Stress Awareness Month – our top tips for looking after yourself

With April being official ‘Stress Awareness Month’ there has been lots of advice in the press about recognising the signs of stress and learning how to cope with and manage your own stress levels. Whilst at Summerdown we can’t profess to be experts in stress management, we do believe in wellbeing and feel passionately that peppermint has many natural benefits for the mind.  We caught up with Clinical Aromatherapist Shelley Baker who shares our passion for peppermint essential oil. She strongly believes that sleep and relaxation are key to wellbeing. She is a big advocate of doing little things consistently to get great results and shares her top tips for keeping your stress at bay.

How can peppermint help with stress?

Peppermint can be an excellent choice of essential oil for stress. It helps a sense of focus and clarity enabling you to make decisions and get through your daily tasks/ to-do list more easily. It also has some wonderful pain relieving properties and is great to help tension headaches, especially when it’s combined with lavender essential oil.

 

 

Why is sleep so important?

Sleep is essential to let the mind and body repair each night and lack of sleep has a real impact on our health. Make sure you wind down and relax each evening, with a bedtime routine. Try a screen amnesty for at least an hour before going to bed. Stay off social media.  Instead, read a good book or pour yourself a warm bath with our lemongrass & mint bath soak – sure to relax your muscles and take away the strains of a busy day.

Prioritise self – care

Self-care doesn’t have to be complicated and it definitely isn’t selfish or a luxury – it’s essential. Even just 10 minutes, with your favourite cup of tea can set you up for a productive day ahead. In these modern times we’re so busy at work or looking after young children or relatives, we often forget about making sure we’re healthy and have enough energy. Remember the saying ‘serve from a full cup’! Take some time out, even if it’s only mindfully applying your body lotion after a shower. Really feel your skin being nourished by the shea butter and macadamia oil in our body lotion and notice the unique uplifting scent of the lemongrass and peppermint as you breathe in. Peppermint is a fantastic essential oil to inhale for clearing your mind and giving you space to focus.

 

Get Active

You don’t need to be a gym bunny or in training for the marathon, research has shown time and time again the benefits of exercising for mind and body as it releases endorphins – good mood hormones. It can be as simple as getting outside for a walk in the fresh air or joining a dance class with a friend.  Keep a bottle of indulgent and invigorating shower gel in your gym bag and appreciate that post workout shower all the more!

 

 

Learn to say No

Do you ever have the feeling that you’re just too busy and on a bit of a rollercoaster? I read once that the cure to overwhelm is action, sometimes the best course of action is to look in your diary and say no. There’s something very empowering about freeing up some time and having a date with yourself.

 

Think about what you’re eating and drinking

We’ve heard it all before, but we really are what we eat and it’s important to eat a balanced diet, with everything in moderation. Caffeine, alcohol and refined sugar are all natural stimulants so can’t calm us down. Avoid them when you’re feeling stressed and definitely after 2pm to ensure a good night’s sleep. The benefits of mint for digestion are well known, switch to a cup of spearmint and chamomile tea after a meal, both digestive herbs rather than coffee*. We like the idea of eating a rainbow coloured plate of food; this ensures that you’re getting a good balance of nutrients. B vitamins, zinc and magnesium in particular are good for keeping stress at bay.

*Please do not swallow essential oils, they do not mix with water. The safest way to enjoy their huge benefits for digestion is by drinking good quality herbal teas.

 

 

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Refresh your home for Spring

With thoughts turning to Spring days, we’ve collaborated with British paint manufacturer, Little Greene to provide you with some interior design tips to refresh your home for the upcoming Spring months.

We spoke to their Marketing Director, Ruth Mottershead about the latest colour trends for your home.

“We are really seeing the popularity of green shades increase at the moment. Green is so evocative of Spring, it is of course the colour of nature hence why it’s a shade that people feel secure and comfortable with in their home. Our ‘Aquamarine’ Colour Scales Family, four varying strengths of the same pigment, provides a classic green (left) which is produced using umber, this creates a subtlety which brings a gentle coolness and tranquillity to a room.’

A change to your home fragrance is a really easy way to freshen up your home. Our best-selling reed diffuser just won a coveted Beauty Shortlist award for ‘Best Home Fragrance’.

