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In 1886 Walter Whittard at the age of 25 set up his first tea shop on Fleet Street – it was one of the busiest years for the British tea industry with new highs two years later of tea imported from India reaching 85million pounds (in weight!) – this apparently exceeded the import weight of teas from China – thats a lot of tea! Many cast aside the idea of success when it came to Walter’s tea shop as something that would be a passing fad.
Walter had a secret – that was his special blends which went on to become favourites of London’s elite. Walter would cater to the tastes of the masses but also very closely to the individual customers needs which clearly did not go unnoticed. By the time it got to the 1890’s Walter and his growing trade we fast outgrowing his humble abode on Fleet so it was time to move on and that is just what he did to none other than Mincing Lane which in the late 19th century was also known as London’s ‘Street of Tea’ and the world’s leading centre for tea and spice trading (I did not know this!) – it is a little one way street in the City of London linking Fenchurch Street to Great Tower Street.
After the war and the complete ruin of the Whittard Warehouses thanks to the blitz the Whittard brother set to work at establishing new premises. New digs were set up on Fulham Road and of course the loyal flock of customers followed. Chelsea was now the new tea hotspot in London. Bringing us haring into the present day of Whittard’s the company works to their founding father’s philosophy of only providing the best and brightest blends of tea to their customers and from personal experience I can most definitely say they do take the individuals tastes into account and try and fit you with something that is just right for you. To say I felt like goldilocks was an understatement – these guys are not only friendly but some of the most astute teachers of tea that I have met in a long time – their knowledge is second to none when it comes to the leaves that I will be gracing my much loved china cups with. There are of course many companies out there that will blend some truly fantastic brews but Whittard’s of Chelsea really does stand out amongst the crowd for both quality and service.
 
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A number of months ago I was kindly invited to Whittard’s in Kingston who hosted a small session for National Tea Day and despite being ridiculously late with my post I am so glad that I waited. I will of course being writing separate posts on the individual and maybe even some of the teas grouped together but for now I just wanted to show you the level of kindness shown by the lovely Whittard’s people.

What was in the box?

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I mean this box is full of tasty treats that I literally could not wait to break in to. To start with the biscuits were absolutely heavenly I will most definitely grabbing a few more packets when I am next in store as well as stashing away some of the new Christmas biscuits ready for the festive season ahead.
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Although tea is one of my favourite drinks I don’t talk about it enough on the blog so my great loves from the tea world won’t be obvious. However, times are about to change (I hope!) – I love a good green tea especially a flavoursome mint tea. Marrakech Mint made an incredibly tasty brew and really does leave you feeling fresh from the inside out – sounds weird but when you try it you will get it! I hope!
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Previously when making tea I was under the impression that you could just boil the kettle and go – that however was in the days of just grabbing a tea bag and stirring. Whittard takes things to the next level of brewing and really gets you involved from the degrees to the minutes. If you are unsure then just pop into your local Whittard shop and the lovely staff in there are always willing to help.
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Have you tried Whittard yet?

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I’m back and It’s time to get cosy peeps!

Homemade Pumpkin & Squash Soup

With the weather about to change I love nothing better than hunkering down with a nice steamy bowl of soup, my favourite blanket and a cuppa. So, with that in mind Catherine & I decided to make our own belly filler before the weather really does turn. As we are

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Welcome to my life – Nurse Life!

It’s 6:48am and I am writing this whilst I sit and watch my patient sleep and wait patiently for the day staff to start filtering in. It is my second night shift out of three but I cannot complain as the next (and last for this group of shifts!) is a bank shift which despite meaning a couple of extra quid also means the tax man is gonna have a medieval banquet when it comes to my monthly wonga. You may be able to tell that I am in a bit of a sarcastic mood – how I hear you ask or roll your eyes at me! It is before 7am on a friggin’ Sunday! Nurse life is just riveting.

Well, as I mentioned above it is my second night shift out of a block of three and I am really bloody tired. I have been awake since 5pm last night and I am just about to hit the daydreaming side of reality where I can feel the soft, gentle caress of my pillow against the side of my head. BUT NO – There goes another patient alarm!

Some may say that due to the nature of Intensive Care we are the lucky few nurses that get our one nurse to one patient ratio and at times this can be very true. However, when the shit hits the fan it gets real and that shit happens real quick, most the time we are by the bedside on our own with our neighbour (another nurse) for assistance until doctors and a nurse in charge rush to the bed space in the event of any emergency. But when I say the shit hits the fan real quick picture the scene – you are riding out the night shift like a pro, your patient is comfortable and sleeping, their blood pressure is stable and all your meds are topped up so you can actually breath for five minutes or more.

THEN you hear the alarm and their blood pressure is through the floor and their heart rate is through the roof, you don’t have the one drug that you need right now and you have sent your neighbour to go and get it whilst you pull the crash bell and get those legs up in the air quicker than a can-can dancer at the Moulin Rouge. You are not panicking because you are in the zone. Meanwhile their blood pressure is still through the floor and your neighbour cannot find the drug cupboard keys. The crash bell is still sounding out as at the other end of the main part of your unit the surgeons have cracked open a chest and the nurse in charge is standing by as over watch for the junior nurse that has just shit their pants at the fact that it is their first open chest EVER.

