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Monthly Archives: April 2013

  • Herbs

    On our estate visit in January 2012 Brian dedicated a quarter of a hectare of land specifically for us, the Luponde London team, to grow and trial different herbs that we could add to our range. When I left Tanzania at the end of that trip the piece of land was literally just that – a field.

    Having seen photos and hearing updates from the estate on how the land has been developed for us and the seeds that had been planted it was clear to see how far this piece of land had come. However, it was not until I arrived on our visit this March that I could see for myself how fantastic it now looked.

    Even though it was quite a grey and misty morning I could see from afar our Luponde sign standing tall! When we parked up and got out to inspect our herbs one of the estate team was there raking and pulling weeds. It was clear that a lot of time and effort had been put into maintaining this area for us. There were perfectly formed rows of beds, each dedicated to a different herb and each with a board with a painted sign telling us which was which.


    The exciting part for us was then picking some of what had grown, taking them back to the drying room, laying them out to dry and tasting them a couple of days later! Obviously as you can see from the pictures some herbs had grown a lot more than others!

    Some of the herbs were at the nursery, so we then took a stop there to see how they were getting on and again picked up what we could to try.

    Everybody has their own individual tastes and it is important for us to sample everything and compare the views of everybody involved at the estate to get an idea of if that particular herb would be popular or not. For example I am not a fan of ginger or fennel but I appreciate how popular these flavours are to others.

    Once we had all the herbs out ready to taste the fun really started. Here is a small insight into some of the ones that we really enjoyed and what you may hopefully see on the Luponde shelves one day in the future:

    Herbs - Sweet Fennel


    Herbs - Cinnamon Basil


    Herbs - Spearmint


    Herbs - Balm


    herbs - Minigrapefruit


    Herbs - Mint Chocolate


    Herbs - Mint Moroccan


    Herbs - Mint Ginger


    Melissa, April 2013 

  • - Guest Blog

    We are delighted to have a fantastic blog on tea treatments from Editor Bonnie Friend. It's making me want to book in for a soothing and relaxing treatment and eat scones!

    Tea Treatments

    As is the case in most places no doubt, anyone in the office will tell you that a cup of tea is an invaluable part of their daily happiness. Tea isn’t however, just the answer to all of life’s problems in the traditional British sense, in its various guises it is the cherry on top of the perfect spa day, or in some cases, the founding basis of topical treatments and skincare …

    English Breakfast

    The Tea … Made popular in the UK by Queen Victoria, the blend of black teas is high in antioxidants and can help strengthen the immune system, improve circulation and has been cited as helpful in reducing the risk of heart attacks, although to get the most out of it it’s best to drink it without milk!

    The Treatment … When it comes to spa treatments, or indeed home remedies, the topical use of black tea can help improve the skin’s appearance, texture, and functions, including countering the effects of pollution, making it perfect for facials and body wraps in particular.

    The Treat … Serve with scones, cream and a dollop of jam. We are not going to lie, there is very little about this post-spa experience that is going to benefit your body – other than the tea itself – but your taste buds and your pleasure sensors will be fizzing with happiness.


    The Tea … Camomile Tea has long been known as an aid to better sleep and relaxation, but it can also help soothe stomach aches, menstrual cramps, boost the immune system, help manage diabetes, and was used by the Egyptians in a poultice to help wounds to heal more quickly.

    The Treatment … As a herb rather than a traditional tea, chamomile is soothing to the skin and can help with eczema, itching, and simply to calm skin that has been aggravated by winter months and busy lives when applied topically, as well as drinking it. It is also still used in poultices which form the basis of many massages.

    The Treat … Serve with a spoonful of honey for something that tastes indulgent, but thanks to honey’s superfood status, actually adds to the cuppa’s almighty holistic powers!


    The Tea … Used to help relieve symptoms of fullness, indigestion, reduce fevers and pain, and help fight catarrh, the tea is also a good counter to halitosis … just putting it out there.

    The Treatment … Fennel essential oil is often used to help disperse cellulite, partially because of its reputation as a diuretic no doubt. It is also said to stimulate collagen production, resulting in smoother looking skin – another ingredient for body wraps or the essence to add to that massage oil!

    The Treat … Serve with seaweed … no really, bear with us – organic brand VOYA, known for including seaweed oils in their products have created a range of teas that include the potent ingredient to help aid detox. Follow after a VOYA Seaweed Massage, and you will have the matching set!

