Brand Spotlight: The London Honey Co.

It was almost unheard of at the time, but in 1999 Steven Benbow founded The London Honey Co. with a clear goal in mind: “for pure, natural food to be brought back into the heart of the city, and for food to come straight from where it is made without interference.” The idea of letting a quality ingredient speak for itself was key and so, the company was born.

Quickly after their launch, they were invited to visit some incredible, iconic rooftops like Fortnum and Mason, and the Tate art galleries. Fast forward 20 years from when The London Honey Co. was founded and their honeycomb is now a regular feature on plates by chefs like Angela Hartnett, Marcus Waring and Skye Gyngell. When Steven created The London Honey Co. he was missing his rural Shropshire roots, and was eager to bring a bit of the countryside into his life.

Inspired on a daily basis by the beauty, purity and craftsmanship of the bees and their honey, the company is still sticking true to their roots.

They still love working alongside the bees, and are proud to have been the first to start urban beekeeping as it continues to grow and expand in the UK (and worldwide!) with Steven writing a book called ‘The Urban Beekeeper.’ Although they strongly focus on their honey, this isn’t the only product they make – honeycomb and handmade 100% beeswax candles are also part of the London Honey Co. range.

Since the health benefits of natural honey is known all over the world, it’s important that their honey is always unpasteurised and minimally filtered, so it retains its natural properties. The zesty, complex honey comes from their rooftop beehives, and this inspired the team to site honeybees across various parts of England. Why? To capture the variety of the isles landscapes in single origin, raw honey. These include ling heather, Kent woodsage and Salisbury plain wildflower to name a few. They’re also proud to source honey from other like-minded beekeepers, to offer an incredible range of honey. Here are our three favourite products at the moment:

Oxfordshire Honey
The Oxfordshire Honey, natural and made in the UK, is gathered from the rolling hills of the Cotswolds. The honeybees pollinate broad beans and visit hedgerows, tangled with brambles and honeysuckle so this honey has floral hints of all three, and has a mild, floral sweetness making it perfect for baking.

Ling Heather Honey
The London Honey Co.’s natural honey has all of the hazy flavours of the late British summer. For the Ling Heather honey in particular, it has a strong, aromatic flavour. Collected from beehives on the Long Mynd in Shropshire, it’s almost jelly-like in consistency, distinguishing it from other honey. Perfect with yoghurt, fruit or granola!

No.2 Beeswax Stubby Candles
Not only making honey, the company have expanded to include other beeswax essentials. These hand-dipped candles are made from 100% British beeswax and come beautifully presented in a hand-stitched gift box with embossed bee logo. Hint: they have the subtle, sweet aroma of an English summer, not dissimilar from the taste of their honey.

As well as looking after their own beehives, they also look after honeybees on behalf of others, including Fortnum and Mason, and supply incredible chefs, stores and producers with their quality honey. A truly unique and meaningful brand.

Sending Out Wedding Invitations: Everything You Need To Know

Wedding invitations are a wonderful, exciting part of the wedding process. They list all of the details about your special day with the people you want to share the occasion with. Picking a wedding invitation that matches your aesthetic and reflects your personality is important for setting the tone for your wedding day. On a more practical level, it provides guests with crucial information and means you can get started with planning the finer details and being more prepared. When you know exactly who will be attending, this helps with things like the number of people to cater for and the size of the venue. Here’s everything you need to know before sending out those all-important wedding invitations.

When to send them

There’s no set time for when to send out wedding invites, but typically they are sent out 6 – 8 weeks before the wedding. This gives your guests a good amount of time to make the necessary plans, like travel arrangements or clearing their schedules, and gives them enough notice to move things around if needed. If you’re doing a destination wedding or having your wedding during a busy period, send them a bit earlier, so 8 – 12 weeks in advance of the wedding date. Your save-the-date cards go out first, usually 6 – 8 months in advance so this gives people the chance to block that date out.

What to include

A traditional wedding invitation includes key information that your guests will need to know about the wedding: your names, date and time, venue (or venues, if your reception and ceremony are in different locations), plus-one rules, whether children are allowed or not, the dress code, RSVP cards and return address, and if you have a wedding website, a link to that! For anything where people need to get back to you like menu options if you have these, and RSVPs, be sure to include a date to get back to you by so you have enough notice. If you’re sending wedding invitations to evening-only guests, just slightly tweak the wording to make it clear that it’s just an invite for the evening reception.

What to say

The choice of wording is totally up to you and each wedding invitation will be different. It depends on personal preference, and whether you want the invitation to be more formal or more fun – there’s no right or wrong way to word it. Examples like: “Naomi Smith and John Richards are getting married and would love to invite *insert name here* to join them on their special day,” or “Katie Williams and Aaron Collins are tying the knot and would love for *insert name here* to celebrate their wedding,” are two simple options. Just make sure to be clear and to cover the main things you want guests to know – write out the names of the people who are invited to avoid any confusion with guests who want to bring children (if it’s an adult-only wedding) or people who want to bring plus ones.

