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Harpenden mother & daughter duo are brewing success at Twist Teas

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Bow down to royal-tea - Harpenden based Twist Teas

When is a cup of tea not just a cup of tea? The answer of course is when it is an experience. Harpenden based Twist Teas founders, mother and daughter duo Nicky Kavanaugh & Claire Ayers tells us about the Twist Teas journey. Based at Pollards Farm in Harpenden, Twist Teas are a family business creating beau-tea-ful tea for tea lovers across the globe. We will stop with the puns as it will become tea-dious.

Where did you start? A Tea Story with a twist

“We’ve always loved tea and knew that the tea from a pot with loose leaf always tasted better than tea in a mug made with tea bags.  The lovely loose leaves floating in the pot released the flavour but powdery tea in tea bags didn’t have quite the same hit .  We could see no reason why tea in a bag should be different from tea in mug and, in 2017, set out on a mission to change that.”

Fast forward to 2020 and Twist Teas now have over 50 blends and 10 “Great Taste” awards. All their blends are made from the finest, ecologically sound ingredients and are hand blended and hand packed in the UK.  Leaves in their corn-silk biodegradable pyramid tea bags are the same as the lovely loose leaves that are brewed in a pot – whatever the leaves: black, green, rooibos, chai or fruit and herbal.

Tea time is now me time

While traditional black teas will always be popular, there have been some changes in terms of who is drinking tea and why. 25 to 40 year olds are drinking tea at a rate faster than ever before. More and more consumers are looking for drinks that give them specific health benefits and demand for healthy green and herbal teas is growing. The wellness trend is also being driven by previously hard to acquire products being made accessible in the home.

‘The Tea Maker’, a product from Sage Appliances for example, steeps tea leaves at the right temperature for the required amount of time at the push of a button. This trend has seen consumers take note of all aspects of the tea making experience. Even water filter brand BRITA have seen increased engagement from the tea community by integrating a filter into kettles. There are exciting times ahead in the tea market and this is exactly the landscape that shaped the Twist Tea offering.

Bow down to royal-tea - Harpenden based Twist Teas

Bow down to royal-tea – Harpenden based Twist Teas

Sweet dreams are made of teas

Twist Tea have a wide range of uniquely crafted blends, with new, versatile ways of brewing and serving: lattes, cold brews, in milk, in water …  and Twist Tea continuously innovate to meet the growing demand from contemporary tea lovers.  Their premium leaves capture loose leaf flavour with the tea convenience of a biodegradable tea bag.  Just as consumers moved from freeze dried granular coffee to freshly ground artisan coffee, so they are moving from dusty black tea in plastic laced tea bags to premium teas in biodegradable tea bags.

Twist Tea were first to market with their Cold Brew range. They are also taking the lead on popular sweet-but-sugar-free flavoured rooibos and herbal infusions with added functional benefits in their Puds Without Sin range: blends such as Lemon Drizzle, Creme Brewlee, Mint Humbug & Banana Shake have proven to be a very popular and offer the sweetness of a pudding without the calories.

Twist Teas

Twist Teas are continuously focusing their marketing efforts on brewing and serving ideas for their premium blends and believe there is a lot of scope for more innovation and development in this area. For Twist Teas, it is a fabulous time to be a player in the premium tea sector and great for consumers too.

Not only are Twist Teas passionate about great tasting tea, they fully understand their social responsibility and are passionate about the environment. Twist Teas pride themselves on great tasting tea that’s environmentally sound.  All their teas and ingredients are ethically sourced from sustainable growers and producers. The card used on their beautiful designed packaging is forest stewardship certified. If that was not enough, their storage caddies are made from recycled tin and are reusable.

You can view the entire Twist Tea range on www.twist-teas.co.uk and follow them on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Bow down to royal-tea - Harpenden based Twist Teas

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Canadian restaurant chain Tim Hortons set to open in Milton Keynes

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Tim Hortons is opening in Milton Keynes soon

Milton Keynes has been chosen by iconic Canadian restaurant brand, Tim Hortons®, to be their first drive-thru site in the South of England. Known for its signature coffee and delicious donuts, Tim Hortons will be opening its first drive-thru in Milton Keynes.

