Monday, 22 October 2012

A good book and a cup of Twinings (results)

First of all, let me thank everyone who took part in the competition. There were 33 entries altogether.
I enjoyed looking at all the Pinterest boards and reading all the comments, wondering at your choice of Twinings tea and books.

It was fascinating to see the whole range of books from old classics to modern fiction, from children's literature to the very latest adult books.

My typical day includes a succession of cups of tea, all depending on my "mood du jour". I have so many different tins and boxes of tea in the kitchen, that it does look like a tea shop. Whatever the occasion calls for, I just browse my "library" of teas and select the one that I fancy at the moment. Twinings is one of my most favourite brands, as its unique blends encompass the selection that goes beyond the classic flavours. So, it was with great interest that I was looking at the Pins of the chosen Twinings teas.

The very first entry from Victoria Norris was an absolute delight, she has chosen a classic by Charles Dickens for her board. Mulled Spiced tea which she has picked would be a perfect accompaniment to "A Christmas Carol".

This much-loved book was also featured on Cheryl Pasquier's board, however, she has selected a Mint Humbug tea for her collection of images, and I loved the play of words and the Christmassy feel of Cheryl's creation.
One book, two totally different boards.

Sammie Hodges created a very romantic, dreamy board, a combination of The Secret Garden and Earl Grey tea. I am very partial to a cup of Earl Grey, can't function without it.

Su Williams also loves The Secret Garden. Rose Garden tea would make a wonderful cuppa to enjoy with this book. Very pretty and sweet board.

Sonya Cisco produced a board that surely would have been approved by Holly Golightly herself. As Sonya said: "You can take an English girl to New York, as long as she has a proper tea waiting for her" (English breakfast). Stylish and modern.

Sarah Cooper's excellent creation took me back to the days of my first pregnancy when I was devouring one novel by Victoria Holt after another. Sarah's choice of tea was Earl Grey, my overall favourite. A nice book to go with a great tea.

Another coast-inspired novel was picked by Christine Reid: Jamaica Inn, a dark tale of smugglers which could be enjoyed while having a cup of Gingersnap Peach tea.

Olga Creative made me smile with a quote "You can keep Mr Grey, I'm sticking with Mr Darcy", you can see her Jane Austen-inspired board here. She went for Licorice All Sorts Earl Grey, one of the very few Twinings teas that I haven't tasted yet.

Emma Coletti is another Jane Austen fan who loves Pride and Prejudice. Her board is superbly vintage. And I'm sure Miss Austen would have enjoyed a cup of Twinings China Oolong tea.

Nat Taylor finds Pride and Prejudice totally irresistible as well. And English Breakfast tea. I loved the choice of images, where Austen characters are having tea.
What a pleasure to check the submitted boards, all so different and creative.

I was happy to see that two people have chosen Russian writers as their source of inspiration.

Lynn Brown based her board on Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. Of course, I am partial to the Russian literature, and I loved her selection of images and quotes. Lynn's favourite tea is Traditional Afternoon.

Heather Haigh love of the Russian classics helped her to create a first-rate The Cherry Orchard-inspired board. Cherry & Cinnamon tea matches the theatrical artisrty of her pins.

Helen Jarvis talked of simple pleasures of life, where tea and toast and a good book is all you need to feel content. She has chosen The Railway Children. A splendid choice.

Allison Ellerbrook was inspired by the classic children's novel The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn, which was paired with Twinings Fruit Infusions. An adorable board that made me feel all warm and fuzzy.

Alison M, a blogger known for her love of dragons, couldn't resist the temptation to create a dragon-themed board. Her images were put together, based on A Game of Thrones by George R.Martin. Pure Green tea would be just perfect served in a dragon cup.

Kate B confessed to being carried away after revisiting her old favourite book, Watership Down. She decided to treat herself and all the rabbits to several Twinings teas: Blackberry & Nettle, Strawberry & Mango and Flowering tea. She even found bunny-shaped biscuits for her chain of images and associations. What a blast!

Angela Walton went for the wintery magic look for her set of images and a tea choice: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Winter Spice tea were a great combination.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe has found its way to Happy Homeboard's Pinboard. Beautiful wintery images are paired with Twinings Lapsang Souchong: "A smokey, golden tea that will evoke forests of pine trees and ice-capped mountains with every sip. This conjures up the image of Narnia in my mind. Come step into the wardrobe"

E An TanL put the pins together for the latest most read book of our times, and yes, you guessed it, 50 Shades of Grey. And confessed to loving English Breakfast. Her board had a truly contemporary twist with a good doze of irony.