When to set the deadline for RSVPs

This can vary from wedding to wedding but it should be at least 4 weeks before your wedding date. You’ll have to confirm final numbers as close to the date as possible, so you need enough time to let the caterer know, order any final bits of wedding stationery and finalise the seating chart for the day. A good amount of time between sending out the invitation and setting the deadline for RSVPs is at least 4 – 6 weeks. If it gets any closer to the date, give any remaining guests a call to ask for their RSVPs.

Getting your wedding invitations sorted and sent out in enough time is just one more thing for you to check off your wedding to-do list. These invitations will be memorable keepsakes that you (and your guests!) can keep to remember your special day, for life.

Brand Spotlight: The Brighton Beard Company

The Brighton Beard Company, founded in 2013, was born out of the need to create a distinctive beard care range that championed both style and nourishment for the urban beardsman. Established, designed and manufactured in Brighton, the brand is all about capturing the style and spirit of the bearded lifestyle.

Started by couple Lloyd and Jessica, and inspired by their surroundings of the scenic South Coast of England, the duo looked to the beards of the sea as their muse. Each product is handmade in small batches with 100% natural ingredients, and everything is carefully chosen for their beard benefits and impeccable fragrance. By creating quality, hand crafted products, The Brighton Beard Co. provides beard care to nurture your facial fur.

Their goal? To make your beard the best it can be.

The history of the brand began when co-founder Lloyd had grown a beard and realised he needed to find a product or two to tame it, before his boss’ “shave it” taunts got the better of him. After searching and trying to find something that would work, Lloyd found that no products on the market really grabbed his attention or caught his eye. That’s where his partner, Jessica, stepped in. She’d been struggling to find employment and what she really wanted to do was to put her time and energy into something that was both creative and productive. So, together the idea came about for The Brighton Beard Company; and the rest as they say, is history. And Jessica and Lloyd lived happily ever after, with no need for Lloyd to succumb to his boss. Needless to say, the beard stayed.

Each product of theirs is named after local and lawless smugglers, moonshiners and best loved villains from around the East Sussex area. From Creampot Tom to Jevington Jigg, each of them have their own anecdote based on true stories, consisting of mischief and misfortune, injecting real personality and character into everything The Brighton Beard Company makes.

Here are some of our favourite products:

Creampot Tom’s Mandarin and Cedarwood Beard Balm
This leave-in conditioning treatment works hard to nourish, repair and tame the beard, while still providing a light hold. The balm conditions the beard and helps to repair and prevent split ends. It’s a tin full of goodness, and the smell is incredible.

Jevington Jigg’s Mandarin & Cedarwood Extra Firm Moustache Wax
This extra firm moustache wax, handmade in small batches, provides a hold that promises to tame even the most unruly of beards and moustaches. Although the wax is strong, it’s also re-workable, perfect for creating strong shapes and styles.

Old Joll’s Jasmin & Lemon Beard Oil
This handmade oil is made with a blend of the very finest oils, including jojoba oil, vitamin E and essential oils Jasmin & Lemon. It’s the ideal product to treat, soften and nourish facial hair, and the skin beneath.

A brand with a lovely, pure story, much like their products, Lloyd and Jessica worked hard to create range of honest, simple and good quality grooming products. With everything from beard oils, balms and moustache waxes to combs and wash bags, each and every product is made with pure, wholesome ingredients. Each purchase comes from a hand crafted, small batch by the small and dedicated Brighton Beard Company team. We can’t wait to be stocking this wonderful brand and a range of their beard-friendly products on Bookblock, coming very soon…

In the mean time, we’re working with them on a wonderful competition called IN GOOD COMPANY, which gives you the chance to win a few products from Bookblock, as well as some other items from other inspiring, British brands. The ESCUYER Colour Block Socks, A5 Notebook and A4 Weekly Planner from us are just some of the exciting things you can win. Enter by the 31/08/2019.

All of the details on how to enter and other prizes to be won can be found here:

National Wellness Month: How To Unwind And Relax

National Wellness Month is all about actively reminding us to make time to take care of ourselves for a whole month. Although the words ‘self-care’ and ‘wellness’ are topics of conversation more than ever before, it’s still difficult to carve time out of our busy schedules to actively put these things into place. Having an entire month dedicated to wellness means it doesn’t have to take a backseat, and we can try to incorporate little bits of wellness into our lives each day, no matter how big or small.

Here are five things to remember during National Wellness Month to focus on self-care and stress management, so that it becomes something you can implement in your life, all year round.

