Since their launch a couple of years ago, Storm and India Tea Sisters have brought the glamour back to the tea scene. They caught everyone’s attention with the Tea Van, serving specialty brews from a cool polished chrome sixties van at events and markets around Auckland. More recently they have collaborated with Little Bird Organics to educate the detox and health benefits of their handcrafted organic tea. While there has been a cheeky twist, they have always taken tea very seriously and they’ve pleased everyone from the ordinary drinkers, to the connoisseurs. I’m a huge tea lover; it is a ritual for me, and reading India’s answers to my questions for NZ Month, has brought me to a new level of appreciation.
I’m dreaming of the wilderness, tall trees, open fields and that feeling of being one with nature. To feel the warmth of a mug of tea in my hands as I sit outside breathing in pure air. I might even spot some wildlife. Perhaps I’ll pick up a pen and write, open a book or perhaps the scenery and my thoughts will be enough.
On Sunday I developed a nasty head cold. I was at my worst on Monday and feeling rather sorry for myself. The autumn sun was shining outside but all I felt like doing was snuggling up on my couch and eating comfort food. That afternoon, I received a delivery from French Country Collections. The impeccably styled catalogue included suggested everything “comfort” that I was craving that day; rich moody hues, a seat by the warm fireplace and an enviable table setting. The blues are set off beautifully with the classic gold accessories. Strangely enough, this summer loving girl was looking forward to winter. You heard it here first!
If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you would have seen that I recently got back from a week away in the Coromandel. We rented a house with a great big deck with one amazing view. To make the holiday even more special, one of my oldest and dear friends from Australia, Tash, her husband Dave and their two boys were able to visit us for three nights while they were here.
Some of you may recall that Guillaume and I celebrated 15 years of marriage last month. It’s pretty huge, so we thought we should do something a little monumental to mark the occasion. My parents were visiting from Sydney and we took advantage of them here to look after the kids so that we could have a few days away. We both enjoy hiking (known as tramping here). We had heard so much about the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and decided that was what we were to do.
Do you remember the beach scene in Jane Campion’s The Piano? It was a cinema masterpiece and something that has always stayed with me. The scene where Holly Hunter’s character, Ada played the piano locked under a box for hours on the beach, was was filmed in Karekare, a spectacular black sand beach on the rugged west coast of Auckland. It’s only about forty minutes from the downtown and I’ve been meaning to visit there since arriving in the country four years ago! I’ve been to the surrounding beaches, the most famous being Piha and then there is Bethells Beach, where Taylor Swift just happened to film her latest clip.
When my Dad and stepmother suggested that we hire a yacht and go sailing the Bay of Islands, I jumped at the chance. Then the doubt crept in. Seven people together in a small space for five days and three of them are little with real needs to run around. What if it rained the entire time? What if they fell off the boat?