    Rooibos Tea

    The Tea … As well as being an antioxidant, the South African favourite can help with high blood pressure and diabetes by improving glucose uptake and insulin secretion after a meal, can aid respiratory problems, the regeneration of liver tissue, and improve immune defects.

    The Treatment … Again, the tea is said to have a soothing effect on the skin, particularly when it comes to acne, and as it has a countering effect on free radicals, it is also believed to help hold back the signs of ageing, and can be used in face masks to help make skin glow!

    The Treat … Serve with honey and a slice of lemon … or on its own if you don’t have a sweet tooth, it’s a treat in its own right. The Sundari brand combines it with rose petals, Blue Mallow flowers and orange peel to compliment their spa treatments and products with the idea of making you feel beautiful inside and out … and we do! We really do!

    For more health tips visit’s blog, The Hot Tub, or to book a spa break go to or contact the team on 0800 043 6600.

    Logo & Treatment – Spabreaks

    Bonnie, April 2013

  • Estate Visit - Netball!

    With our netball season finished and while we await the start of the new one I thought it would be a good time to reflect on the experience Tamsin and I had playing netball on our recent visit to the estate.

    Finding out from Tully that the netball team on the estate had not been playing recently and needed some new netballs, Tamsin and I decided to take some balls over with us and hopefully give them some encouragement to play again. It is such a big part of our weekly lives here in London and we wanted to make sure that the team at the estate were supported. We met with the team captain Elder Hongoli and the coach Joseph Leo Mtoi and had some banter about positions we played and discussed how it would be good to meet the rest of the team and see a match or practice. Within a matter of hours a game had been arranged for the next Saturday between the estate and the factory! There are 6 teams in total that play against each other. It was unclear to Tamsin or I if we were due to just be watching this match or playing in it! All was to be revealed.

    Saturday arrived and during the afternoon we made our way to the court (trainers and shorts in-tow just in case we were playing) and arrived to see two teams with brightly coloured kit ready for action. Tully then announced to us that Elder would like us to be on a team each and play! With a giggle and lots of smiles we agreed to play and Tamsin was put on the factory team and I was put on the estate team. What made this even more amusing was that my kit consisted of an Arsenal shirt (my Dad would be proud) and a pink skirt. It should be noted here that I am a Chelsea fan, so wearing red was certainly out of character. Tamsin on the other hand got handed a bright green full kit.

    Estate Netball Team Practice

    The game was about to start when we realised we could not see any lines on the court. Bemused we quickly asked Tully where we were meant to position ourselves when we then saw that lines had been dug out in the soil. The game began and it was like nothing I had experienced before!

    It soon became clear that not all the rules were the same! I seemed to be getting pulled up for standing on my tip toes and as a Goal Defense (GD) this is something I do a lot to mark under the goal. Tamsin was being called up for footwork (something that never happens in the UK) and I was being barged into and marked extremely closely; there clearly were no rules against contact! The umpire was clearly not going to let us get away with anything! With all of these changes plus the altitude and humidity I did not think I was going to survive the full hour! Luckily we came off at half time to make way for the actual GD and Centre for the two teams.

    Luponde Netball Team Practice

    The standard, fitness and strength of the women were exceptional. What also really stood out was the fact that they had spare players and others waiting on the side lines to play and here in London we can barely get a team of 7 to turn up week on week.

    I think the quality of the game improved when we left the court due to the fact we were not fully aware of the African netball rules and the game ended with a huge win to the estate team. We were thrilled to play and be involved in the game and are going to make sure that we send another 3 balls over to them so that each of the 6 teams has some new equipment.African Netball Practice

    What Tamsin and I both found surprising from our discussions with the locals at the estate was given the level of enthusiasm for sport in Tanzania that local businesses and government don’t invest more into sports for their communities. It really shows how much is invested into sport in the UK and how much support we get here to participate. This is something that I know I certainly take for granted.

    At Luponde we know the health and social benefits of sport to everybody and therefore plan to put the money from the premium on the products that we can’t certify as Fairtrade (due to restrictions that Fairtrade have with the logo) towards sports equipment needed for the teams on the estate. We hope then to be able to provide them with the tools they need to continue playing and keep up the motivation we saw a few weeks ago. It would be great to have a re-match when we next return and after we have done some research on their rules!

    Shooting For Goal

    Melissa, April 2013


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