 

If you prefer bolder schemes, Ruth suggests you “try a deeper green tone like ‘Mid Azure Green.’ This is a rich, luxurious green, perfect for using on both walls and woodwork for a coordinated, sumptuous scheme. It was once one of the most expensive colours to produce due to the large amounts of pigment used to create it.”

We think this room just oozes luxury and ambiance and makes you want to sit back with a good book and cup of peppermint tea. Add to the atmosphere with our aromatic lemongrass and mint candle, – also a winner of a Beauty Shortlist best candle award.

 

For an instantly soothing environment, Ruth suggests ‘A natural combination of blue and green shades (below) exudes a fresh vibrancy providing the perfect backdrop for planting greenery. Combine Green Verditer and Pale Lupin” (Below). If Summerdown did paint, we’d create a scheme just like this. Add an instant burst of Spring to your home with our room spray.

All photos Credit Little Greene

If these ideas make you want to pick up a paint brush, then you’re in luck! To celebrate this collaboration, Little Greene are giving one  budding interior design the chance to win 3 rolls of their stunning wallpaper and a 5 litre tin of paint, for your very own room makeover. To enter, simply click here.

 

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Our love affair with the United States

It’s not just the marriage of Harry and Meghan bringing together England and the United States in a perfect union, the US has always held a special place in our hearts and the unique Black Mitcham peppermint crop growing on our Hampshire farm today owes much to our friends in the States.

In the early nineteenth and twentieth centuries, England was renowned for growing the best peppermint in the world (Menthe anglaise), but the expertise to grow it was lost during the war. Meanwhile over the pond, mentha piperita (Black Mitcham peppermint) was successfully being grown in Oregon, Montana and Washington State.

In the early 90s, Summerdown Farm Manager Ian brought back a bag of mint sweets from a trip to the States – something akin to mint humbugs, which reminded Sir Michael of a sweet called a bullseye from his childhood. This sparked Sir Michael’s passion to revive the taste and scent that had been lost for generations. Ian travelled to the US to spend time honing his mint farming skills and brought back the latest technology and distillation equipment. It then took over ten years to successfully grow and distil this rare, single estate peppermint oil.

From the inspiration from that first American sweet, we now produce over twenty products which are centred around our pure, single estate BM peppermint oil, grown and distilled on our family farm. And Americans can’t get enough of the Summerdown Mint brand. We’re stocked in a variety of stores including Dean & Deluca and Whole Foods.  

And this month, Jo Colman, Grandson of our founder Sir Michael Colman has been back there, kicking up a storm sampling our chocolates in a variety of stores across Texas and in New York City, spreading the Summerdown love.

Here’s a pic of Libby sampling at a Central Market store in Texas

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In conversation with….Jo Saunders

We’re all feeling a little sluggish after the last few weeks of over-indulgence. With new year’s resolutions front of mind, we caught up with Nutritional Therapist Jo Saunders over a cup of peppermint tea to share some of the natural benefits of peppermint and gain some useful tips and quick wins to get 2018 off to a flying start.

Please tell us a little about what your work as Nutritional Therapist involves

I am fortunate to work as part of the NatureDoc team of Nutritional Therapists, in private practice and remotely. I work to address a clients health needs using a Functional Medicine perspective, which means looking at the body as a whole. After a full consultation and health history, we identify the triggers and root cause to their symptoms/health condition. Sometimes we carry out functional testing which enables me to underpin my recommendations with science and help identify the root cause of any health challenge. I will then create a completely personalised dietary, supplement & lifestyle protocol to help that individual optimise their health.

 

Do you recommend natural herbs as part of your nutritional plans to your Clients?

Yes absolutely, and in fact I feel they are greatly undersold for their therapeutic benefits. I use herbs to help with everything from digestive function, hormones, mood and sleep. They have wonderful therapeutic properties that are hugely effective for supporting health, and also taste fantastic which helps!

 

When would you promote the use of peppermint and its benefits to your Clients?

Peppermint is traditionally used internally to ease digestive upsets. Peppermint contains volatile oils, including menthol and menthone, which are known for their carminative, antispasmodic and nervine properties. It also has antibacterial and antiviral properties.

I also recommend it to breastfeeding mothers as the oils will pass into the breast milk easing digestive discomfort in infants.