Wellness is different for everyone
For some, it might be bubble baths, books and cups of tea, or watching a film and enjoying some much-needed ‘me’ time. For others, it might be ticking things off your to-do list and then enjoying dinner with a friend, or heading to the gym for a class. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ with wellness, and what works for some people may not work for others. That’s why it’s important to think about what YOU need to do to take care of yourself. What, specifically, does self-care look like for you? That’s how you determine what to focus on during National Wellness Month (and after it!)

Wellness isn’t about big changes
Although there are some elements of wellness that can seem quite grand, expensive or life-changing, like getting a wellness coach, getting regular massages or having a strict bedtime of 10pm every night, wellness can be much smaller and manageable. Promoting a healthier, more balanced routine can include things like making a conscious effort to drink more water through-out the day or committing to an exercise class or an outdoor walk once a week. You don’t have to commit to an annual membership at your local yoga studio, but you can commit to one class. Don’t feel as though you have to overhaul your entire life to incorporate wellness into it – it’s meant to help you manage stress, not add to it.

Less screen time 
There are so many things you can do with your time instead of spending it looking at a screen. One of the great things about National Wellness Month is that it’s in the summer, which means it’s the perfect time of year to go for walks, be outdoors and enjoy nature. It’s been proven that spending time in nature helps to reduce feelings of stress or anger, and improves your mood. Other things you can do instead of being in front of a screen are:

  1. Catching up with friends
  2. Exercising
  3. Cooking
  4. Reading
  5. Meditating

Slow down and breathe
It can often feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get things done and that every hour passes us by. That’s where the art of mindfulness comes in. Both mindfulness and meditation have become much more mainstream and popular in recent years, and taking time to slow down and be present is known to release stress. Making an effort to practice meditation or deep breathing can take just 5 or 10 minutes out of your day, but make a huge difference by helping to release tension and encouraging us to be more present in the moment.

Self-care is sometimes as simple as getting stuff done 
Although National Wellness Month is definitely a time to create good lifestyle habits and focus on healthy routines, it’s also important to remember that sometimes self-care is about doing what needs to be done. Taking care of yourself can look like getting through a load of work that you’ve been procrastinating over, or checking things off of your to-do list that you keep putting off. In the end, not working through things can leave you feeling more overwhelmed and stressed out in the long run. Part of taking care of yourself is acknowledging these responsibilities.

Self-care isn’t selfish or self-indulgent. It’s not a bad thing to take time out to unwind and reset. It’s necessary. Hopefully this month will show you how much of a difference these small habits can make, and you can incorporate little bits of wellness into your life all year round. There are so many things you can do to unwind, and sometimes a nice, chilled evening is just what you need. We’ve put together some of our favourite self-care products to enjoy during National Wellness Month. Treat yourself to things that make you feel relaxed and allow you to really switch off.

Fikkers warming muscle rub on Bookblock

Warming Muscle Rub: Fikkerts
This muscle rub is perfect for an all-over warming massage. Made using carefully selected essential oils, they’ve been blended together with natural moisturisers to create a non-oily rub that’s easy to apply. It leaves skin feeling smooth and rehydrated.

LA: Bruket grapefruit hand cream on Bookblock

No 195 Grapefruit Hand Cream: L:A Bruket
This hand cream by L:A Bruket is delicately scented with Grapefruit Leaf and Lavender Essential Oils, and paired with Shea Butter and Coconut Oil. It provides intense nourishment and hydration, without leaving behind any greasy residue and it works to replenish and rejuvenate dry skin.

Wild Rose Bath Blaster: Bomb Cosmetics
This floral bath bomb by Bomb Cosmetics is made with Rose & Geranium Essential Oils. Just place in warm water, and it’ll make bath time relaxing and totally serene as the fragrance and essential oils release.

Sabadi health chocolate on Bookblock

Cold Pressed Organic Chocolate: Sabadi
A healthy snack? A healthy snack… with chocolate? We’ve found it! This cold-pressed organic chocolate is rich and indulgent, made with bee pollen, pomegranate extract and acerola. Both vegan and gluten-free, it’s a great option if you’re a self-professed chocoholic, looking for something healthy.

Umu Tsumu tea on Bookblock

Tsumu Tea: Umu 
This Tsumu Tea by Japanese tea makers Umu is not only beautifully packaged, it’s also expertly crafted and delicious. Made in Japan, this fragrant mix hails from Sayama and has a heady natural aroma and a crisp, clean taste. Perfect for unwinding.

Brand Spotlight: Peppermint Grove

Creating a luxurious collection handmade in Australia, Peppermint Grove products range from candles, diffusers, bath & body products and gift sets, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Taking familiar scents to a new level, the brand was inspired by the “opulence of grand old estates, stunning private gardens and heirloom antiques,” and captures the remarkable beauty and charm of Australian living. The products are designed to fragrance your home and create a luxury feel.

