Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘tregothnan cornish tea estate’

Spectacular views from the Splendid Scarlet Cornish Eco hotel

Arriving to a breathtaking view, inspiring art, and tea by the fire, what more perfect welcome for Mary Kate’s return to the Scarlet eco hotel.

Sweep back the curtains and a quintessional Cornish coast greets you, revealing a breath taking vista. Above the noise of the rhythmic waves crashing, the swooping gull’s scream in their daredevil flights, all framed by the larger than life sky overhead. A favourite sight is to watch the starlings flock in their annual dance, the black pattern of hundreds of birds all but disappearing at the turn of a wing, like swirling leaf tea first added to boiling water. It is impossible not to feel very alive to the possibilities of the day in this amazing part of the world.

A pot of Tregothan Leaf Tea in Bed is the perfect start to the day

Why it is so lovely to be brought tea in bed? A knock at the door, and while you’re still warm as toast in bed, a pot of freshly made tea arrives, perfectly brewed ready for pouring. It is the start of another amazing Scarlet day. The equally fabulous bit is the local Cornish tea estate, Tregothnan, supplies the leaf tea used. The unadulterated, sheer indulgence of that pot of splendid leaf tea that appears as if by magic at the door is such a perfect start to the day.

Tea in Bed at the Scarlet

Significant Life events are played out at the Scarlet

The Scarlet is a venue at which events happen. Just contemplating the arrival of the main course after a quite delicious starter, suddenly a chap on the table opposite is on bended knee, ring box in hand, gushing proposals – and they hadn’t even ordered their first course!

The appropriately coloured scarlet hot tubs are the place to view the sun set, as sky turns into evening

Spectacular Scarlet Hot tubs - add seaweed for an even healthier dip

The  stunning Cornish vista is displayed before you. Bathed in the warmth of the indoor pool, I watch as the sun rises, alternating between the eucalyptus steam room and a few more lengths for a completely clear conscience for breakfast. I am delighted to discover that as last year, the breakfast menu is a quite wonderful surprise each and every morning – lemon & thyme poached pears were gorgeous, followed by my absolute favourite – eggs Benedict.

After a blustery walk on the beach, what more could you desire than an Enchanting afternoon tea with scrummy christmas cake

Cornwall is an amazing and magical coastal retreat

A walk on the coastal path from St Agnus to Chapel Porth is rewarded with a Sinners Honeymoon, a warming milky drink with honey & cinnamon, and a slice of ginger cake. On another day, a gorgeous pasty from Rick Stein’s deli is the treat on the walk around Padstow’s beautiful harbour. Scenic, spellbinding, and utterly splendid, the Ayurvedic spa is an utterly healing experience, and the staff genuinely engaging, Mary Kate will be counting the days to her return to this rather special, and quite magical, hotel – did I mention the view?

Read Full Post »

The ghosts of memories past float by as the warm fire crackles in the grate. There is an enduring nostalgia to the end of each year that almost demands reflection. As the light fades, Tea with Mary Kate would love to share her best Tea moments from this quite wonderful year.

Best Afternoon Tea

Although a very tough choice, it has to be the vintage afternoon tea, with flower filled tea cups & enticing menu’s on white linen table cloths, quite splendid indeed.

Vintage Afternoon Tea

Best Tea Discovery

That Two British Tea growing estates are now in existence – I adore Pembrokeshire Tea Company’s Rose Tea – it is aromatic & fragrant while retaining s lovely strength & depth of flavour. Cornish Estate Tregothnan has a rather splendid classic blend too that evokes the quintessional Britishness of tea drinking.

Best Leaf Tea

Henrietta Lovell’s Royal Airforce Tea

While the kettle is brewing, I always shake the eye catching tea caddie, so when I open the lid, I am bathed in the full aroma of this amazing Tea. Each smell transports me back instantly to my very first memory of leaf tea. Nostalgic, and evoking wonderful memories of tea times past, her tea also commemorates the valor shown in the Blitz, a unique and critical moment in British history.

 

Tea in the underground during World War II

Best Tea Knowledge Sharing Experience

Without a shadow of a doubt, Mary Kate’s amazing visit to the enthusiastic Northern Tea Merchant’s owner James Pogson. James generously shared his knowledge & passion for tea, including Top Tips on how to assess the quality of Tea.

Northern Teas James Pogson tea tasting

Best Vintage Tea Cup

Tea is an experience. It is full of warmth, fantastic flavours, and is made rather special by dusting off your favorite tea cups. Now, I will admit a weakness for vintage china, and I just had to have this gorgeous cup, with it’s acid yellow and gold decoration with a beautiful rose decoration. Absolutely contentment in a tea cup.

Beautiful Vintage Tea Cup - Perfect for afternoon tea

The eve of a new year beckons. Has it been a good one? What did you promise yourself you would do? Whatever the situation in which you may find yourself, each new year offers the prospect of a new start and fresh beginnings. Tea with Mary Kate’s wish for this blog post is that you seize each new and precious opportunity. What are your Best Tea Moments of the Year?

Read Full Post »

It’s such a perfect day! Having arrived in some splendour aboard the Northern Belle, the RHS flower show at Chelsea is more than a fitting destination, but how to see it all?! Here are a few of Tea with Mary Kate’s favourite things:

Favourite Stand in the Great Pavilion – Sweet Tea Cafe

I confess to never having heard of Heucheras, but I just fell in love with them, and absolutely adored this stand. I’m reliably informed by Jooles, a self confessed heucheraholic, that the inspiration for the Sweet tea cafe theme came from the names of the varieties – and with names like creme brulee, vanilla spice, strawberry swirl, key lime pie cappuccino, chocolate ruffles, tiramisu, it’s easy to understand why! Of course how could Tea with Mary Kate resist the wonderful green shed and amazing purple tea cups!

