Posts tagged everyday
You all know that I cannot resist a nice cup of tea. I am a) British and b) brought up in the Salvation Army – tea was inevitably going to be a very important part of my life! But one thing I have never been able to do is enjoy herbal or fruit tea. I simply can’t drink it. Smells amazing. Tastes horrible.
So when Twinings sent me some of their Everyday Tea blends to try, I was intrigued. On the box it says…
…sounds like these teas are exactly what I’ve been looking for! Traditional black tea that you serve with milk, with a hint of redbush, peppermint, green tea, or echinacea. You get the benefits of drinking herbal, with just a hint of flavour in amongst the Everyday tea. Sounded intriguing. And as Twinings even sent me a mug with which to test the tea out, I put the kettle on immediately!
The Everyday Tea by Twinings is designed to put a smile on your face. It is a bright and refreshing blend of fine tea leaves from around the world, great for any time of the day. It is a tea I buy regularly because I enjoy it, although normally in the decaffeinated version – it is the best decaf black tea blend I have found so far (and I drink a lot of it!).
The three “with a little extra” Everyday Tea blends I received were the Peppermint Blend, Echinacea Blend, and Green Tea Blend. Each has the same full bodied rich and vibrant flavour of Twinings standard Everyday Tea but with the benefits associated with the additions on top. All three had slightly different flavours, but the blends were subtle and not overpowering at all. You can’t really smell the added extras until the tea is brewing, and you can then taste them in the background. All work very well as combinations; they are a great alternative to “ordinary” black tea.
Apart from tasting really lovely there are also added benefits by using these three different ingredients inside a teabag. Peppermint is associated with digestion, echinacea with your body’s defences and immune system, and green tea is said to have healing properties. Twinings saw the addition of these things to their classic tea as something of a tea challenge, to help those of us who really can’t stand herbal teas to benefit from these things too. I think they succeeded. Assuming there is enough of the relevant ingredient to help my insides, then Twinings have done a great thing here.
And if you’re wondering – all the teas look the same when brewed… tea with milk coloured!
Of the three I have found the peppermint blend to be the most satisfying, I am genuinely enjoying drinking that particular tea. It has a fresh and clean taste; the peppermint is there in the background giving the tea a palette cleansing and refreshing after taste. It is perfect for drinking in the afternoon as a bit of a pick-me-up. The echinacea has the least extra flavouring in my opinion, and the green tea has a background note that I recognise from trying (and trying) to like proper green tea. They are all nice, and I would recommend that anyone who is like me and always prefers tea with milk over anything else gives them a try – you don’t even have to be that brave because they’re just like normal tea.
LincsGeek and I are fairly new to the skiing game. We went on our first ski holiday just three years ago after some ski lessons at snozone. Before that first holiday we kitted ourselves up as cheaply as we could – we wanted good quality at low cost, and so bought coat, pants, gloves, socks and thermals in the sales and at discount stores. Skiing is expensive, and you can spend a fortune on kit if you wanted to. I want to, there is so much fabulous kit about, but can’t warrant it.
So when The North Face offered me one this season’s jackets for our trip to Finland I was delighted. You already know I like The North Face as a brand, I find their clothing fits me nicely and their shoes are comfortable. And I love my down slippers! But they are a technical brand with very high price points.
This is the Honee Snugs Delux Parka, and as soon as I saw it I knew that this was exactly my kind of coat. Just look at the colour for a start, the muted green (Boyce Green) is just lovely, so much better than the (boring) black of my existing ski coat. And it just looks comfortable and warm. I couldn’t wait to try it out.
A military-style parka offering skiers and boarders serious protection from the elements. This longer-length jacket is built with Heatseeker™ synthetic insulation, ensuring a warm ride whatever the weather. An adjustable hem system, adjustable cuffs and powder skirt provide a secure and comfortable fit. When the holiday is over, convert the parka into street wear by removing the powder skirt and unzipping the hood down the centre to reveal long-pile fleece lining. Core zip-vents help to prevent overheating when pounding the hill or park. Chest, hand, wrist and media pockets provide ample storage for all necessities. Created to look effortlessly stylish, The North Face Women’s Honee Snugs Delux Parka is street cool for the mountain and beyond.
I was a little worried about the length – this is a long line ski coat – and as I am short it could have looked silly and restricted my movement. I think you’ll agree though that it looks great on (I hope you agree!) and thanks to the shorter front and longer back I can move my legs about with no trouble at all. Actually that lower bit at the back is genius – it was just right to sit on when I was on chair lifts, which made a big difference to keeping me warm on the way up to the top of the slopes. There was plenty of room under the coat for me to layer up (I had the medium); while this coat has a feminine cut it isn’t tight.
I could tell this coat had been designed for winter sports. The large goggle pocket, the internal phone/mp3 player pocket with hole for the headphone wires, the powder skirt, the sleeve pocket in exactly the right place for your lift pass – all make this coat very useful on the slopes. That sleeve pocket even has a glasses cloth attached, which was a very useful feature, and the long toggles on the zips mean you can use them with gloves on. The two pockets at the front are massive – I could easily fit my wallet and some chocolate in one and my camera in its case in the other – and those little hand warmer pockets half way up were also useful for my poor cold fingers.
All the pockets aside, the whole point of a ski coat is for it to keep you warm and dry. And it did. Thankfully. The insulation did its job and I stayed totally dry for the whole holiday and in all the weather conditions Finland threw at us. The main zip has a flap over the top to stop wind and moisture getting through, and it does right up over your chin which helped keep my neck warm and dry. I think it goes without saying that I wore this coat over the required thermal layers, and needed a neck tube too, but it definitely went a long way to keeping my body warm and comfortable. I was very thankful for such a good quality coat when it was -22 and blowing a gale in the middle of the day. I wonder if the addition of comfort cuffs would have helped keep my hands any warmer – LincsGeek has them on his ski coat and I like the idea, they stop snow going up the sleeves and fit underneath his gloves adding a layer to his wrists.
[I will never make a model, but we had a great laugh taking these photos at the bottom of the Ski Jump in Ruka, Finland... below shows what happens when you run in the snow and it suddenly gets a lot deeper!]
This coat isn’t just for wearing on the slopes. The North Face has designed this for casual wear at home too, and you may have seen me sporting around and about quite a lot since we got home. The powder skirt comes out, the hood zips down the middle leaving it flat on your back, and you are left with a very nice parka style coat for everyday winter wear. The double zip is also very useful when wearing this coat casually – it means you can unzip it a little bit when you’re sat in the car driving.
I think you can tell that I really like this coat. I love the style, I really love the colour, and the fact that it’s great for the slopes and in town is perfect. It also fits well and is flattering – it’s not too bulky. This has become my “go everywhere” jacket, fit for all my winter activities. As for whether it’s worth the £260 price tag to be honest I really don’t know – I am not and probably will never be in the position to spend that much on any item of clothing, and so have nothing to compare it to. I know that with outdoors gear you get what you pay for and it is certainly superior to the ski coat I bought a few years ago, as well as my other winter coat. It has immediately become my coat of choice when heading out in the cold, wet and snow, and I think that is down to the design and quality.