Located in Milton Keynes’ Kingston Centre Retail Park, the drive-thru site will also offer in-store dining. Many locals will not have heard of  Tim Hortons but like another North American chain, Five Guys which launched in the UK in 2013, Tim Hortons is steadily building a fan base.

Tim Hortons in the UK

The first Tim Horton restaurant opened on Argyle Street, Glasgow, in June 2017. Since then, they have grown to 23 stores in the UK with Milton Keynes set to be the first Tim Hortons restaurant in The Three Counties. Leicester City Centre is home to the chain’s flagship store.

Tim Horton’s menu consists of your normal cold and hot beverages, breakfast selection, main meals, and Timmies Minis. Timmies Minis are designed for children with a selection of wraps, melts and sandwichs. We will first in line for the opening of the Milton Keynes’ Tim Hortons and will tell you what’s the best on the menu.

New Jobs in Milton Keynes

, The move is being welcomed locally as it shows confidence in Milton Keynes and will create new jobs in Milton Keynes at a much needed time. The new store opening is set to create 40+ jobs for the local community. These will be a combination of full-time and part-time opportunities.

Kevin Hydes, Chief Commercial Officer of Tim Hortons® franchise in the U.K commented “We are delighted to bring positive news this year to Milton Keynes. We are thrilled to have secured a fantastic location for our most southernly restaurant in England.

Tim Hortons is opening in Milton Keynes soon

 “With our previous openings causing overnight queues and fans travelling from up and down the country, we expect this to be a huge occasion for us. We look forward to engaging with the Milton Keynes community and know this is the start of exciting times to come”.

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Four Fantastic Food Bloggers to follow: October 2020

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Four Fantastic Food Bloggers to follow: October 2020

The Home Counties is home to some of the finest places to eat in the UK. It is also home to some of the best up-and-coming food bloggers who are pushing food envy to new levels. 2020 has been a unique year and if there is one thing that we as a nation have done right this year, it would be appreciating good food.

We have handpicked four fabulous food bloggers who are worth following. From amazing recipes to insider knowledge of the finest places to dine, these foodies need to be on your feed.

Major_Bites – instagram.com/major_bites/

1. What’s your favourite place to eat?

This is so tricky it’s unbelievable 😅.  If I wanted a takeaway sandwich, it would be @chillibs for their amazing grilled sandwiches. If I had to pick the most amazing fried chicken that looks like it should be in a fine dining restaurant the way it’s served, it would be @chicken_george_jnr. For awesome pub food with roast dinners that are to die for, I would pick @thevichitchin and finally for something baked and naughty, @puddingstop. I’m addicted to there cinnamon buns and their raspberry and white chocolate blondies… oh and their cronuts.

2. Favourite meal/type of food?

This question is as old as time… pasta or pizza 🙈. I’m fully in love with pasta for the varieties of sauces and shapes etc… who doesn’t love a big carb hug with handfuls of cheese and truffle shavings? 🤤 @oldskoolpantry do a proper spaghetti carbonara which is to die for with lots of Parmesan, chunky fresh black pepper and lots of bacon. I equally love a Pizza and it would have to be made by my mentor Adam from @peddlingpizzas who inspired me to start making my own pizzas.

3. Favourite drink?

My go-to in the morning is an Espresso. I do like other coffees too but have had less milky ones of late. @chianaturallyhealthy do an amazing turmeric coconut latte. I love a strong full-bodied red wine such as a Malbec or a Plavic Male from Croatia. Beer and cider is good but I’m a sucker for cocktails especially an Espresso Martini 👌🏼.

4. Most recent/ favourite recipe book bought?

My most recent cookbook was Simply Novelli by @jean_christophe_novelli which I got while I was at Jean Christophe Novelli cookery school.

5. Which food blogger would you recommend following?

@fat.Sam.eats is the king of food porn especially breakfast yolk porn. @artusbbq is a wizard with a bbq as you can imagine. @lickyplate for absolutely everything including good food-related puns.

TrendLife Magazine introduce foodie LydEatsFood : Food Bloggers

Lydeatsfood – instagram.com/lydeatsfood

1. What’s your favourite place to eat?

Bedford is blessed with so many good restaurants that it’s impossible to choose just one! FatCap Smokehouse is always top of my list, real-deal American bbq cooked low n slow to perfection! Bridges Espresso Bar are the new kids on the Bedford foodie scene and they’re already a firm favourite of mine!