These pretty plants are great for shade, and with such diversity of form. Rather worryingly, I am beginning to understand the obsession – Geisha’s fan and blackberry jam just two more gorgeous names for equally gorgeous plants.


Favourite Dragon

The first sight that greeted me at the RHS flower show in Cardiff was an amazing Red dragon, aptly surrounded by the turrets of Cardiff Castle, and I was delighted to find Dragonswood Forge, at Chelsea too. These amazing dragons are designed and created by the blacksmith Neil Lossock. You can see his screens with fern patterns seared through them just behind the dragon, really very clever too. Neil has also made an amazing mechanical water fountain, which as the tuberous flower fill and tip their water, makes a magical bell like sound against the mushroom shaped bells below – just wonderfully creative!

Favorite Practical Gardening Item

Nutscene, gorgeous, practical twine, manufactured in Angus, Scotland. In business since 1922, it has a rather cleaver patented lock tie spool so you never have to get into a knot with garden twine again – and the lovely bit – they are in gorgeous colours – lilac is a personal favourite.

After having read all about the businesss in Country Living magazine, it was an absolute pleasure to meet its inspiring and enthusiastic  managing director Shona Young, who welcomed me into their stall. There was a lovely British flag made out of the round ends of twine. Sadly readers, I neglected to take a photograph, as literally, I stood in front of the stand unable to move, bedazzled by the array of beautiful and practical products. Shona assures me they’ll have the Saltaire when they are back in Scotland! Quite frankly, I was like a child in a sweet shop, I barely knew what to choose, but I plumed for the Tins of twine, with its recyclable authentic vintage label redrawn from the Nutscene archives, just perfect!


Favourite Leaf Tea

Tregothnan – Beautiful tins of leaf tea, grown at the Cornish estate – and who could resist the wonderful giant red teapot!

Favourite  Willow Sculpture

Tom Hares “Tree of Knowledge” skillfully crafted from greenwood willow, is fabulous! The personal pledges to support biodiversity (ensuring that we keep both common and rare species of everything, not only plants!) hug on copper leaves were poignant and very thought provoking, the whole idea really for RHS support for UNs international year of biodiverity.

Favourite Ethical Business

Zimbolic – Jonathan is so passionate about what he does, it is truly humbling. Designs are crafted from recycled oil drums, giving stable employment in Zimbabwe, while creating these beautiful garden ornaments. I adored these wonderful  hogs on the hill, looking quite at home at Chelsea.

Favourite Cottage plant

Blackmore & Langdon’s gorgeous majestic Delphiniums

Favourite Inspiring Idea

Garden organic Heritage seed Library the UKs leading organic growing charity, committed to conserving varieties of vegetables that would otherwise have disappeared – I loved the red flowered broad bean, and my one pot pledge is to grow my courgette organically (Ok, so I already grow everything organically, even though last years cauliflower crop was eaten by caterpillars, it means lots of beautiful butterflies and healthy birds!)

Favourite Moment

………….in the floral marque suddenly hitting HW Hyde’s wall of amazing lily fragrance, breathtaking!

Just like the Chelsea flower Show. If you have never been, promise yourself a visit, it’s an inspiring day out, full of idea’s for your own gardens, absolutely gorgeous plants, all in the grounds of Chelsea hospital, London.

Read Full Post »

The Eco Hotel that is truly environmentally friendly

The Scarlet is a luxury eco hotel in the UK, sister of Bedruthen steps, smaller than its sister, but with a non child policy (the older sister prides itself on being the opposite). It’s a nice contrast, which will appeal to a certain group, with fabulous views over a quintessentially beautiful Cornish beach. Definitely not just lip service to the eco bit either – recycled grey water for the loos – & I was not brave enough to have even dipped a toe in the non heated naturally filtered outside swimming pool

…..ok, so I did dip  a toe & that freezing cold encounter convinced me to go for the hot tubs….

Two Scarlet bright red Hot tubs beckon on the edge of the lovely garden – views of course views to die for (as mentioned previously) but the experience of being absolutely freezing cold, then slipping into water warmed by wood burning stoves (seaweed infused if your heart desires)  is heavenly – you have to do the cold bit to get the nice bit (we are talking Winter here, but hey, this is the UK, maybe you’d get just the same exhilaration in summer!)

Red hot tubs

Gorgeous locally grown leaf tea from Tregothnan awaits your visit

So the hotel has very cleverly decided not to give you tea bags in your room – I initially thought this was a bit of a downer but instead, the Scarlet have sourced fantastic tea from the local Cornish tea estate Tregothnan – yes, really, tea from Cornwall! I thought it was just the blending but no, they are growing real tea plans – & it’s a lovely, deep flavoursome tea! You have the joy of tea leaves & boiling water to savour next to the fire, looking out, & I know the web site says this, but it is a truly awe-inspiring view of the beach. This was a nice touch that really resonated with me and I’m sure with fellow tea aficionados.
Their anytime, anywhere  menu is a brilliant idea
The soup was divine – we had butternut squash when we first arrived – it was gorgeous! Another thing I loved was choices at breakfast – & this was not just the same menu every morning – although that’s a solid tried & tested approach, but everyday, I revelled in a new decision having to be made – I found myself looking forward to the choice rather than thinking “ shall I have the porridge or the muesli!” And of course, the wonderful Tregothnan tea.
Take a healing journey at the Scarlets amazing UK Aruvedic Spa

A really very special highlight is swimming in the indoor pool at dusk, as the spa cleverly doesn’t blast the lights down, it felt very healing & magical. A unique aspect of the spa is that it offers Aruvedic journeys. I’m really very interested in this ancient health treatment that seeks to heal the body mind and spirit.

Read Full Post »