What is your favourite view? This was a question posed to me recently by Dragonfly Tea. They’ve been researching the best views in Britain and have put together a clever tea and view ‘pairing’ method, to celebrate these views with the perfect cuppa! Along with the British Guild Of Travel Writers, they have travelled around the UK with their yellow chair, snapping beautiful photos representing the perfect view and tea moments, which have now been made into a beautiful book.
Here’s the chair at the Roman Baths in Bath, one of my favourite UK cities:
The tea suggestion given for this location is Big Red Robe, imperial in its own right and hailed as a life-saving elixir during the Ming dynasty. After it revived the Emperor’s sick mother, the bushes were cloaked in rich red robes in honour of the tea’s restorative qualities.
And another at The Japanese Garden in Tatton Park, Cheshire:
Here, Gyokuro Green Tea (also known as the ‘Dew Jewel‘ of Japanese tea gardens) is recommended. The process to create the flavour involves the practice of shading tea bushes shortly before harvest to develop their colour and taste.
This one is probably my favourite, Wast Water, Lake District, I just love the mood and intensity of it. I’ve never been to the Lake District but it’s certainly on my list:
For this view, they recommend the rare Silver Needle, a white tea so prized it was reserved for the Emperor’s sole enjoyment. It is grown at a dizzying altitude mirrored by the ancient rocks and sweeping pinnacles of the Lake District and gathered during a short period once a year when the tea buds are covered with a fine white down.
So I got to thinking about what my favourite view is, which would have to be the view from our old house in Cyprus, where I grew up:
It was just stunning, no matter what time of year. The panoramic photo above was actually taken on Christmas Day a few years ago! I remember when we first went to look around the plot of land before the house was built and being blown away by the view of over 30 kilometres of Paphos coastline. We would often have breakfast or just a cup of tea, sitting on the terrace, looking out at the view. If I was putting together a tea to represent that view and that moment, it would probably be infused with mint and orange, as those were two significant flavours in Cyprus (although I have no idea if they would work together in a tea!)
Now I’m very aware that this is a UK campaign, so I thought about what my favourite British view would be. There are so many great views in London, but were any of them more significant than any others to me? Probably not. I also thought about places in North Yorkshire where I was born, but I couldn’t call out one specific place.
Then I realised, it just had to be Dartmoor, where Tim and I got married earlier this year. It’s such a beautiful landscape and obviously holds a lot of special memories for us.
So while I couldn’t go all the way back down to Devon for this post, I reminisced by looking through our wedding book with a cup of Dragonfly Tea. It was the perfect excuse to look through it – everyone gets these wedding photo books printed, but I wonder how often they actually look at them?
I had 10 types of Dragonfly Tea to try, including the three mentioned above. The others were Margaret’s Hope Darjeeling leaf tea (paired with Glamis Castle Angus, Scotland), Dragon’s Well green tea (paired with Chinatown, Liverpool), Golden Yunnan tea (paired with Kingly Vale, West Sussex), Eastern Beauty tea (paired with Leadenhall Market, London), Orchid green tea (paired with Kibble Palace, Glasgow), Wild Honeybush (paired with Ashdown Forest, East Sussex, home of the famous Poohsticks Bridge from Winnie the Pooh!) and finally Black Pu’er (paired with Glengoyne Distillery, Strathclyde). My personal favourite was the Wild Honeybush!
I think it’s a lovely idea to pair food/drink with places. Taste and memory have such strong links – last night I had a sip of a popular soft drink which I hadn’t had for years and instantly, it reminded me of swimming lessons as a child. Weird, you might think, but I was allowed a can of it as a treat on the way home after my lesson! What Dragonfly Tea have done is much more sophisticated, of course, and I would like to see more of it.
If you’d like to check out the ‘Brewed With A View’ book for yourself, it is a available on a first-come, first-served basis from the following visitor centres around the UK, and on Dragonfly Tea’s website: Liverpool Tourist Information Centre, Albert Dock, Tatton Park Visitor Centre, Kibble Palace Shop, Glengoyne Distillery Shop, Roman Baths Tourist Shop and Glamis Castle Visitors Office.
I was sent the book and tea samples by Cow PR and Dragonfly Tea for review purposes, but did not receive any payment. All views are my own.