 

You’ve recently discovered Summerdown’ range of award-winning peppermint teas. What did you think?

The Summerdown peppermint teas are some of the purest and freshest I have come across, they are both delicious and therapeutic. The second you open the box you are aware of the beneficial essential oils and potential health benefits of the teas.

I particularly like Summerdown’s clever combination of spearmint and camomile tea, a herb renowned for its nervine properties to help calm and relax. I find this blend particularly effective for those who struggle with digestive discomfort triggered by anxiety or stress.

 

Do you choose natural body bath and home products? If so, why, and what are the benefits of using natural products on your skin?

 

I am a huge advocate for using natural products, both on our skin and in the home and I am passionate about encouraging clients to reduce their toxic burden by swapping to natural products where possible. This can have a negative impact on our health and impact on our detoxification pathways.  I would always recommend choosing natural products for everyone, but it is particularly important for anyone struggling with problem skin, sensitive & dry skin, eczema etc.

Do you feel that a fragrance has the power to influence your mood?

I am a huge fan of essential oils and find the impact their properties can have on both mood and energy levels quite amazing. Whilst I am working, seeing clients or writing articles, I love the uplifting combined fragrance of Summerdown’s signature lemongrass and mint to help energise, stimulate clear thinking and help improve my concentration on a busy day. I often use Summerdown’s candle or reed diffuser in my practice room.

…and finally…. do you have any tips you could share on other uses of our pure peppermint and lavender oils?

Peppermint oil (mixed with a carrier oil) can also be used as a topical analgesic (pain reliever) for muscle pain, neuraliga & headaches and also used as an effective inhalation for sinus congestion, coughs and colds, particularly in combination with thyme and eucalyptus.

A few drops of lavender in a warm bath or on your pillow is a wonderful relaxing sleep aid for occasional insomnia. Lavender also possesses antidepressant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties so it can be helpful for boosting mood.

 

We asked Jo for her top nutrition and lifestyle tips. Read more here…

 

Jo Saunders is an experienced Nutritional Therapist and co-author of popular healthy family recipe website, www.cookingthemhealthy.com. Jo juggles family life with her 3 children with seeing clients in her practice,  writes regular articles relating to health & nutrition and runs Cooking them Healthy workshops with her chef partner Georgie.

 

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Prepare your home for entertaining this Christmas

The big day is getting closer and if, like the Summerdown team, you’ve been busy focusing on Christmas shopping (or haven’t even started in some cases!), your thoughts may not have yet turned to entertaining. Whether you’re hosting family and friends on the big day, or having a Christmas party at home, we’ve got a few tips to help prepare your home and make sure it all goes as smoothly as possible.

 

Hosting the big day? Stay sane with these tips

Choose one chef and follow them. You may be lucky enough to have age-old family traditions and know exactly how long your turkey needs cooking and at what temperature and which stuffing everyone likes. But if like us you need to follow a recipe or Christmas guide, we’ve found that every chef offers different conflicting advice. So whether it’s Delia, Nigella, Mary or Heston – choose one chef’s guide to Christmas dinner and stick with it.

Keep everyone out of the kitchen. Enlist help from someone else in the family to keep everyone else entertained (a walk, games, play with new presents) whilst you’re in the kitchen – stress levels rise when you’ve got little Johnny playing with his new football under your feet and Great Aunt Deidre hovering around looking to fill up her sherry!

Accept help. You’re not wonder woman and superman. If family and friends offer to make a dish, gratefully accept it.

Do as much in advance as possible. It’s amazing what you can freeze ahead, from bread sauce to par-boiled roast potatoes!

 

 

Getting the home ready

When it comes to decorations, at Summerdown we’re naturally inclined to favour home-made wreaths, holly picked from around the farm hung over pictures, twigs and sprigs picked from the garden and sprayed. But if you haven’t got time to channel your inner Kirstie-Allsopp, some of our favourite decorations come from Cox and Cox

Create an ambiance with candle-light – our aromatic candle not only smells delicious but looks beautiful too. Why not place this at the centre of your table decoration?

If you’ve got overnight guests, make their rooms really special with our best-selling diffuser and update your bath linen – our favourites are our friends at Draper London.

