the world, some of them over 1000 years old. Made from old-growth tea bushes and characterised by a rich, malty, smooth taste with an underlying sweetness and a hint of spice, this is the perfect tea with which to start the day. Buy here
Silver Needle paired with Wast WaterFind out more
Wast Water As England’s deepest lake, Wast Water offers incredible views along a former glacial valley to the highest mountain in England, Scafell Pike. The ancient volcanic rocks of the surrounding fells have a gnarled appearance, and their many outcrops, pinnacles and other features make this a prime location for walkers and climbers.
Silver Needle Legendary from the 11th century for its subtle complexity, this rarest and finest of white teas comes from China’s mountainous Fujian Province. Reserved at one point for the Emperor’s sole enjoyment, Silver Needle is grown at high altitude in the misty peaks and gathered only once a year in early Spring. The tender young buds are then lightly and skilfully cured using age-old techniques to create an exquisitely delicate tea, with a slight dewy sweetness and mellow toasted notes. Buy here