Right. A couple of things: 1) I know we’ve not had Hallowe’en yet, so some of you will be looking askance at me for even mentioning the ‘C’ word at this point and b) this is going to be, unashamedly, a bit of a love letter to Whittards- which has returned to Brighton after an absence of about five years. (Also, go visit the shop. It’s opposite Lush and is very, very pretty and the staff are very nice.)
Anyway, onto the tea. I used to work a lot with Whittard when I wrote my tea blog a few years ago and I’ve always appreciated their flavoured teas: they have a great variety of flavours which feel very… British. Their rose based teas are some of my favourites.
The Christmas range is extensive this year and I intend to try most of it, but I was given a sample of their Christmas blend when I bought something else (salted caramel hot chocolate. You should really try it, FYI.) It’s got the Christmas tea staples- spices, a hint of vanilla- and is very nice. What did surprise me, though, is that it’s an almost perfect ‘dupe’ for a tea called Thes des Amants from the French tea house Palais des Thes, which in post-Brexit Britain and uncertain economic times may prove to be even more expensive than it currently is. I asked my friend Jan, who stockpiles Amants on our semi-regular orders, whether it’s similar- she agreed.
The tea itself is one of those lovely spicy concoctions that you want to drink straight after a cold winter walk; warming and reassuring, with a slight hint of Christmas cake to it, it’s definitely going on the nice list this year.