Hannah in our team creates a gorgeous table centrepiece by filling a glass bowl or jar with our individually-wrapped Heritage mint creams and crisps.

 

You’re being entertained… you lucky thing! Surprise someone with Summerdown

Perhaps its not your turn this year and you can sit back and relax. You’ll want to say thank you to your hosts. Our customers are always stocking up on soaps and Chocolates for just this reason – starting at £5, they make the perfect little thank you presents.

 

Alternatively, we’ve been taking peppermint tea to dinner parties recently. Entertaining is changing with the trend for far more casual dining and less formality all around. Gone are the days when everyone has a coffee after dinner – many people opting for a peppermint tea. Well what better way to end a meal than with the gift of Summerdown peppermint tea.

If you’re looking for something extra special, why not take our new truffles along? They are pure Christmas indulgence. Or our best-selling diffuser makes a lovely gift.

 

 

 

And finally, look after yourself

With all the entertaining it’s easy to forget about number one. But you’re only going to enjoy the festivities if you’re in mint (sorry!) condition.

 

That means taking time out for yourself. Take advantage of one of our special offers on body, bath and home or  treat yourself to a bath soak so you can steal 30 minutes to enjoy a relaxing, de-stressing bath with the power of peppermint.

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Autumn is well and truly here

It’s funny how it never seems to be a gradual season change from Summer to Autumn, you just suddenly notice the leaves on the ground, feel the chill of the air and your internal body clock kicks in – telling you to eat comforting food and cosy up indoors. At Summerdown we love Autumn;  the Estate is looking absolutely stunning and there’s a pre-Christmas excitement and sense of anticipation in the air. 

We thought we’d share some tips from the Summerdown team on getting ready for Autumn………

 

Your home

As we start to spend more time inside and the days get shorter, Autumn is about creating warmth and cosiness in your home, somewhere inviting to come back to. It’s time to turn on the heating, and turn the Aga back on – if you’re lucky enough to own one. If you haven’t got an open fire or woodburner, you can still add warmth through candle-light. Our newly formulated and award-winning candle has a longer burn time and stronger throw.

Adding new throws and cushions also help – some of our favourites are from Susie Watson 

 

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What’s cooking?

Autumn’s about comfort food; roasts, casseroles, soups and crumbles.  Sir Michael’s Grandson Jo Colman who has recently joined the family business enjoys cooking and shares some of his twists on Autumn favourites here.

First up,  Nigel Slater’s twist on Roast Chicken  – Spatchcock chicken with rocket cous cous

If you’re looking for a soup with a bit of a kick and one with natural health benefits (just like our mint), try this Turkey and turmeric broth 

For Autumn entertaining, try Jo’s favourite Black garlic and lamb – it looks impressive and tastes divine. Don’t forget to finish off your meal with our award winning chocolates and teas. Peppermint team is a natural way to aid digestion.

And finally, for a crumble that’s worthy of a place on Masterchef, you can’t beat Raymond Blanc’s apple and blackberry version – he cooks the topping separately to get that extra crunch

 

 

 

Enjoying the outdoors

There’s something about wrapping up and getting outside on sunny and chilly Autumn days, taking a bracing walk and feeling the crunch of leaves beneath your feet. Fed up of your usual walk? Why not visit  The National Trust’s website for a list of UK-wide Autumn walks to lift your spirits. If none of them are close by, you can also just simply enter your postcode on their home page and it will provide you with local walks and places to visit. If you’re looking for ways to keep the children occupied on a walk, log on to our Charity Partner Plantlife and join the Great British Wildflower hunt. The children can hunt as they walk, and everyone’s happy.

 

 

 

 

Bath-time (yours, not the kids!)

And when you’re back home from that walk or day at work, Autumn nights give you the green light to relax in the bath. Find half an hour to yourself to fully unwind. Our Beauty Shortlist award-winning bath soak is gentle enough not to dry your skin and the pure peppermint oil fragrance relaxes the mind naturally and de-stresses. Light a candle at the same time for some real indulgence.

 

 

 

Our new and improved candle is currently available online at an introductory price of £20 (normal price £25). 

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In conversation with….Annabelle Holland Design

 

 

We were lucky enough to have a coffee with Hampshire-based interior designer Annabelle Everard of Annabelle Holland Design and steal some hints and tips on Home Fragrance in between visits to current projects and suppliers across the country.