All of the scents are carefully curated with the purpose of encapsulating a unique part of the Australian landscape, bringing luxury and timeless sophistication to modern day contemporary living.

Each Peppermint Grove product is hand poured in a highly polished custom-designed vessel that is unique to the brand, with a polished silver lid (which also works as a coaster to protect all surfaces!) Everything is sourced in an environmentally friendly manner, made with soy wax, and no products are tested on animals.

Peppermint Grove beauty bar with freesia and berries

Patchouli & Bergamot Beauty Bar
With bergamot and mandarin orange top notes, this triple milled beauty bar is enriched with Cocoa Butter, Sweet Almond Oil and Vitamin E. It creates a rich soapy lather that leaves skin delightfully clean, nourished and wonderfully fragrant. It’s a truly sensual fragrance and this is associated with free thinking communities like Byron Bay.

Peppermint Grove lemongrass lime hand cream

Lemongrass & Lime Hand Cream
This light-weight hand cream leaves skin delightfully smooth and is perfect for carrying with you everyday. Enriched with nourishing Almond, Argan, Rosehip and Jojoba oils, and with added SPF15, the formula is non-greasy so it leaves skin feeling moisturised, protected and smelling incredible. The invigorating and refreshing fragrance heightens the senses, reminiscent of the Daintree Rainforest. Fragrance family? Citrus.

Peppermint Grove freesia and berries bath salts

Freesia & Berries Bath Salt
As far as relaxing bath salts go, the Freesia & Berries by Peppermint Grove is the ideal go-to for winding down. A sweet yet comforting fragrance with top notes of rose, raspberries, fresh strawberries and touches of jasmine and cyclamen, these bath salts completely indulge the senses and leave skin feeling smooth and nourished. Simply pour two scoops of these into a bath and once dissolved, the salts release their romantic scent.

Peppermint Grove mint and jasmine reed diffuser

Wild Jasmine & Mint Room Diffuser
An incredible scent, this combination of wild jasmine and mint makes this diffuser instantly sophisticated. With an oil-based formula, the diffuser releases fragrance for up to 6 months. Ideal for any room in the house, this scent is inspired by the private gardens found in the Australian Blue Mountains.

The Bookblock Gift Guide To… Housewarming Gifts

When someone moves into a new home, there are so many gifting options. Do they love cosy nights in or cooking? Are they big tea lovers? Self-professed chocolatiers? A new home is all about making memories, and housewarming gifts should be well-thought out and tailored to them as they start their new journey. Help them get them settled in with gifts that have a personal touch – from French chocolates to orange & cinnamon candles, here are a few options of some housewarming gifts that you’ll want to keep for yourself…

Nawrap green organic hand towel at Bookblock

For Someone Who Loves Natural and Organic…
This Nawrap organic green hand towel is the perfect option for your natural-obsessed friend. It’s delicate but durable, and the history of this brand will make you want to be part of their journey. Founded in the 1930s, Nawrap originally manufactured mosquito nets – they then realised their material was fast-drying, lightweight and soft, so they grew to produce multi-purpose clothes and towels. Their commitment to tradition forgoes modern machinery for traditional weaving techniques. No dyes, no chemicals, just beautifully soft cotton.

Bookblock sandalwood black pepper candle housewarming gift

For Someone Who Is ALL About Scent
A candle is always a good idea. A soothing, comforting atmosphere is just what you need in a new home to unwind after all the stress of unpacking and moving! Our  earthy, bold Sandalwood and Black Pepper candle has base notes of teak and patchouli, and highlights of leather. It’s made with 100% soy wax and all natural fragrances, with a burn time of 40 hours.

Comptoir du Cacao pralines gift box at Bookblock

For The Chocolate Lover
If someone you know who’s moving into a new home is a self-professed chocolate connoisseur, this delicious Praline Gift Box is a necessity. Set in the heart of the French countryside, French chocolatiers Comptoir du Cacao make stunning pure cacao butter chocolates. This selection of six dark chocolate treats including hazelnut, pistachio and coffee flavours is a small, perfectly crafted selection.

Glass tea maker Teministeriet on Bookblock

For The One Who Can’t Stop Drinking Tea
The best tea deserves the best kit! For cosy evenings in and mornings brews, we’re fans of this glass tea maker by Teministeriet. This Swedish speciality tea company creates unique teas and draws inspiration from age-old traditions in the Far East, combined with Scandinavian minimalist design. For something stylish and sleek, this tea maker lets you steep your brew to the perfect strength. Opt for an accompanying tea, like Teministeriet’s Black Vanilla Chai or Stockholm Breakfast Tea.