Yet another amusing board about 50 Shades of Grey was created by Bobby Green. She called it "50 shades of Earl Grey". Bobby thinks that Twinings Earl Grey is a perfect accompaniment to a good book.

Kathryn MacKinnon picked another erotically-charged story of our times, Memoirs of a Geisha. Peach and Cherry Blossom Green tea completed this very stylish Pinboard. She also added an educational comment on the Japanese tea ceremony.

Juliette has found a book which I haven't read - The Rose Petal Beach by Dorothy Koomson, and I loved her mini-review and a choice of tea, Twinings Royal Wedding (I have a tin of it in my kitchen as well).

Jane Willis has introduced me to yet another book that I haven't read, and I have added it to my to read-list. The return of Captain John Emmett by Elizabeth Speller was paired with English Breakfast tea. A beautiful nostalgic board.

S E Martin's favourite book is Such Sweet Sorrow by Katie Flynn, which it is set during 2nd WW. "The tea is gingersnap and peach which matches the book great: sweet from the peach and sorrow from the Gingersnap". A lovely board.

Lynthia Doran was in high school when she read "Mrs Harris goes to Paris" for the first time. Her board tells a story in pictures, and Everyday tea would surely have pleased Mrs Harris. Yet another perfect board to explore.

Gwyn Sharps' board on Virginia Woolf's Between the Acts is full of grace. English Breakfast tea is a lovely choice for this intelligent book.

Kez Seery was inspired by Milne's Winnie the Pooh, the charming story of everyone's favourite teddy. What could be more appropriate for him than Chamomile, Honey & Vanilla tea? Kez says: "This is the perfect match in every sense. Honey is Pooh's favourite thing ever so paired with a relaxing Calmomile he would be in his element. I couldn't see him with a stimulating Liquorice or Caffeine filled Black Tea whilst lazing away in his hammock delectable".

Winnie the Pooh found its way to Nat Williams' heart and board. African Honebush & Lemon tea fits the selection of adorable images very well. Simply delightful.

Lynn Tibby board  was based on P.S. I love you by Cecilia Ahern, a modern story of love and loss.
Her advice is to have a cup Irish Breakfast tea to go with this sweet tale.

Katie Simmond picked To Kill a Mockinbird for her board representing the cultural diversity of modern day England.  Earl Grey traditional British tea "can be enjoyed from people all over the world. I have chosen this tea because it brings everyone together, and is typically British - and Britain is a place which celebrates multiculturalism".

Linda Hobbis created not one but two excellent boards. One of them displayed the haunting images from Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca. Twinings Lady Grey tea was suggested by Linda to be suitable for frustrated heroines everywhere.
Her second board was as beautiful: Alice in Wonderland was paired with English Breakfast tea. And those biscuits are totally to die for. Gorgeous.

A Passage to India was featured on Claire Marsh's board. I loved the quote "I believe in teaching people to be individuals, and to understand other individuals" and her choice of tea: Twinings Blossom Earl Grey. Superb book and tea combination.

How do you choose one winner from such an excellent array of boards? I kept moving from one board to another, each time changing my favourite. It was a tough decision. I'm not going into melodramatics like the X-factor judges who say they have never had a more difficult choice in their lives, but let me tell you, it wasn't easy.

I have narrowed it down to six boards that I thought found the most inspiring book/tea combination. In principle they were all very strong contenders and I wish I could give prizes away to all participants.
Then it was the choice between two, and finally the winner has been selected.

And the winner of this creative competition is... drumroll please...


Big well done, Kate, your board is superb.

P.S. I have removed all links to boards, as this post was flagged as having broken links. Several entrants have deleted their boards after the competition ended, fair enough, but it left my post with broken links, so as to save myself the hassle, I removed them all. Update: 2 June 2016


  1. I have no clue how you managed to narrow it down and I have loved reading this round up and looking through the boards too. I have also discovered more than one new Twinings tea. The Licorice Allsorts Earl Grey sounds divine!

  2. It was a really fun competition to enter and I've loved looking at everyone's boards, especially when two people had a totaly different take on the same book ! :)

  3. Such a lovely competition, I'm sorry I ran out of tiem to enter. So many lovely entries too, but a worthy winner! Well doen on the judging, not a task I would have liked!!

  4. Great competition, thank you for giving us the chance to delve into our childhood x

  5. Aww Leta, I got my two Russian-themed boards in the end. :)
    Kerry, you are most welcome. I wish I could give away prizes for everyone, in my mind you were all winners.

  6. Cheryl, I also loved how differently people approached the same books.

  7. Well done to the winner. Great competition.

  8. Well done Katy, loved your Watership Down board x