 

Describe your style

 

A seamless blend of modern and classic design.

 

Where do you get your design inspiration from?

 

Inspiration comes from so many different places. It could be anything from a piece of Art, to a trip abroad or a unique find at an Antiques Market. Perhaps most importantly though, I think every residential design should reflect the character of the owner.

 

What are your favourite scents/scent memories?

 

My strongest scent memories come from my childhood in Jamaica. There is a fragrance that transports me right back to chatting to my granny on her four poster bed. I think the actual scent is a mixture of cedar and mahogany, but the fact that some of my fondest memories are linked to a scent, just shows how important home fragrance is.

 

 

Why do you use Home Fragrance personally and in your schemes for Clients?

 

Interior design often focuses on the visual and tactile, but the olfactory sense is just as important. It can alter emotions, lift a mood and enhance surroundings. Personally I use fragrance everywhere at home. Hallway tables are a great spot for diffusers, they create a lovely welcome home and provide a wonderful aroma every time you walk past them. I generally use room sprays in lower traffic areas such as bedrooms and bathrooms and I like to have candles everywhere! I don’t light candles as much as I used to due to having little ones running around the house, but I do light one or two in the evening, particularly if we have guests. Both the candle light and the scent help to add atmosphere.

 

Do you believe in fragrance zoning – e.g. placing different fragrances in different rooms? If so where do you think the Summerdown lemongrass & mint fragrance works best?

 

I actually prefer to have the same scent throughout the house, which doesn’t work with every fragrance. I think the freshness of the Summerdown Lemongrass and Mint fragrance works perfectly throughout the house, particularly in the Summer months or in early Spring as a welcome end to Winter!

 

Do you have any hints and tips on how to position candles and diffusers?

 

I like to place candles and diffusers amongst a cluster of things. On a coffee table, for example, a candle would sit well on a beautiful tray with some coasters, a decorative match holder and a bunch of flowers. I tend to hide diffusers a bit more, making sure they aren’t the only item on show, such as behind a collection of items on a side table.

 

…and finally…. If you were going to design a sitting or bathroom for Summerdown Mint, what would it look like?

 

Off the top of my head for a bathroom, I would probably take inspiration from the scent and suggest a light and fresh theme with a mix of modern and traditional elements. It could feature a restored free standing bath painted in minty tones and modern brass taps. Botanical Fern paintings could hang above it alongside reclaimed wooden floors and simple white walls.

 

Annabelle Holland is an interior design studio specialising in residential projects.

For information visit www.annabelleholland.com email info@annabelleholland.com  

Or follow @annabellehollanddesign on Instagram

 

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Lavender harvest at Summerdown Farms

It doesn’t seem nearly a year ago that we were harvesting the mint on our Hampshire farm and welcoming Anita Rani and the crew from BBC Countryfile to film for their Harvest 2016 special.

But #harvest17 is now in full swing with the unpredictable British weather keeping Farm  Manager Ian on his toes!

 

 

 

Our organic lavender fields before harvest

 

Though the mint harvest is still a fortnight away, this week has been all about the lavender harvest. Many people think Summerdown Farm is just about Black Mitcham peppermint as this is the public face of the Summerdown brand. However behind the scenes the 2,500 acre farm in the foothills of the Hampshire Downs also provides the perfect conditions for growing cereal crops, oilseed rape, organic lavender and camomile. On a sunny Summer’s day, Summerdown Farm really is a magical place with all your senses on full alert.

 

 

 

Harvest has started

 

Our lavender is harvested and distilled in a very similar way to the mint, using the same equipment. As it’s cut, it goes into the cooker tub, (full name mobile distillation unit).

 

 

 

 

An empty cooker tub

 

The tub is filled up with the lavender, and then this same machine is backed into the distillery and steam- distilled over several hours according to Ian’s rigorous process.   An ‘elephant trunk’ on top lets the resulting steam out via a condenser into a pyramid-shape separator that divides it into water and oil.

 

Ian being filmed  getting the steamer ready

 

 

The end result is our organic lavender oil, sold in our online shop and so good that the vast majority is sold to French perfume houses who love the superior quality of our product, and to another well-known luxury British body and bath retailer.

