Tag Archives: life

Lahloo goes for a wild swim! by Kate

31 Aug

Don’t the late summer days inspire you to do something fun! At this time of year, I get a sudden urge to enjoy the outdoors and breath the last breaths of balmy summer air. And I love the feeling of being a little bit closer to nature.

Summer evening

Not one to do things by halves, last week I went wild swimming! I’ve always been a bit of a water baby, given the opportunity you will find me splashing about in water – puddles, rivers, lakes, the sea. As a kid I was always the first to run down the beach to dip my toe in, no matter what time of year! And that hasn’t changed – we nearly missed a flight home a few years ago because I wanted to have one last dip!

Since moving to Bath, I’ve really missed my alfresco dips at the Lido and when a friend told me about a new river swimming spot he’d discovered, I just had to go. So, after a rather long and busy Monday, rather than spending my evening cooped up in an indoor swimming pool or gym I decided to go and hunt out this new and go for a spot of evening wild swimming.

Wild Swimming

Part of the fun of wild swimming is the discovery of the best spots. The very best places are the most tucked away! Just outside Bath, on the Warminster Road you go down a little windy dead-end road, cross the canal and the train tracks and you’ll find a clearing. Next to the clearing, a weir. The river above the weir is like a natural pool. Just gorgeous!

The evening we went there were half a dozen or so couples relaxing for an alfresco post-swim supper. Knowing you’ve arrived at a hidden but carefully shared spot is really wonderful! The smell of bbq’s wafted in the evening air, hot air balloons drifted over head and the late evening sun gradually fell making beautiful tree-shaped silhouettes on the horizon. It couldn’t get more idyllic.

Kate swimming

Getting into the water was, shall we say, bracing! But, with the last of the sunshine on my face, so revitalising. I’d thoroughly recommend it – there’s no better way to clear a foggy head. I just wish I’d taken a thermos of warm oolong tea to sip after my dip.

Now, I’m not sure you’ll find me there in January (no matter how much tea you promise me afterwards) but I am definitely going to make it a regular spot to visit.

Why don’t you let me know your favourite wild swimming spots. I’d love to hear where you go.

Kate x

Founder, Lahloo Tea

Tea-cycling tips to celebrate Bristol’s Big Green Week

7 Jun

On Saturday the 9th Lahloo Pantry will be on Corn Street for Bristol’s Big Green Week. All around St. Nicholas’ Market you’ll find the most inspiring and exciting independent businesses from the South West! There’ll be plenty of things to do, so come and say hello to the Pantry team if you’re around.

To celebrate Bristol’s Big Green week here are our favourite tea-cycling tips! 

1. Loose tea is greener: 

Brits consume 165 million cups of tea every day, according to The Guardian. Although teabags can be composted, some of them are partly made of a nasty-sounding material called polypropylene, which isn’t fully bio-degradable. Some teabags have staples that aren’t bio-degradable or environmentally-friendly either.

Drinking loose tea generates less waste, plus you can reinfuse your leaves up to 6 or 7 times depending on the type of tea! (Check our website if in doubt!). Each reinfusion will taste diferently to the previous one, and observing the subtle changes is a wonderful way of exploring tea.

2. Reinvent your old China:

– Use old cups and saucers to plant fresh culinary herbs and put them on your windowsill. Basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano or sage are always essential!

-Use teacups and saucers as a centrepiece, to display fresh flowers. They create a unique, vintage and very British touch.

Flowers in teacups by Flowers for Eddie at Lahloo Pantry

3. Re-imagine your old tea tins: 

 Use old tea tins to make candles, as planters or to display your flowers.

More display ideas by Flowers for Eddie 

Magical Midsummer herbs

6 Jun

It’s the longest day of the year and it’s been celebrated all over the world for thousands of years. Midsummer (on the 21st of June) is the celebration of summer solstice, and for many years it was believed that picking midsummer plants on the night of the 20th would increase their healing powers. It was a night of bonfires too, as the fire was supposed to protect against the evil spirits that could wander freely on the solstice. Some of our favourite plants and herbs are typical midsummer herbs. They can be picked for several purposes: essential oils, perfume, cooking… and of course herbal teas! This is a list of our favourite midsummer plants and some tips to use them well. If you fancy celebrating midsummer in the traditional way, pick these gorgeous herbs once the sun is set. (Dancing around the bonfire optional!)

1) Lavender:

Beautifully coloured and with a soothing scent, lavender is a herb to treasure! Try popping some flowers in a glass of champagne. They’re also great in many sweet or savoury recipes.

Pick the flower heads when they’re looking their best. Picking them at night is ideal, as heat weakens their scent. Keep them on their stalks, tie them up in little bunches and hang them upside down in a dark, dry and well ventilated spot, for about two weeks. Then you can use the dry flowers to put in small cotton bags to perfume your wardrobe, or place a little lavender sachet under your pillow to help you unwind. We also love these bunches that we spotted on Pinterest!

2) Lemon Verbena:

We love the fresh, heady aroma of this versatile cupboard essential. Great for aiding digestion and easing stomach ache, it makes a fabulous tea and an amazing herbal lemonade. If you have a lemon verbena plant, pick the younger, tender leaves early in the morning, before it’s too hot. Add some dry leaves to your boiled rice for a lemony taste. You can also preserve it with sugar and use it in desserts.