LA Bruket bath salts gift at Bookblock

For Someone Who’s Favourite Room In The House Is The Bathroom
Make this the first thing on their new bathroom shelf. Made on the west coast of Sweden, L:A BRUKET products are traditional, natural and organic. The No 001 Marigold Bath Salts is a traditional health cure with Marigold, Roses, Lavender, unbleached Sea Salt and essential oils of Marigold, Orange and Geranium. Just a handful of this is needed for a scented, relaxing spa-like treatment at home, making it the perfect housewarming present for someone who’s into their skincare and self-care.

The Bookblock Gift Guide To… Birthday Gifts For Her

Whether you want to get her birthday gifts for her ultimate wellness evenings in and opt for bath bombs and face creams, or whether you want to go down the practical route and get her notebooks and diaries, we have a mix of presents to help put together presents she’ll really love. Whether it’s your best friend, mum, auntie, sister or girlfriend, these birthday gifts are both thoughtful and practical. 

Gold and cream foiled masterplan notes by Bookblock
Gold and cream foiled masterplan notes by Bookblock

Pimlico Masterplan Notes – For The Notetaker
A notebook is always on our list (you can literally never have too many notebooks!) But, this Bookblock cream notebook is a special one for a birthday treat. Perfectly bound with 100 plain, gridded and lined pages, this is ideal for writing out all of your aspirations. With ivory paper inside and gold foiling on the cover, it’s more than just a standard notebook and will make the receiver even more excited to get organised and start jotting down their plans and goals. It also comes in bright blue, so you’ve got options.

Tokyomilk pink and blue floral handcream on Bookblock
Tokyomilk pink and blue floral handcream on Bookblock

Anthemoessa Hand Cream No.84 – For The Skincare Lover
This Anthemoessa Hand Cream by Tokyomilk is their signature hand cream, containing fragrances like jasmine, salted grapefruit, honeysuckle and sandalwood. Not only does it smell delicious, but it also includes ingredients like shea butter, sweet almond and avocado oil for extra moisture. It offers moisture-rich hydration and comes in beautiful, floral packaging, making a great birthday gift.

Little book of Hygge by Meik Wiking on Bookblock
Little book of Hygge by Meik Wiking on Bookblock

The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking – The One Who Is SO Into Comfort
Well-known and renowned for good reason, the Little Book of Hygge is perfect for the minimalist lover in your life. If you know someone who is all about indulging in comfort and cosiness, this book contains the secret that makes Denmark the happiest country in the world. Hygge (meaning cosiness of the soul), is the Danish trend everyone has been talking about for the last few years. This book summarises what Hygge means and how to implement it in your life. It talks about the little things like the power of cocoa by candlelight, sofa time and the other totally relaxing things we should all be doing a little more in our everyday lives.

Rococo pink champagne truffles chocolate gift on Bookblock
Rococo pink champagne truffles chocolate gift on Bookblock

Pink Marc de Champagne Chocolate Truffles by Rococo Chocolates – The One Who Loves Indulging
Two things that she’ll be happy to unwrap on her birthday: chocolate and champagne. Put both of these together for pure decadence – a total champagne infused delight. The dark chocolate truffles are smothered in rose pink white chocolate with crystallised rose petals and presented in a beautiful Rococo box. Plus, everything is made with ethically sourced ingredients. A real birthday treat.

Lime basil and mandarin white Alska candle gift by Bookblock
Lime basil and mandarin white Alska candle gift by Bookblock

Lime, Basil & Mandarin Candle – For Someone Who Is ALL About Fragrance And Relaxation
Scents that she’ll love: this Lime, Basil and Mandarin candle from Älska is a fresh and fruity mix, making it perfect for someone who’s into their interiors and home decor. It’s luxurious and homely, and comes in a beautifully presented package for that extra special birthday feeling. Added bonuses? It has a 30 hour burn time and it’s made with 100% soy wax. Plus, it’s made with all natural fragrances. A definite must-have.

Tea Trends In 2019

In the UK, 165 million cups of tea are consumed everyday by 51 million tea drinkers, and although speciality teas are bigger than ever, classic traditional teas are still well-loved. With wellness teas on the rise and new flavours and options popping up regularly, we want to know what types of teas are the most popular and on the rise this year.

Whether we’re opting for an English Breakfast or going for a herbal tea, there are so many choices. So, what are some of the major tea trends that we should be looking out for in 2019? We read through the Tetley Tea report, and here’s what we found:

Tea trends at work

Tea at work improves productivity
Having a tea break at work is actually a really good thing, and it actually outperforms coffee with 47% of people drinking tea every time they’re in the workplace. Whether you’re grabbing a green tea (the 2nd most popular blend in the workplace) in between meetings and calls, or enjoying a brew with colleagues, it’s no surprise that having a tea break can increase productivity, benefiting both businesses and employees. The tea trends for this year show that the top 3 factors for choosing tea in the workplace are:

  • 44% of people go for a cup of tea to break up the day
  • 30% enjoy a cuppa to quench thirst
  • 28% of people say it’s just out of habit

Tea trends fruit or hygge

The experience is key
Tea is now about more than just making a quick cup in the morning and drinking it in a hurry. It’s about the experience, enjoyment and finding a new way to take pleasure in something small. The idea of ‘hygge’ has become more and more popular with it being an act of self-care to enjoy small rituals everyday, and the idea of ‘comfort’ and ‘cosiness’. Plus, there’s the idea of sophistication – whether it’s visiting a renowned British place for a ‘high-tea’ or ‘afternoon tea’ experience, it’s a concept that’s appealing.