 

Our Organic lavender oil

 

As Farm Manager Ian always has the sustainability of the farm and the distillery front of mind, even the waste water from the distillation process goes off to a local commercial laundry business who uses it to make the pressed laundry smell gorgeous.

 

There’s no place we’d rather be on a Summer’s day, breathing in the heady aromas of Summerdown’s natural herbs.

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Our Valentine’s Survival guide

Yikes it’s that time of year again. Whether you’re a romantic or not (did you know 59% of men don’t believe there’s a point to Valentine’s Day!?),  there’s no getting away from red roses and over-priced restaurants on 14th February!  So here’s our survival guide…

 

Be my Valentine?

 

Do you remember receiving a blank card and guessing who the sender was? This tradition came from our Victorian friends who felt it was ‘bad luck’ to sign their name. We weren’t  surprised to discover a growing number of people now send Valentine’s Day messages via social media and text – totally removing the romance behind the day. But still, us British aren’t a totally cold bunch –  65% of the UK still exchange Valentine’s Day cards. If you’re looking for something a bit different, try personalising yours at www.moonpig.com or www.notonthehighstreet.com

 

Presents

 

 

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The next best thing to a Spa break – using Summerdown at home

 

 

It’s no surprise, that women started thinking about Valentine’s Day on the 1st February whilst most men leave it to the last minute and panic buy on 14th February. Which may explain why men spend on average £40 on presents, and women less at £25 – that old adage of ‘throwing money at the problem’. Now we all love receiving flowers, but perhaps it’s time to think about something a bit more original and lasting.

 

 

When surveyed, women still like to be ‘spoiled’ on Valentines, with 27% wishing for a holiday, 17% for a car (strange?!) and 15% for a spa treatment. Jewellery follows closely behind at 13% and contrary to what many men think, lingerie only making it in at 3%.  Sadly we’re not all luckily enough to be whisked away on a Mr & Mrs Smith romantic break for two, and the Summerdown team can’t quite get our heads around the car statistic, but we CAN help with the Spa treatment – in the comfort of your own home.

 

 

Just drop a couple of hints to your partner that Summerdown has all the ingredients for an at-home spa experience; aromatic candle, indulging and relaxing bath soak, rich moisturising body lotion and a refreshing cup of peppermint tea.  And if they needed any further persuasion that Summerdown is the PERFECT Valentine’s Day gift…..according to the ancient Greeks, peppermint is an aphrodisiac! Medically confirmed or not, it is widely known that peppermint is a potent stimulant for both mind and body.

 

 

How to celebrate –  in or out?

 

 

Couple having drinks in bar

 

Uhhhh….this is a little bit awkward

 

 

Though Valentine’s Day remains one of the most popular eating-out occasions in the UK, many people prefer to avoid the awkward ‘sitting next to a couple who don’t utter a word to each other whilst a guy is trying to sell you a single rose for £10 in a ridiculously over-priced restaurant’  moments and opt to enjoy a relaxing night in with a special meal in the comfort of their own home.

 

 

If you’re going down this route, make sure you set the tone of the evening. Run a hot bath with our bath soak, and finish by lathering our rich body lotion all over to smell gorgeous. Turn off the television, light our aromatic candle and lay a beautiful table.

 

 

Now what to eat? If you really want to spoil your partner (or be spoiled yourself)  then Delicious magazine has a prepare ahead Valentine’s Day menu.

 

Alternatively, if like us you want to truly relax on Valentine’s night,  then look for a delicious ready meal. Waitrose and M&S have their ‘Dine in’ special menus for £10-£15. Otherwise the Summerdown team love a bit of Charlie Bighams when we can’t be bothered to cook, and they feel special enough for an occasion like this. Don’t forget to end your meal with some scrummy Summerdown chocolates

 

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Check out Supermarket ‘Dine in for two’ offers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Going out

If you have decided to eat out (or are being taken out) make sure that you’ve booked ahead – there is nothing worse than traipsing around looking for somewhere and finding yourself eating outside in February under an outdoor heater with a blanket in the only available ‘al fresco’ space, or sitting in a Fast food joint under strip lighting. You may not be too late to book an extra special restaurant – here’s a guide to the UK’s most romantic restaurants

 

 

Strapped for time getting ready? Need an instant pick-me-up to get you in the mood? Jump into the shower and feel invigorated with our body wash.  Then lather on our rich body lotion containing shea butter to leave your skin feeling oh so soft- and voila- you’re ready to go….

