Project management and writing for a promotional product for Dragonfly Tea in conjunction with the British Guild of Travel Writers.
The PR for Dragonfly Tea approached the British Guild of Travel Writers to write a promotional booklet linking some of their speciality teas with photographs and text about places in Britain that matched up to each tea's special qualities.
I was engaged to manage the project, and worked with the client identifying possible locations that that fitted the concept. Each had to be photogenic - as the promotion would include taking an armchair to each place and be positioned in the scene.
As the project took place during winter, many locations were impossible to use. So mountain tops were out, so were most gardens. In the end we agreed on ten places; Dragonfly's PR sorted out photographic permissions, and I wrote some of the text: a 500-word introduction along with pieces on Kingley Vale (West Sussex), Wast Water (Cumbria), Poohsticks Bridge (East Sussex) and the Royal Baths at Bath. I commissioned four other members of the British Guild of Travel Writers to write the other articles.
Dragonfly Tea was delighted with the result, and the Daily Mail online published a story about it.
The booklet begins, most unusually, with a page of ten tea sachets - one for each of the teas highlighted.
After that are the locations, each taking up a spread with a photograph showing a man sitting in a yellow armchair with his cup of tea:
- Glamis Castle, Scotland: the ghosts of Glamis, matched with Margaret's Hope, from Darjeeling's haunted tea garden.
- Chinatown, Liverpool: Chinese dragons, to tie in with Dragon Well green tea from China.
- Kingley Vale, West Sussex: an ancient yew forest, to go with Golden Yunnan, grown on some of the world's oldest tea trees.
- Leadenhall Market: a Victorian market within metres of the site of the old East India Company, where tea auction were held. This links with Eastern Beauty, Queen Victoria's tea, presented by a tea merchant to Victoria in person.
- The Japanese Garden, Tatton Park, Cheshire, and Gyokuro, the 'dew jewel' of the Japanese tea garden.
One aspect prevails: Britain is an island, and unlike no other. Its maritime dominance led to its emergence as a superpower. Innovation, industrialisation, exploration and trade: the last of these resulted in its unceasing love affair with tea.
Indeed tea drinking has been very much part of the British psyche ever since Catherine of Braganza, the queen of Charles II, introduced the beverage to the English royal court in the 17th century. It had aristocratic beginnings, but with ending of the Dutch monopoly in the tea trade in 1684, the East India Company began trading with China, and soon tea-drinking became widespread across public tea houses in the capital. In the 18th century the literary Londoner Dr Samuel Johnson declared himself a ‘hardened and shameless tea-drinker, whose kettle scarcely has time to cool, who with Tea amuses the evening, with Tea solaces the midnights, and with Tea welcomes the morning'.
In this booklet, some of Britain’s top travel writers have highlighted ten places that are special to them and have qualities particularly associated with Dragonfly’s range of speciality teas. We very much hope you enjoy reading about them, and that the wonderful diversity of Dragonfly Tea inspires your own travels through the miraculous variety of Britain.
The unique characteristics and aromas of some of the world's most rare tea varieties haev been matched with ten scenic British destinations in an unusual new giudebook that even includes sachets of the brews for readers to taste for themselves.
A 22-page book titled Brewed with a View, which launched this week, was a year in the making with more than 500 vairieties of tea tasted by experts from Dragonfly Tea in order to find the best cuppa for each location. Eight of the ten teas are so rare they cannot be bought from shops.
Daily Mail online
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