Yes to new flavours
An unlikely finding in the tea trends for 2019 is that black tea is still a clear favourite when it comes to popular choices. But fruit, herbal and green teas have definitely grown in popularity, particularly since the well-being trend has become more prominent with millennials. So, the idea of offering fruit and herbal infusions is a key way to attract a younger audience, by demonstrating the various benefits of different blends. The most popular blends for people to consume out of home (other than black tea) are Green Tea (18%), Speciality Black Tea (17%), Herbal Tea (15%), Fruit Tea (14%) and Matcha Tea (3%). Matcha and Green tea are the two blends that consumers are happy to pay a little more for. People also want new tastes and flavours – natural, more earthy flavours and variations from matcha tea and kombucha.

With the rise of cold brews and botanicals, there is no ‘one’ type of tea anymore.

Tea trends herbal

We’re more selective about our dietary choices and often choose healthier beverages
With the rise of the health and wellness trend, particularly amongst millennials, consumers are looking for healthier options, and ingredients with more nutritional benefits. There’s a much higher demand now for functional food and drink options with health benefits focused on self-care, and this is only expected to grow over the next few years. Since 1 in 2 people in the UK already take daily vitamins, it’s now more important than ever for the new generation of tea drinkers to choose drinks with functional ingredients to help maintain a healthy lifestyle – matcha, protein, turmeric and ginger to name a few.

A report by National Tea Day talked about the way different types of tea drinkers perceive tea and the difference in how they associate it. For example, when it comes to different generations, traditionalists look at tea more as a “builder’s brew,” whereas modern consumers and new tea drinkers see it more as an experience. Traditionalists tend to see tea as, “comforting, creamy and sweet”, whereas modernists tend to see tea as, “healthy, colourful and sensual.” So, the rise of speciality teas is definitely bigger than ever and there have been a number of key shifts in the premium tea market. But, one thing hasn’t changed. That we love tea.  Tetley’s report says, “Enjoying a cup of tea is a staple part of most people’s day.” We agree.

Brand Spotlight: Savon Stories

To fully explain the meaning of the words, ‘raw’ to this brand means that nothing they do is heated so everything used retains a higher density of nutrition for the skin. The meaning of ‘organic botanicals’ is exactly as it sounds – plant based recipes that are sourced totally organically and are synthetic-free. Savon is the French word for “soap”, but it’s the word “stories” that really offers insight into the healing properties of the brand’s products that come from nature. The chemical information in an organic plant oil connects you to the natural world where the plant came from – so, the soil, the quality of the air, the environment, the minerals, all play a part in shaping the quality and character of that plant. For Savon Stories, this is important in how the plant will speak to your body and how these plants will benefit your skin.

The inspiration for Savon Stories came from the wisdom and character of their grandfather who lived for 115 years, with a minimal, raw diet. They describe him as “tall, generous and mild-tempered”, and he lived on a simple farmer’s diet of fresh, raw foods in small portions.

If you ask founder of Savon Stories, Moute, what the secret of her grandfather’s long life was, she would say two words: “Raw Minimalism.”

They strongly believe that this minimal consumption was one of the key reasons to his long life, and the idea of ‘Raw Minimalism’ was coined by Moute, her husband Ray and their family. It’s an old heritage and the concept of this is simple. Nurturing the best of good, green Earth and being rich with less, rather than more.

The brand was hailed from rural Morocco and West Africa, and the products are handmade in 2 workshops – one in Surrey, England, and the other in Provence, France. This allows customers to choose between English or French made products, and the items are packaged in those respective languages. All about pure botanicals, these are unheated to retain their effectiveness for enduring health and beauty and Moute uses the tools handed to her by her grandfather, creating organic soaps and products that cleanse the body’s ‘second stomach’.

With the idea of the skin being ‘a second stomach’, they took this approach when creating Savon Stories, formulating recipes and using Moute’s grandfather’s approach to create the brand. Moute, who was raised by her grandfather on the family farm, used this to handcraft organic remedies for enduring health and beauty. She always ensured she used rich and raw botanicals that were kept as close to their natural state as possible to retain all of the goodness: nutrition, purity and trueness.

