Summer Iced Tea With A Little Help From The Bees


There is nothing more cooling on a warm summer day than a refreshing cup of tea. I love making homemade iced tea over the summer months, and it is the perfect time to experiment using exciting new tea flavours, with lots of added ice and fresh herbs from the garden.

Taylors of Harrogate tea have recently created the most adorable short film a ‘Grand Beedapest Hotel’ based on the modern classic The Grand Budapest Hotel. It follows the perfectly quirky and candy-colour style of Wes Anderson’s film to raise awareness of saving our bees. Without bees there would be no teas! You must watch it for the tiny bee-sized gin and tonics and a ‘cameo’ from Queen Bey!

My little ones, Mia and Joe, get so excited about anything bee-related! Last week they rescued a very dozy-looking bumble bee in our garden by giving him a little bit of sugar water to drink and popping him on our lavender plants. We all watched him sit there for some time, taking a short rest, and then quite suddenly he buzzed away looking much happier. They were so delighted with their bee-saving adventure and have been excitedly telling all of our friends and family about it since!

It is so scary to think about a future, their future, possibly without bees, when they help to pollinate 75% of the world’s crops. Bees really are essential to almost everthing we eat, and their numbers have dropped rapidly in the last 25 years, by around half.


Taylors teas are working with Kew Gardens to encourage everyone to make their homes and gardens a little bit more bee-friendly. Taylors have lots of great practical ideas on their site and at the Grow Wild project led by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. There is also a chance to win tickets to Kew Gardens too. Taylors very kindly sent us our very own bee hotel, along with a lovely packet of wildflower seeds, much loved by bees. We already have some plants and flowers growing in our garden which are favourites with the bees, including buddleia and a bed of lavender, and it’s great to see them buzzing with stripey bees in the sunshine, busily working away to pollinate our plants.



So to celebrate the bees incredibly clever pollination skills we have been making some lovely icy summer teas, made with Taylors delicious teas.


My favourite flavour is the Rose Lemonade infusion, which includes lemon, blackberry and apple – it is so refreshing hot or cold! I also love the Sweet Rhubarb and Lemongrass and Ginger flavours. The range also includes Spiced Apple, which I think will be amazing for the autumn, and includes my favouite warming spice, cardamom.


Our iced tea was made with the Rose Lemonade, infused in boiling water for 5 minutes, cooled and with ice cubes added. We had also frozen some fresh mint leaves into the ice cubes for its lovely taste…and of course extra prettiness!


Once the tea flavours had infused, we added some colourful garden herbs, borage and calendula. Borage tastes a little bit like cucumber and works so well in drinks! Mia was so excited to try some of our tea, and was able to enjoy this with us, as Taylors fruit teas are naturally caffeine free, so totally safe for her to drink. It makes such a delicious drink, you really have to try it!


Mia and Joe have been really inspired to plant our wildflower seeds outdoors and are keen to dedicate a whole area of our garden to bee-friendly flowers. I’m totally in agreement and we are already making plans for next Spring!

Do you have any plants in your garden which the bees really love? I fancy lots of sprawling purple verbena, but would love more ideas!

Are you also feeling inspired to do more for our little bee friends having watched the Grand ‘Beedapest’ Hotel video?


We were sent a Bee Hamper from Taylors of Harrogate for review purposes. All words and opinions given are my own.







The Gardens at Hampton Court

110eI mentioned how amazing the palace gardens at Hampton Court were in my last post, and they really were beautiful, even in midwinter. There were a couple of small signs of spring on its way too…

111eTiny buds that will become blossom

114eGreen shoots and tiny flowers


124eThe kitchen gardens were so impressive, even though not much was growing. There were some cabbages and greens, and some lovely rainbow chard.

126eI love this idea for using old plant pots as markers for herbs



101eI cannot wait to visit Hampton Court again sometime in the summer. It will be great to spend the day exploring the grounds properly. The gardens run all the way down to the River Thames, link up with Henry VIII’s deer park, that still has a herd of fallow deer, and there is a rose garden too. I think a sunny day with a picnic and some garden wandering would be pretty much perfect.