2. Favourite meal/type of food?

I haven’t met a cuisine I don’t like yet! Italian food is my favourite, especially my Nonna’s cooking. When I go out to eat, I love street food markets as it means I don’t have to choose one type of food and can eat everything!!

3. Favourite drink?

I’m most partial to a glass of bubbly but can’t say no to a proper Mojito! For a non-alcoholic beverage, I always go for a Diet Coke.

4. Most recent/ favourite recipe book bought?

My favourite cookbook is practically a family heirloom! It is a copy of Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management that belonged to my Great Nonna. She was given it when she first moved to England and it is over 100 years old. For a more contemporary cookbook, Ottolenghi is always a winner!

5. Which food blogger would you recommend following?

Make sure to check out my fellow Bedford foodie @teesfusiontable who makes the most amazing food.

TrendLife Magazine introduce foodie daniel_johneats : Food Bloggers

Daniel_JohnEats – instagram.com/daniel_johneats

1. What’s your favourite place to eat?

One of my favourite places in St Albans has to be Tabure. The food is always great and the restaurant always has a good atmosphere. Love trying lots of dishes.

2. Favourite meal/type of food?

This is a hard one but I would say Italian food is my favourite. Though I love brunch food. This is something I make a lot of. Avocado on toast with poached eggs is always a good idea.

3. Favourite drink?

Espresso Martini or a G&T. Rhubarb and ginger gin is is my current favourite flavour.

4. Most recent/ favourite recipe book bought?

When I was last in Berlin I visited a restaurant called House of Small Wonder. Fusion cuisine offering Japanese and European dishes. I brought the Recipes & Stories cookbook and have enjoyed using it a lot.

5. Which food blogger would you recommend following?

So many food bloggers who have amazing content. I would recommend @eat.like.a.foodie who’s home cooking is inspired by their travels.

TrendLife Magazine introduce foodie my_rude_food

My_Rude_Food – instagram.com/my_rude_food

1. What’s your favourite place to eat?

We’re spoilt for choice locally, there are so many gorgeous eateries. In St Albans, I particularly like L’italiano or Lussmanns. But we’ve also got the Alford Arms down the road which is reliably wonderful and if I want steak then I love Prime in Chandlers Cross. I’m not great at choosing just one.

2. Favourite meal/type of food?

Oh dear, I’m already spotting a theme. It’s so tough to choose, I particularly love cooking whole foods from scratch & tend to borrow flavours from around the world depending on my mood. I love a charcuterie board especially at home in front of a fire. On balance I would probably pick Italian food if forced. But I adore Asian food and British obviously.

3. Favourite drink?

What I drink most is water. But if we’re talking alcoholic I love anything with lychee or pear maybe a Bellini or a martini & I’m partial to a glass of Malbec. But probably my favourite is fresh mint tea.

4. Most recent/ favourite recipe book bought?

I’ve got so many but I don’t really follow recipes, I’ve been cooking for over 30 years. I love The flavour thesaurus by Niki Segnit. For inspiration, I probably reach for one my Nigel Slaters or Claudia Roden.

5. Which food blogger would you recommend following?

@90foodie @thefierywhisk & @johnwmacdonald are all really good for inspiration & very friendly.


Four Fantastic Food Bloggers to Follow – September

Each and every month, we will be featuring four new food bloggers to follow. If you are a food blogger and would like to be featured. follow us on Instagram and drop us a DM. Read ‘September’s Four Fantastic Food Bloggers to Follow‘.


Join the #lunchNbloggers movement

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Introducing @Bucksfoodie – Get To Know Me!

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Beds, Bucks & Herts is home to some of the best eateries in the UK. It is also home to some of the best Food Bloggers like Bucksfoodie, a 22-year-old MA graduate from West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire eating her way through independents / small chains

Hey there, my names Rachel but I also go by @bucksfoodie! I’m a 22-year-old MA graduate from West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. You may recognise me from this article where I was named as one of ‘Four Fantastic Food Bloggers to Follow’.   This is just a little info about me, my account and where it all began! To start, here are a few foodie facts about me:

  1. I am quite possibly the worst baker I know – you either get gloopy messes or … ‘cakes’ that could be used as building materials.
  2. I was vegetarian for the majority of my time at university – not necessarily for ethical reasons, but because I couldn’t afford meat!
  3. My favourite chef ever is Gordon Ramsay. I met him at the BBC Good Food show when I was about 10 and had my first experience of ‘fan-girling’.
  4. I have always loved (even if my bank account has not!) going out for food.
  5. I think my favourite meal to go out for is brunch, it’s usually cheaper than a dinner and always gets the day started on a positive note.

