The FES.TEA.VAL London 2018 took place at Chiswick House & Gardens on the 21st and 22nd of April to celebrate National Tea Day. It was a great way for families, tea lovers and foodies to spend a day out in the lovely spring sunshine. The event was divided into dedicated zones with themed activities and delicious food, drink, and lifestyle delights in each. These include the Tea ‘n’ Treat Village, Bou-tea-que, The Tea Bazaars, The Vitali-Tea Garden, Tea ‘n’ Tipple Boulevard and the Picnic Park. The two days were jam packed with a variety of events to participate in which included celebrity baking sessions, meeting Queen Victoria, well-being and meditation classes, mixology classes, musicians and DJ’s. I was very lucky to have the opportunity to be offered press tickets which of course I graciously accepted. It was an amazing day out and I had the opportunity to try a range of fantastic tea and foods. So here is a snap shot of my day at the FES.TEA.VAL
This was our first and last stop of the day. I had seen a lot on social media about Newby Teas and it was on my to try list. They had a large variety of tea on display which all looked very inviting. I was thirsty from journey and opted for my favourite earl grey. The first thing that struck me about this tea was the strong but not overpowering bergamot aroma it was very enticing. I waited for my tea to cool as it infused in the cup. The bergamot took centre stage without it being too overpowering and complimented the black tea perfectly. I was suitably impressed and have to say it is one of the nicest earl greys that I have tried. I had a total of four cups throughout the day.
Pure Leaf Tea
Whilst wandering around the picnic park zone we spotted Pure Leaf tea in the shade. It was fairly quiet so I decided that we should pop over and try some tea. What can I say the ladies on the stand were very helpful and provided us with fantastic customer service. We were initially told about a variety of teas and how to infuse the blends and I got to do my famous sniff test. We were then offered seat in the shade were we were kindly delivered samples of tea. There was no rush and were able to enjoy our time siting tea in the shade. I felt like I was someone special and enjoyed every minute we spent there. We got to try the green tea with jasmine, black tea with vanilla and Darjeeling. My favourite was the green tea with jasmine which had an equal balance of aroma between the jasmine and green tea. It was light refreshing tea floral notes from the jasmine and slight grassy undertones from the green tea. A lovely tea and perfect on a hot spring day.
I have been very lucky to receive some samples of their teas to review but my other half despite me trying very hard likes a good old fashioned cup of tea. I recently also acquired his tea caddy to place some of my teabags in which didn’t go down well so to say sorry I got a tea caddy filled with tea that he will approve of and a bargain at £2.
PG tips had a dedicated area where anyone could personalise their own mug to take home. the queue for this was quiet long so sadly we had no time to be creative. It was great to see lots of families enjoying decorating their mugs together. To be honest I ventured to this area to find out about their dairy free tea that has recently been launched. I sipped on my sample and what struck me was that it tasted significantly stronger/bolder than regular PG tips. I enquired as to why this was and what blend or bends were used in the tea, but sadly I didn’t really get the information I had hoped for. I guess most people just want to know does it work and does it taste like everyday tea. The answer is yes, I added almond milk to my sample and it did not separate/ or look slightly curdled which has been the case when I have made tea for others with my milk. I was suitably impressed. I have all my tea milk free so there was no taste test on this occasion.
FES.TEA.VAL was not just about established tea brands. I discovered NEMI which is a London based tea company offering a wide variety of teas. They believe in making a positive change through business providing employment to refugees to help them intergrade better into the UK. They were kind enough to le me sample on of their teas. They had a variety of teas on display the one that immediately got drawn to was the delightful aromas from their chai teas. I couldn’t decide and was given their peppermint tea to try. On sniffing the tea it as having a subtle aroma that was weak to medium in strength. As the tea infused with the hot water this aroma intensified slightly. on sipping the tea I would describe at as more delicate light refreshing peppermint mint tea which was ideal on the lovely warm afternoon. I think that it would work well as a chilled tea.
The day wasn’t just about tea there was a wealth of foods to be discovered, and yes some were dairy free and therefore suitable for me. one of first stops was the picnic zone where The Green Grill were serving what can only be described as delicious looking vegan burgers. It was just a shame that I didn’t have room to try one. In the British Boutique a free from sign grabbed my attention it was. They are a company based in Kingston and were selling carrot cakes. They had a selection of free from versions to buy which were both dairy and gluten free. I tried a little of their regular cake it was light airy and slightly delicate in texture and would make the perfect accompimnet to a cup of tea. Finally in the tea bazaars we stumbled across Snowdonia Cheese Company which had a delightful selection of cheeses. These were proving to be very popular but sadly no good for dairy free me.
We also took the opportunity to enjoy the delightful weather enjoying multiple cup of teas in the shade people watching and enjoing the scenery. At one point we even managed to grab a bench and enjoyed a delightful cup of Hope and Glory tea. This stunning tree grabbed our attention, bold at a distance but what an unusual tree trunk. We watched several people have their photos taken next to it.
We finished our day with a leisurely stroll through Chiswick House gardens enjoying the little oasis of green in the city, exploring the side streets of Chiswick and a little retail therapy on the high street. A truly delightful way to spend the day, So a big thank you to the organisers of FES.TEA.VAL for the opportunity to attend the event.
Disclaimer: I received free press passes to attend this event. All of the opinions are honest and my own.
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