With a range of products from exfoliating gloves and essential oils to face washes and lotion melts, the products are truly unique and incredible. Here are some of our favourites:

Rose Bouquet Hand & Body Wash
This floral, rich and textured Hand & Body Wash is 99% organic and 100% natural, as well as being raw and vegan. Being cold-processed means that it retains the nutrients of its oil-based recipe, making it highly moisturising and nourishing. The mixture is cured in a barrel (in a cool basement for a few weeks), making it a unique process. With essential oils of sweet & delicate rose, it creates a real aroma, reminiscent of the flower.

Chamomile Blue Oil
This organic essential oil is an ancient, distilled oil from the flowers of the plant. Perfect for skin irritations and youthful skin, the “blue” variety of the flower has a high content of ‘chamazulenze’, which enhances the oil’s strength in nourishing the skin. It’s also known to be a powerful aide for soothing anxiety and inducing a deep sleep.

Mandarin Lotion Melt
A waterless, solid lotion that’s made entirely of a mix of 8 butters and 3 essential oils, making it ideal for intensely dry, sensitive skin. It melts when massaged into the skin, delivering a surge of protective antioxidants, repairing micronutrients, hydrating fatty acids and powerful, regenerative essential oils.

Brand Spotlight: Minois Paris

All of the ingredients in Minois Paris products are of natural origin and made to the highest standards, and although specially formulated for little ones, their products can be used by adults. The smell and lovely formula make the products the perfect gift for mums-to-be or new mums.

Minois products on Bookblock Shop

They’re free from parabens, sulphates, phenoxyethanol, silicone and colourings, so they respect the PH balance of little ones’ delicate skin. The formulas are so gentle that they can be used from birth onwards, and the products are dermatologically tested on sensitive skin. Founder Hélène Fulchi had always had children in mind when thinking of the brand she wanted to create and says:

“For a while, I’d had the idea of creating a treatment brand designed for little ones of flawless quality, with an attractive brand identity.”

She’d always been interested in creating a range of products for babies and children adapted to their skin. But, it was when her daughter Paz was born that Hélène was really inspired to kickstart her exciting new brand. “Like all mums, I felt a great sense of responsibility. I was going to have to take care of her. So I decided to create Minois Paris.” Her initial goal was clear: to offer safe and reliable products that were simple to identify and use. She wanted all products to be wrapped up in attractive packaging and be visually appealing, aimed at mums who want to pay special attention to the products they choose for their children.

One of our favourite things about the brand (other than the incredible story behind it and beautiful packaging!) is the smell and lovely formula of the products. Here’s why we’re big lovers of Minois Paris products:

Minois Light Water on Bookblock shop

Light Water
This dermatologically tested product is light yet effective. The natural, alcohol-free water is delicately perfumed, and has a fresh fragrance with floral and mineral notes. It’s used to refresh, soften and soothe the skin, and can be used on both skin and hair daily. To use, gently shake the bottle and spray liberally.

Minois Soothing Milk on Bookblock shop

Soothing Milk
The Soothing Milk by Minois Paris is a creamy lotion that delicately cleanses all facial impurities, without harming the skin. The natural formula used to create the milk contains organic blossom water, organic honey, organic shea butter, organic sweet almond oil and organic calendula, so using this leaves skin feeling clean, soft and supple. Use daily and gently apply the cleansing lotion to the entire face using a cotton pad (no need to rinse), for moisturising results.

Minois Genlte Cream on Bookblock shop

Gentle Cream
This moisturising cream is made for both face and body, and contains a mix of organic ingredients like organic shea butter and organic sweet almond oil with softening and smoothing properties. The natural formula of the Gentle Cream nourishes, protects and comforts the delicate skin of both babies and older children. Use it by warming a small amount of cream between your hands and then gently applying to the face and body.

Brand Spotlight: Nawrap

Also known as Maruyama Fiber Industry Co. Ltd, Nawrap originally manufactured traditional mosquito nets woven from cotton and hemp fabrics. But, Mosquito nets later lost their relevance in Japan and have since been adapted using traditional weaving techniques. Modern living and convenience shifted things, but the Nawrap team realised that because their material was fast-drying, lightweight and soft, it could have many other benefits and be used to create other things. So, they started to produce multi-purpose clothes and towels.

The 5 stand-out features of the brand are…

  1. Durability: The cloths are washable and dry quickly – perfect for daily use! The unique weave and multiple layers of material ensure the products remain durable.
  2. Long-lasting: Made from high quality materials, Nawrap products are made with longevity in mind.
  3. Soft texture: With these products, the more you wash them, the softer they become. After the first wash, the material quickly turns soft. No dyes, no chemicals, just beautifully soft cotton.
  4. Safe and high quality material: The products used are all carefully made from the finest high quality  materials, keeping it’s traditional weaving techniques. As the company have full control of the production process, they oversee everything from the raw materials to the final outcome.
  5. Wide range: There are a huge number of products to choose from, ranging in colour, style, size and purpose. Whether you want a green face towel for the bathroom or a coral neck towel to use at the gym, there’s plenty to choose from.

