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Food & Drink, Lifestyle, London, Wellbeing , 13 September 2018

The Joys of Being TEAtotal

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In partnership with TWG Tea.

Last week marked six months since I last imbibed any alcohol. Initially, I quit because I kept getting ill over winter and just thought I’d boot out booze and let my body rehydrate and strengthen up again before I hit it with an onslaught of summer drinks at pubs and warm Pimm’s in other people’s gardens and what not.

But I didn’t start again. I continued to remain alcohol-free, mostly because once I’d told everyone I wasn’t drinking and had been to several weddings sober, I realised I didn’t miss or need it anywhere near as much as I’d lead myself to believe.

As with everything in life, there are pros and cons, namely //

Good things about being teetotal /

– Never having that awful thirst in the middle of a night accompanied by a tongue that’s dry like carpet.

– Skin is much better. Less wrinkly. Less spotty.

– Period pain also diminished, thank God.

– No hangovers. HURRAH.

Bad things about being teetotal /

– Other people being very drunk around you gets tedious. (The answer to this: leave the party before people start to fall over and slur and dribble – I find even exceptionally edifying individuals are all prone to the slur and dribble if enough liquor is ladled down their throats).

– Celebrating occasions becomes really, really hard.

And that’s where the kind sponsors of this post come in. You see, I’ve been turning to tea in an effort to make events feel special and given that TWG Tea have elevated tea to being an elegant, chic thing that feels every bit as covetable and joyous as a fine wine or some fancy chocolates, I thought I’d trot down to their new tea boutique in Knightsbridge and try a few blends.

In case you aren’t as au fait with luxe teas yet as me, here’s the background to TWG tea. TWG = The Wellbeing Group, which was founded in Singapore in 2008. Their mission = to offer some mega luxury tea blends with a selection so wide that even my roving, teetotal eye wouldn’t run out of things to try.


Their Tea Salons & Boutiques are well established now in Asia, but they’ve just opened the Knightsbridge branch and another one in Leicester Square which is music to my ears because:

1) Aforementioned teetotalism leaves a dearth of beautiful places where I can go and drink something that feels a bit special.

Tea Butter

2) They also do yummy food – and every single dish is infused with tea (their green tea butter is pretty special and I’d heartily recommend having some).

3) The people in there know their teas – when I mentioned I am a bit sensitive to caffeine, a charming man called Fouad trotted over with a variety of white teas, which have the least theine (the caffeine molecule that has the stimulating effect) in them.


4) Look at those tins. Heaven. I’d like a kitchen full of them, but as the big ones are hand painted by artists in France and cost £1000 a tin, I should probably stick to the tea blends to get my kicks.

5) The Knightsbridge boutique is a stone’s throw from Harrods and Harvey Nichols, so makes for the ideal pitstop if you’re happily having a little browse and want a pick-me-up that won’t addle your brain and make you buy a Burberry trench coat without really thinking it through (’twas me, 2008, tipsy on prosecco).

Must dash as have a tea brewing right now. Would love to hear if you have either quit drinking recently or if you are a tea fanatic and can recommend any teas for different times of day as I’ll be heading to TWG Tea next week to stock up.

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