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Shower  with Summerdown to banish the days stresses and prepare yourself for an evening out 

 

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Boost your body this January with peppermint

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The Summerdown collection harnesses the power of peppermint for body, bath and home

 

Winter blues. Post-Christmas Seasonal slump. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It’s very normal to feel like you’ve lost your mojo at this time of year. Though there are many contributing factors, there’s a clear link between our mood, and the fact that January is the month with the least amount of natural light available to us.

 

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Miserable weather and lack of sunlight doesn’t help lift our mood

 

There are lots of things we can do to pick ourselves up; from light therapy, to taking more exercise, detoxing, reducing alcohol intake and dietary changes, but one simple and natural one is to embrace the restorative powers of peppermint, the key ingredient at the heart of all our products.

 

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Our peppermint in full bloom just before harvest – the leaves contain the oil

 

 

Peppermint has actually been used for medicinal purposes since Egyptian times and some say it’s the oldest medicine in the world. Here are some of its healing properties;

 

Mood-enhancing and energy boosting.

 

In April last year, researchers from the University of Northumbria’s Department of psychology published their findings that peppermint enhanced and aroused both mood and cognition, helping to improve long term memory, working memory and alertness. Whilst Studies at the Sense of Smell Institute confirm that peppermint oil has mood-elevating properties that make it useful for alleviating symptoms of anxiety and depression

 

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Research shows that peppermint can enhance mood, energy and alertness

 

Stimulating

Peppermint oil is a natural stimulant that can increase your ability to concentrate. Inhaling the aroma of peppermint oil will also trigger your senses and wake you up. Janice Cox, leading US Natural beauty and natural home expert, says in her book “Natural Beauty at Home” that peppermint oil can give you extra energy in the morning so suggests showering with it to give yourself a great start to the day

 

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Start your day on a positive note by showering with peppermint

 

Stress-relieving

 

Peppermint not only stimulates but can also help us to relax. So you can dab a few drops of the oil on your temples when you have a tension headache, or lie back and relax in the bath with a cup of our peppermint tea

 

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Inhale the peppermint in our lemongrass & mint bath soak and aromatic candle

Decongesting

If you’re suffering from a Winter cold or the Queen’s cough, the  menthol found in peppermint leaves is a natural decongestant that can help you breathe more easily. Try adding a drop of our oil to a tissue or get a bowl of very hot water, add the oil and put a towel over your head and breathe in deeply

 

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Ease congestion with peppermint oil

 

Enjoy the Summerdown collection in your home and discover the restorative powers of peppermint this January

Recommended products

 

 

Body wash for a morning pick-me-up and positive start to the day

Bath soak for a mood-boosting soak

Peppermint tea to keep you alert and improve concentration

Shop now for our January body boosters

 

 

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Do you know the history of your stocking?

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Our stocking filler gift set for £21 www.summerdownnaturally.com

 

For children and grown-ups alike, opening your stocking on Christmas Day morning can be one of the most magical moments of Christmas. But do you know where the tradition comes from? The Summerdown team thought we’d find out, and also look at some other interesting stocking factoids for you to share around the table on Christmas day!

 

The history of the Christmas stocking

 

There are numerous legends dating back as far as the 12th century, but our two favourites;

 

–  French nuns inspired by the legend of St Nicholas (who gave gold to the poor) began leaving stockings full of fruit, including tangerines, and nuts at the houses of poor people.

– An impoverished Dutch father had three very beautiful daughters but worried because he had no money for his daughters to marry. One day Saint Nicholas heard the villagers talking about the girls and decided to help in secret. After dark he threw three bags of gold through an open window, one landed in a stocking. The girls and their father awoke the next morning delighted to find the gold.

 

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It is most likely that the history of the Christmas stocking and Father Christmas in Britain is quite a new one, since the reign of Victoria began in 1837.  Father Christmas was originally part of an old English midwinter festival, normally dressed in green. The stories of St. Nicholas (Sinter Klaas in Holland) came via Dutch settlers to America in the 17th Century and only became known in Britain as Santa Claus in the 1870s. With him came story of the reindeer and the sleigh.

