Brew Monday and Chocolate Brownies.

One of my most favourite things in life is to be able to have a cup of tea and a chocolate brownie with close friends and family.  I’m not fussy, it can be as simple as a cuppa sitting on the sofa at home with a plate of chocolate brownies, a trip out to town to sit and chatter over a coffee at one of my favourite artisan coffee shops, or the most delicious afternoon tea at a gorgeous hotel.  As long as it involves tea, brownie and a friend to chatter with I’m happy.
Of course this last year has been a challenge and we are currently in Lockdown 3.0, so this is just not possible.  I am so missing just having time to connect with my friends and particularly my parents.  There is something very special about sharing the simple pleasures of a cuppa and cake, allowing you time to share the joys and challenges of life.  I'm sure that so many of you are feeling the same. 
This coming Monday 18th January is usually known as "Blue Monday." I am not a great one for these titles and prefer to start all my days from a place of joy.  However, I did come upon an initiative which has been set up by The Samaritans.  They are turning this day on its head and into something positive, by encouraging people to get together over a warming "virtual" cuppa.  On ‘Brew Monday’ ( or any day next week ) they are suggesting that we reach out to a friend, family member or colleague for a virtual cuppa and a chat.  They recognise that the prolonged period of loneliness caused by Covid-19 has had a detrimental affect on many people's mental health.
So here at Gourmet Brownie we thought, "YES! …. Let’s do this!" 
I am preparing some parcels to pop onto friends' doorsteps, inviting them to join me for a zoom call with a mug of their favourite hot beverage and of course a slice of delicious chocolate brownie.
If you would like to join the fun, then why not pop over to our website and order a gift box of chocolate brownies to send with a message, inviting someone to join you for a zoom catch up. We will add a message for you and even add one of our favourite tea bags to the pack.
We will also be making a donation to the work of Samaritans U.K, who work tirelessly to ensure that anyone in need has a place to call and someone to talk to.
A few things I am loving this week :
The Eel Catchers Daughter
Hand holding red mugs with a cream trim
I love living in the beautiful city of Ely, Cambridgeshire.  One of my most favourite shops is ‘The Eel Catchers Daughter’.  Helen the owner has a wonderful eye and has curated a store with an array of perfect gifts - from candles, scarves, jewellery, socks… you name it Helen has sourced the highest quality and most beautiful products.  You are able to order on-line and I will let you into a secret Helen and her team gift wrap your purchases like no other shop I know.  It is all part of the experience.  So rest assured if you pop over to send a gift to friends during this time … they are in for a treat from the moment they open the parcel.
I have recently enjoyed purchasing some new mugs for my collection.  I have different mugs for different hot drinks and for different times of the day.  I know indulgent … but its the small things in life.
Over head shot of an open book next to a mug of black coffee, sat on a blue cloth with tassels.
Audible Books
What better than tuck yourself under a throw, with a warm drink and closing your eyes to listen to a new book.  I have recently enjoyed listening to audio books at the end of long days at work.  There is something so relaxing about having a story read to you.  Last week I finished listening to ‘The Memory Shop’ by Ella Griffin, a delightful story of old treasures finding new homes and a family history being unveiled in the process.
This week I started “Away with the Penguins” by Hazel Prior.  The family have had to listen to chuckles from my corner of the lounge as the main character is so very quirky.  I am looking forward to many more hours of delight and fun with this book.
Blessings Kirstyn & Andrew

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