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Monthly Archives: October 2014

  • Halloween Treats - Chocolate Bat Biscuits

    I was searching for some fun Halloween recipes and came across these fantastic chocolate bat biscuits on the BBC Good Food website which would look fab on the side of your mug of tea this Halloween!

    Quick and easy to make they are ideal to do with kids this half term!


    • 125g butter, softened

    • 85g icing sugar

    • 1 large egg yolk

    • 1 tsp vanilla extract

    • 1 tsp milk

    • 175g plain flour, plus extra for rolling

    • 1 tsp fine espresso-style powder coffee

    • 50g cocoa powder

    • ¼ tsp salt

    To decorate:

    • 100g bar dark or milk chocolate

    • Chocolate hundreds and thousands

    • Coloured writing icing (or make your own with 100g icing sugar, 2-4 tsp water and some colouring)


    Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line two baking sheets with baking parchment. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy and pale, then beat in the yolk, the vanilla and milk. Sift the flour, coffee, cocoa and salt into the bowl, then mix together to make a soft dough. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap and chill for 15 mins.

    Dust the dough all over with a little flour, then roll it between two large sheets of baking parchment, to the thickness of a £1 coin. Remove the top layer of the paper, stamp shapes with an 8cm bat (or other) cutter, and carefully lift to the lined sheets using a palette knife. Re-roll the trimmings. Cut a 1.5cm x 5mm notch at the base of each bat’s body. This is about right to sit the bats on thick tumblers; if your glasses are finer-edged, make the notches thinner so that the bats stay put. Bake for 10 mins or until the biscuits feel sandy and smell rich and chocolatey. Cool on the sheets for 5 mins, then lift the cookies onto a wire rack and cool completely.

    To decorate, melt the chocolate over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave. One biscuit at a time, brush chocolate over the bat ears and wings with a small paintbrush, then cover with chocolate sprinkles. Tap off the excess. Pipe faces and fangs onto your bats, then leave to dry. Keep in an airtight container for up to a week.


    (Image courtesy of BBC Good Food Recipes)

    Melissa, October, 2014

  • Winter is coming...

    With the evenings getting darker, the pumpkins, fireworks and Christmas cards on display and the crisp air in the mornings I thought I would share with you a few positive reasons why it is great that winter is on its way!

    • The clocks go back – an extra hour in bed!
    • Halloween – a reason for fancy dress and lots of sweets and chocolate
    • Fireworks – wrapping up warm, standing by a bonfire and watching a firework display (oh and sparklers)
    • Great TV – the return of series we missed during the summer and the start of addictive new ones
    • Warming food – pies, stews, soups, crumbles and custard!
    • Hot drinks – teas, seasonal coffees and hot chocolate!
    • Clothes - a gorgeous winter coat and stylish boots
    • The build up to Christmas – shopping, carols, mulled wine and mice pies
    • Christmas – food, presents, silly jumpers and festive cheer!
    • The possibility of snow days!
    • ttt

    I know it is always hard to see the summer drift away and those lazy sunny days spent outside seem a thing of the past but just remember there are lots of awesome things about the winter months that will keep you going through to 2015!

    (Image courtesy of Google Images)

    Melissa, October 2014

  • National Chocolate Week - Epic Hot Chocolate

    It is National Chocolate Week and although I am very fond of a chocolate bar/cake/biscuit or anything come to think of it covered in chocolate I thought I would share with you this recipe to make your own hot chocolate mix.

    It is this mix that Rob made as favours in small jam jars at our wedding and we are still getting messages from friends and family saying how delicious it is. Unfortunately we can’t take credit for it as it is a Jamie Oliver recipe, but this winter we are going to experiment by adding in some other flavours or spices.

    Jamie Oliver Epic Hot Chocolate

    Cinnamon – spiked homemade hot chocolate

    Serves 8-10

    You will need 2 pints of milk for this amount of mixture

    2 tablespoons Horlicks

    2 tablespoons cornflour

    3 tablespoons icing sugar

    4 tablespoons quality organic cocoa

    100g good quality dark chocolate (70% coca solids), finely grated

    1 pinch ground cinnamon

    1 pinch sea salt

    The idea is to put all the ingredients into one large jar and then mix before you use.

    Bring the milk to the boil, then add the mixture and give it a good whisk and leave to bubble for a few minutes. It will be lovely and thick.

    For the wedding we thought that they looked really lovely still in layers, so we left them like this allowing guests to shake them before use! We also modified the quantities to make little jars.


    (Image courtesy of Andy Tyler Photography)

    Melissa, October 2014

  • Competition Time!

    This October WIN some of our fresh and light green tea by emailing your details to or you can pop them into our teapot in-store!

    Good Luck!

    (Image courtesy of Google Images)

    Melissa, October 2014

  • Tea Tasting Returns!

    From November we will be starting our monthly tea tasting sessions in store. It is a great way to come and meet the team, try our full range of teas and learn all about them. They are free sessions and you can pop in at any point during the allocated 2 hours so bring a friend and come and see what makes our tea so special!

    Keep an eye on our What’s On page or our Facebook and Twitter feeds to find out dates and times.

    Melissa, October 2014


  • Green Tea

    It is the start of October, the evenings are getting darker and we are well on our way to cosy nights in, Halloween and the countdown to Christmas. This October we are making our fresh and exotic tasting Green Tea our Tea of the Month and as it is full of antioxidants it is ideal to keep you healthy this time of year. Some research has shown that green tea drinkers have lower chances of developing heart disease and some cancers. As well as this, green tea has been known to increase metabolic rate, which can aid in weight loss. Green tea has the ability to lower serum glucose, helping to protect against kidney failure. Tests have found that green tea could help improve memory and slow the development of Alzeimer’s disease.

    A lot of people say to us that they don’t think they like green tea and that is can taste quite bitter. We pride ourselves on the fact that once they have tasted ours they are shocked at how smooth and fresh it tastes. Brewing green tea is also a huge part of that. To brew perfect green tea, take a pinch or small teaspoon of the leaves. Green tea should be made with water that is about 80ºC. We find it is easiest to boil the kettle and then let it cook for 10 minutes. Boiling water will burn the leaves giving the tea a bitter taste. Once cooled slightly, pour the water into your small teapot or mug over the leaves. Allow to brew for 5-8 minutes.

    Fact: The leaves can be used 4 or 5 times, throughout the day.

    You can win some of our green tea by emailing your details to

    We are also giving customers 10% off any green tea purchase made in October!

    (Image courtesy of Google Images)

    Melissa, October 2014

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