A doctor is running towards you and another nurse is pushing the crash trolley but you are still not panicking. You see the doctor running but in true nurse style that crash trolley is coming in good time but not speeding. By the time the doctor gets to you and looks at all the monitors, the patient and their history to try and figure out what is causing this event your nurse colleague has helped you get some pads on the patient, connected them to the defib just in case and those legs are still up in the air.

Before you know it is 10 minutes later, the patient is now sedated, tubed and you are back at the end of the bed space in the intensive care bliss that is intensive care patient management. To those that say I am lucky to have one patient I agree, because if I had more than one and such an event happened they would probably die and I am so glad that I decided to leave the ward and go to intensive care to continue my training and come out the other side and be able to use the knowledge I have gained in my recent years here. Thankfully last night what not one of those shifts!

When I started writing this post I am not sure what direction I thought it would go but a good point to end on is – despite having to work some honestly quite shitty shifts and very long hours I can happily say that I get paid to do a job that I love and the majority of the time look forward to going to work. Of course, when I am a lot more coherent (awake!) I will probably write a post about many of the other aspects of my job, but for now… that is all!

Have a great Sunday lovelies!

p.s. I apologise for any bad grammar or spelling mistakes! 

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A Much Needed Change, Marks & Spencers, Crosley, Maggs London, Anthropologie, Home Comforts, Bedroom

 Time for a much needed change . . .

In most houses the TV is the focal point of the living room however seeing as my living space isn’t particularly large I don’t really want a huge monstrosity dominating the space. Whatever happens a much needed change is needed. I’m thinking about something a little bit more streamlined, sleek and above all something quality. As you know there are a variety of brands to pick and choose from and everyone has their preferences however I tend to go for the one that offers me the best value for money alongside great quality. With new technology hitting the streets every day it is hard to keep up with ‘the times’ so I checked out some Panasonic 4K TV’s not only are they stylish but also affordable and come in a range of different sizes which gives me a hard task. Which one do I choose – if you have any recommendations they would be much appreciated!

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Recently I was lucky enough to get a Bose mini speaker and Alexa which I am completely in love with so hopefully if I do get my original choice of TV (in the link above) I will be able to connect all my devices and have a seamless service – I live in hope here. Of course there are other things that I would love to do with regards to overhauling my space but for now it is really the little things that are making the difference. Things such as nice bedsheets, cushions, lighting, plants and other such little trinkets just to make those dark days a little lighter.

What are the little things that make your day better in your living space?

*This post was kindly sponsored by Panasonic

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Things have been a little hit on the blog for quite a while now and there are many reasons for this – the main reason is that my full-time job seems to have taken over my life a little and home has proven slightly difficult also. At the start of the year when things were a lot bleaker my bestie and I made a promise to each other that we would both make this year a fabulous one (a pact made after watching the Ab Fab movie!).

Whilst keeping to our pact we also had to remember that neither of us are millionaires so we had to find different ways of making ourselves feel fab without breaking the bank. This is where my list comes in – a selection of things to do on a budget and if possible that are entirely FREE.

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My top 5 free things to do in London when you are wanting to feel fabulous are

  • Walk along the London South Bank – you can stop off at Gabriel’s Wharf and feel like you are on a mini break away if you don’t find something else to do as there is ALWAYS something going on along this beautiful stretch.
  • Visit St Paul’s Cathedral for a mass or choir practice – you will hear some of the most beautiful voices out there and quite possibly get quite emotional.
  • Visit the Tate Modern – this can be done whilst on your walk along the South Bank (double whammy!). There are so many free things to see and it is a great space to just walk and clear your head.
  • People watch at London Paddington station and whilst you are there check out the pop-up photography exhibition by Dave Burt from @London (It’s the last day folks – see if whilst you still can because it is AMAZING).
  • See the peacocks at Kyoto Gardens in Holland Park – this one is still on my list and I am so excited!

London Heathrow Express are currently celebrating a massive milestone – after opening their doors to the public in 1998 to this day the express has carried 100 million passengers. Seriously, that is such an achievement and as a Londoner an honour to know that we offer such a great service for all to access whether you are leaving/coming home or just visiting this wonderful place the London Heathrow Express is there for you.

Linked in with one of my favourite and free past times of people watching I managed to catch the pop-up exhibition at London Paddington and I must say it was lovely to watch. Funnily enough it reminded me of the film ‘Love Actually’ at the end – but maybe that is just me! I really do wish it was on for longer so I could go back again! I know it is double doing but sometimes it is nice to see things like this twice.

Check out this AMAZING video!

Have you seen it? If not, will you have time to pop in today because I would love to know what you think…

*This post has been sponsored by London Heathrow Express – thank you very much for working with me.

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