 

 

 

Stocking facts

 

 

For those with inquisitive children/Grandchildren, here’s an interesting fact in case you get asked the tricky question; US scientists calculated that Father Christmas would have to visit 822 homes a second to deliver all the world’s presents on Christmas Eve, travelling at 650 miles a second.

 

 

 

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The largest ever stocking measured 56 m (106 ft 9 in) long and 14.97 m (49 ft 1 in) wide and was made by the Children’s Society (UK) in London, UK on 14 December 2007.

 

 

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The most expensive Christmas stockings produced are this pair  of limited edition FALKE Vicuna socks – at £726 a pair. They are so exclusive only 10 pairs were ever made!

 

Where to find a lovely stocking

 

For some more affordable lovely Christmas stockings, we love this fair isle one from White Stuff  for £27 which would be perfect for children and adults.  Or for that super stylish special someone in your life, this one from Liberty  for £29.95 is rather stunning. And for the little people, check out this ‘oh so on trend’ star one from John Lewis for only £12.

 

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Three of our favourite stockings

 

And what to put in it

 

Shopping for stocking fillers (especially when you’ve got more than one) can be rather daunting and time-consuming, so to make it a little easier, here is our checklist of the perfect mix;

  • Something lovely and smelly, like Summerdown’s luxury, natural lemongrass and mint bath soak 
  • Tangerine
  • A book  – Waterstones  has a great online guide to 2016’s best books
  • A DVD – the latest box set or stand-up comedian
  • Stationery – we love Paperchase and also Papier for the most exquisite personalised notecards
  • Underwear – you can’t go wrong with a pair of luxury socks
  • Hat, scarf or gloves
  • Jewellery
  • Calendar – we recommend BBC’s Countryfile 2017 calendar, with photography from the 12 finalists and sold in aid of Children in Need
  • Household or kitchen gadgets – Lakeland is always a winner for this
  • Chocolate (coins for kids, something a little more grown up for adults like Summerdown’s Peppermint creams)
  • Sweets

We hope Father Christmas brings you some nice surprises!

Shop now to save £10 from our stocking filler offer containing our award-winning chocolates, bath soak, soap and sweets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Six steps to creating the perfect bath time experience

As the night’s are getting darker, it’s easy to feel a little bit fed up and find yourself hankering after sunny Summer’s evenings. But why not embrace these cooler darker nights and see it as an opportunity to enjoy a cosy night in and re-discover the very British pastime of ‘having a bath’.

 

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Six steps to creating the perfect bath time experience

  1. Find 30 minutes to yourself – you can’t rush a bath. Either at the end of the day before your evening starts, or just before bed. If you’re not a great sleeper, a relaxing bath can really help
  2. Get the right temperature for you. Too hot and you’ll find yourself over-heating and feeling light-headed, too cool and you’ll be shivering within five minutes!
  3. Make sure you’ve got a drink to hand – either water, or, we find a cup of Summerdown peppermint tea is very refreshing and the peppermint de-stresses
  4. Get a towel or bath pillow ready so you’re comfortable
  5. Light a Summerdown lemongrass & mint soy wax candle. Poured in a glass jar, with a silver lid, our candle is made with soy for a longer burn time. Fill the bathroom with the refreshing, clean scent of the English countryside

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    6. Run a bath and pour in Summerdown lemongrass & mint bath soak.

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Formulated to be non-irritating, our bath soak is enriched with aloe vera to soothe and replenish your skin, leaving it soft and silky after a long, relaxing soak

And when you can’t feel any more relaxed, why not snuggle up on the sofa with a gorgeous throw and cushions?  You can win this stunning set perfect for Autumn from the Cotswold Company right now.

 

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Turn on the TV, treat yourself to a delicious, healthy snack like Portlebay popcorn in front of your favourite box set or the current batch of addictive TV programmes – are you a Victoria, Poldark, Cold Feet or Paranoid person?!

 

Bathe in the warm glow that you can only get from a FREE bottle of our bath soak

 

We’re embracing darker nights with a fantastic Autumn offer – free bath soak when you buy a candle for £22. Offer ends Sunday 2nd October.

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