All of their products are 100% natural and organic, and their commitment to tradition forgoes modern machinery for the traditional weaving techniques, exclusive to Japan.

They create products for every room in the house, whether you’re looking for bathroom, bedroom, kitchen or living rooms products, all with the same high quality and durability. We’re proud to be their first UK stockist, and stock their cotton hand towels, face towels and neck towels. The absorbent, quick-drying fabric is perfect for the home. Here are some of our favourites:

Hand Towel
With a multi-layer weave, this organic cotton hand towel by Nawrap is delicate, yet durable. It’s all-natural, perfect for sensitive skin and made with no dyes or chemicals, just soft cotton. The perfect gifting option for someone who loves cooking and spending time in the kitchen.

Face Towel
For cleansing away oil and dirt, the Nawrap face towel is ideal for this. The delicate texture of the cotton used means it’s so soft and gentle on the skin. It’s the ideal gift for someone who loves using natural/organic items.

Neck Towel
This neck towel by Nawrap is soft, breathable and really absorbent, making it a pretty perfect choice for a gym towel. The all-natural towel is infused with binchotan, a traditional Japanese oak charcoal, which keeps it fresher for longer.

The Bookblock Guide To… Evenings In

For comfort and cosiness, opt for things that have a personal touch – from French chocolates to orange & cinnamon candles, here are a few options to make sure evenings indoors are a no brainer. 

A candle or two… or three
Something you can never have too many of, you can get really creative by picking a different scented candle for each room. For the bedroom, something to help get a good night’s sleep is the Bookblock Orange & Cinnamon candle, (the ultimate winter warmer!) with a comforting blend of smells and perfect for cosy nights in.

For the bathroom, something that creates a warm, relaxing atmosphere is the Viagem Candle by Earl of East, inspired by the city of Lisbon, and made with a delicate combination of coconut, oregano and fig. For the living room, something fresh – English Pear and Freesia by Älska, a heady, sweet and floral scent that has all the aromas of an English summer.

A treat all year around but especially in the colder months, this is the perfect option if someone drinks cups of tea morning, day and night. Start with the Cosmos Turquoise Mug by Porland, 100% porcelain and great for a morning brew. Then, select your tea. Teministeriet, Swedish speciality tea company have a range of unique options and are pretty much our go-to when it comes to all things tea. Opt for unique flavours like White Mulberry (a floral brew which mixes white tea, papaya, apple and mulberry for a rich aroma and smooth finish) and White Elderflower Champagne (a lightly infused tea with a blend of white tea, peach, elderflower and a drop of champagne), or pick from their holistic care range where you have ‘Relax’, ‘Digest’, ‘Boost’, and ‘Sleep’, to choose from.

Gold Clip Spoon
Next is the gold clip spoon – ideal for keeping tea (and coffee) leaves fresh, it’s the perfect blend of form and function, and doubles up as a measure. For a unique tea maker, you can’t go wrong with the glass tea maker by Teministeriet. Sleek and modern, your brew will be delicious, every time. To finish off, (and before setting up camp on the sofa for the rest of the evening), a coaster to add a pop of colour is a good addition. Opt for the set of 12 Capri-inspired coasters, double sided and finished with gold accents. The ultimate tea kit.

Smell and skin
For the skincare fanatic, it’s important to have all of the right products for cosy evenings in and there are so many pamper products to choose from. First, get the place smelling delightful with a Peppermint Grove diffuser. A gorgeous combination of wild jasmine and mint, this diffuser is sophisticated and the best part? It releases fragrances for up to 6 months so it’s perfect for keeping the place smelling fresh and vibrant all the time.

To de-stress, bath bombs are always a lovely gift. It’s something we rarely buy for ourselves unless we’re actively trying to indulge in some self-care, so for unwinding, bath time is a necessity. This lavender scented bath bomb from Meraki is both fragrant and moisturising, and it’s a definite reminder to engage in the Danish concept of hygge. Designed and developed in Denmark, Meraki creates products with a Scandinavian aesthetic with ingredients carefully selected because of their quality and natural aromas. This bath bomb contains shea butter and olive oil, so it’s the ultimate nourishment.  

Pamper gifts are only complete when you add in something solely for the skin – this No 101 Facial Cream Rich by L:A Bruket (made with all natural ingredients) is a great choice. Carrying on with that moisturising and nourishing feel, this can be used as both a day or night cream, so use this before you hop onto the sofa with a cup of the tea. It has extract of carrots to stimulate the skins production of collagen, shea butter to protect, heal and add antioxidants, and bergamot, which has an antiseptic, healing and calming effect. Ideal for evenings in.

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