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Monthly Archives: September 2013

  • Wedding!

    I am well and truly in the lull of wedding planning. When Rob and I got engaged in June and decided we wanted a) a pretty quick engagement and b) a winter wedding we realised we needed to swiftly move forward with decisions and bookings. This sent some of my family, friends and wedding suppliers into frenzy! We got mixed reactions from people, some of whom questioned the rush (but 7 months is not that quick is it?), some of whom thought there was no way you can plan a wedding in that time and some of whom thought the idea of a winter wedding was crazy – ‘but what if it snows?’ For both of us 7 months is plenty of time and long enough, I’m an impatient being and this way we won’t get bored of the planning and we can enjoy it all and not feel like we are boring people in the build-up. Also I’d be delighted if it snows! With 4 months left to go and the majority of the main things booked, I already just want the day to arrive! Although I know there is still a lot to do and no doubt the week or two before I’ll be sent in to panic mode, right now I am just sitting back and enjoying it; no Bridezilla here!

    Our venue is the simply stunning beach side hotel The Gallivant in Camber Sands. Rob and I have been there to stay and enjoyed a fabulous foodies get-away there in March. The setting is breath-taking both in Summer and Winter. The fact that the ceremony and reception can take place in the one hotel and then we can have all the rooms for the wedding party and family members means that we can enjoy the few days with all our closest friends around us. If it’s not too cold on 25th January we can also get some great shots on the beach. We know the food is great and with the added touches we are going to have it really will be a magical winter wedding!

    After a few hilarious outings to brides’ shops in the US when visiting my sister (think high fives from strangers in the shop, and cheers and whoops from sales assistants) I decided on going alone to a few shops in the UK. Again people thought I was crazy – ‘you can’t go wedding dress shopping alone, people need to be there to share it with you’ - it was as though I was breaking all rules of wedding etiquette. In fact I found this experience a thousand times better. I succeed in shopping much better alone and certainly felt less pressure, plus the sales assistants at the shops I visited were incredible and very honest with me. I ended up getting my dress from Aurora Bride in Cheam. The staff were fantastic and made me feel so at home and at ease. You will be pleased to hear I did take my Mum and Tamsin back with me before I made the final decision. Although I am cutting it a bit fine my dress will arrive just in time and with some time to alter it if need be after I eat one too many mince pies at Christmas!

    It really helps having one of your closest friends as a photographer and we are delighted that Andy Tyler was happy to not only be a guest but be our photographer for the day. It’s great to have someone that knows us so well and know our friends and family. We love Andy’s photos and the style in which he works and know that we are going to be so thrilled with the results and they will be lasting memories of our day. For more info on all the photography work Andy does visit his website.

    We are off to sort out music this week. The battle between band or DJ or both?! Bridesmaids’ dresses are coming along, but with one bridesmaid in the US it becomes quite tricky! At least we all agree on styles and colours. Then it’s the food and drink decisions that we do at the tasting day at The Gallivant (an afternoon I am so excited for), flower girl dresses, Rob’s suit and his best man and ushers, shoes, jewellery and all the finer details for decorating the venue…oh and the honeymoon! I am not entirely sure why I think I can sit back and relax as there is only four months and all these things to sort out…..maybe Bridezilla is about to emerge! I’ll be back with an update nearer the big day!


    (Image Edward Monkton Courtesy of Google Images)

    Melissa, September 2013

  • Organic September!

    It is Organic September! A UK celebration of all things organic and this year the Soil Association are asking everyone to make a Small Change to be part of a Big Difference.

    The Luponde estate is one of the oldest organic tea estates in the world and we are keen to highlight the importance being organic is to us. You can make a difference simply by switching your tea to a Luponde one. It really is that easy!

    As this month is all about being organic I thought I would share with you the details behind this system.

    Organic is a ‘whole system’ approach to farming and food production. It recognises the close interrelationships between all parts of the production system from the soil to the consumer.

    Luponde Tea Ltd is certified by Soil Association Certification Ltd, the UK’s leading and most recognised organic organisation. They have established a comprehensive set of organic principles that guide their work and standards:
    - To work within natural systems and cycles throughout all levels, from the soil to plants and animals
    - To maintain the long term fertility and biological activity of soils
    - To respect regional, environmental, climatic and geographic differences and appropriate practices that have evolved in response to them
    - To foster biodiversity and protect sensitive habitats and landscape features
    - To maximise use of renewable resources and recycling
    - To minimise pollution and waste
    - To provide a fair and adequate quality of life, work satisfaction and working environment
    - To develop ecologically responsible production, processing and distribution chains, emphasising local systems.

    From these principles the practices that form the foundations of organic farming have been established:

    - encouraging biological cycles involving micro-organisms, soil fauna, plants and animals
    - sustainable crop rotations
    - recycling of nutrients using composted manure and vegetable waste
    - cultivation techniques that enhance and protect the soil and its life
    - avoiding soluble mineral fertilizers
    - avoiding agrochemical pesticides.

    With over 36 years' experience, the Soil Association has worked with more businesses than any other certification body - certifying over 4,500 farms and businesses all over the world. In the UK 86% of households buy organic products with shoppers spending more than £33 million a week on them. For more information visit Soil Association.The Luponde estate is certified by Ecocert.

    Remember make your tea a Luponde one this month and support the Soil Association in their organic celebrations. Why not Tweet us with a picture of you enjoying one of our fantastic organic teas.

    Luponde Tea Plantation

    Melissa, September 2013

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