3) Chamomile:

With a sweet, earthy taste and many health properties (though not recommended during pregnancy), chamomile tea is a pantry essential. To make your own, pick only whole flowers, no stems or leaves. Wash them, shaking any excess water, and let them dry. You can also bake them in the oven for a few hours at a very low heat. Store your chamomile in a tin and infuse it to enjoy its soothing properties. It works well with lemonbalm or with a hint of lavender (like our own Calming Chamomile). Great for calming your skin when applied externally: simply dip a cotton pad in cold chamomile tea.

4) Elderflower: 

These sweet scented flowers have diuretic properties, and have been used to treat colds and sinus infections. Pick the flowers on a sunny day and use them to make desserts, cordial or tea (2-4 flowers infused for around 10 minutes)

Happy World Book Day!

23 Apr

There’s nothing like reading a good book while enjoying a great cup of tea. To celebrate World Book Day, here are the Lahloo team favourites!

Kate (founder): “I love Like water for chocolate by Laura Esquivel, it’d be great to read with a pot of chocolatey Amber oolong”.

Neil (finance director): “I’m currently reading The snow man by Jo Nesbo, it’d suit a pot of Shou Vintage Pu-Erh, equally dark and mysterious”.

Tilly (brand ambassador): “I can’t pick one! Well, maybe The tiger who came to tea, that’s a good one. And I’d read it with a pot of Sencha”.

Tidus (office manager): “Can I pick a trilogy? Then it’d be The Night Angel by Brent Weeks. And I’d pick a pot of something mysterious… like Matsumoto Black!”

Maria (social media marketing): “It’d probably be The Hound of the Baskervilles by Conan Doyle, or The strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by R.L. Stevenson. With a pot of Genmaicha!”

Holly (store manager): “I love all the Harry Potter books and I’m proud of it! And The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. I’d read them with a lovely pot of Yunnan Cloud”.

Laura (Lahloo Pantry head chef): “I’ve just read Timbuktu by Paul Auster and it’s very sad but amazing! To be read with a pot of Earl Grey!”.

Hannah (infusionist): “I really love Winnie the Pooh! Hold on, maybe I should pick something a bit more serious, like On the road by Jack Kerouac, and I’d choose a pot of Peppermint to go with it”.

Emily (infusionist): “I really liked Water for elephants. And the film. And I’d have a pot of Sobacha with it!”

What about you? What’s your perfect pairing?

Win tea for a year!

12 Sep


To celebrate our news, we’re giving you the chance to win tea for a year! Yeap, a whole year of tea drinking on us! To enter simply befriend us on facebook. Click ‘like’ on the right of this page.
Good luck!

Perfect Picnics!

15 Jul

crispy potato salad

Donna Hay’s delicious Crispy Potato Salad

Nothing beats the simple enjoyment of tucking into your favourite  yummy treats!  Throw in some great company, the great British countryside (or even a quiet spot in your local park will do!)  with sunshine filled days and it’s Lahloo’s idea of heaven! If you couple this with a glass or two of our refreshing English Garden Punch (alcoholic or non-alcoholic, gently sparkling Earl Grey, elderflower and fresh mint) we really won’t be able to contain our excitement!

Oh, you may chuckle at our enthusiasm and pleasure at such ‘everyday’ things but what great things these really are! What do you love doing? What simple pleasures have you forgotten about? Spend time daydreaming about those things and then go out and do them – now’s your time! Remember it’s all about taking it easy.

Taking time out and ‘tuning in’ your senses to the world around you and is a fabulous way to help you unwind, forget your worries and cares and allow yourself to fully relax. Here’s to taking time out and to doing the simple things you enjoy!

One of our favourite treats is to pack up a scrummy picnic and escape! We’ve found some truly delicious picnic snacks from Donna Hay’s latest book that we thought you’d love to try!

Donna Hay Fast Fresh Simple

Who ever said picnics need be boring? Forget soggy sandwiches and limp salads, here’s to simple, easy seasonal  recipes bursting with fresh flavours and taste! Now you’ve no excuse to get out and about!

Happy picnicking!

Father’s Day

16 Jun

My Dad (and brother)

This is my lovely Dad (and my brother). When I was younger my Dad was my hero. Now I’m older he still is. Don’t get me wrong life isn’t always like an episode of The Waltons, but that’s why it’s important to show your Dad how much you love him and how special he is to you. Here’s to dad’s everywhere! No one is perfect but what they can offer is a shoulder to cry on, good sound advice and a bit of perspective – very useful things in a world that can be a bit full on!!

Dad’s Rock. Sure they’ve been embarrassing, grumpy at times and dance like fools….but we love them don’t we? So, think of your Dad and what he’d like and mainly it’s not a lot. If yours is anything like my Dad they often just want a nice relaxing day, spent with the people they love. So, forget spending lots of money and just focus on what’s important – quality time with him! Think about what he actually wants, maybe make him a music compilation with his favourite old tunes! Make sure you spend time with your Dad, pop on the kettle, make him a cuppa and have a good old catch up. Show your Dad that you care…..and don’t forget a big hug and tell them you love em!

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