I started @bucksfoodie when I moved back home from SW London after finishing my undergraduate degree. I realised that I tended to visit the same few restaurants with my friends, boyfriend and family. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I wanted to branch out a bit and actually explore the foodie scene – especially in High Wycombe and Aylesbury as these were the two places I spent most of my time.

My focus when I started #bucksfoodie was really simple:

  • Discover new independent restaurants, bars and cafes.
  • Try out these new places & take pictures of the experience.
  • Post it online and hope to spread some more awareness of small businesses.

So, I made the account in December 2019 after my boyfriend and I had, what is still, the best Sunday Roast of our lives at The Harrow in Bishopstone. I started posting weekly because I didn’t have the content or budget to post more regularly. Before I made the account I created a back catalogue of other independent restaurants or cafes that I’d been to prior to actually making the account. To start with, there was no pressure to post as not many people were following me and it could stay as a side project/hobby.

The account got left by the wayside for a little while because I was also studying for my MA at this time. But I still took pictures of my food and of the experiences. I’ve always liked having a record of great experiences – my boyfriend says that I’m a hoarder of memories, pictures and memorabilia!

I’m not going to say the ‘C’ word [not Christmas, the other one] but… lockdown played a huge part in getting back into @bucksfoodie and really changing things up. I had bucket loads of time and needed motivation to get through the day, as I think a lot of us did and @bucksfoodie became that for me.

I started with a food challenge that another foodie had created which meant I had to post every day for 30 days, different types of content like my favourite meal, my favourite takeaway, best bake (this was a big throwback to the only cake triumph I’ve ever had!). Not only did it give me a focus it forced me to be creative with food, to think about food in a practical way, and to actually experiment in the kitchen a little bit.

The result was incredible not just for myself and my food journey, but I was also gaining loads of active followers who wanted to chat and to share their experiences with me! It also put me in contact with some great businesses. The best bit was they weren’t just local anymore – I’ve spoken to foodies in New York, in Dubai and even in Australia – the internets amazing for that! I’ve still remained very focussed on presenting local businesses in the Buckinghamshire area though – I think it will always be my main focus, no matter where this account takes me.

It’s become something pretty magical since early April 2020! Most recently I gained over 3000 followers, and later this month I’ll be judging a competition for Eden Shopping Centre! Pinch me please because it doesn’t seem real!

Beds, Bucks & Herts is home to some of the best eateries in the UK. It is also home to some of the best Food Bloggers like Bucksfoodie, a 22-year-old MA graduate from West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire eating her way through independents / small chains

I love creating and posting content, and even if the Instagram algorithm means that my posts don’t get seen immediately, or by as many people, it’s not about the likes or the comments for me. The best thing I’ve gained from being a Food Blogger are the dialogues I’ve had with businesses, restaurants, brands and my followers. I love nothing more than being asked for recommendations, or for a more in-depth discussion on a trip to a restaurant, or food product that I’ve been sent.

I’ve also been able to help brands price their products and market their events which is just incredible and something really unexpected that has come with my blog! It’s like a part-time job at the moment, I feel very busy with @bucksfoodie and it’s given me a fantastic focus, it’s also really helped my relationship with food.

I think a lot of us go through dips and dives in our relationships with food. It can be a toxic, messy and sometimes really uncomfortable topic to talk about, especially when you’re a content creator who is solely posting about food! But, since starting @bucksfoodie, I’ve been encouraged to love, appreciate, and try new foods, which is a really lovely additional bonus to making this account.

Well, I think that just about covers me and my journey with @bucksfoodie so far. The good news is it’s far from over yet!

Feel free to drop me a follow or message on Instagram or Facebook if you’d like to know more about me or bucks-based restaurants/ brands/ coffee shops or businesses!

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