Yet again it has been too long since I last wrote – summer has come and gone in what feels like a flash so before it becomes too much of a distant memory I wanted to let you know what we have been up to.
First and foremost
Your names were at last put on the van! You are now forever a part of the G&P story and will travel with Watson wherever he goes.
Sweltering weather in the city meaning Cold Brew soon became our bread & butter and I had to check I’d heard right when someone asked for a hot tea. Each day we had a different tea on the menu and I even had to get tips from a cocktail barman as the brew was served shaken on ice, extra cold. We also piloted our Cold Brew-skis – pure, cold-brewed tea in a bottle. It was brewed overnight every, bottled & labelled at my kitchen table the next morning and then served cold at lunch! The lucky customers at Kings Cross & Brockley who tried this limited edition seemed to love them so we will be working on these further in the hope of launching them proper next summer.
School Sports Day
The only Kickstarter reward still outstanding was to our highest pledging backer, who, if funding was successful, had agreed to book us out for a school sports day. On the 15th June, Watson & I were therefore delighted to chug our way down to Cheam for our first day out of London since launch and had a lovely day serving tea & cake to the cold mums & dads on the sidelines, cheering on the various teams.
Festivals (& our first celebrity customer!)
Although Watson’s heart remains in London, with all our fellow food traders travelling around the country from festival to festival, I found myself wanting to join in the fun. I was lucky enough to be offered a pitch at Wilderness Festival, Oxfordshire so I quickly agreed and set about planning. I managed to recruit a team of friends all too easily with the promise that “you’ll get a free ticket plus food & booze - may need to help out in the van at some point but should be pretty relaxed”. Little did I know the next four days was to be far from relaxed. From 8am until 2am, tea and crumpets were flying out of the hatch. After a bit of a scrabble to keep up on the first day, we had to invent a new system to manage the pace and make sure these drunk/hungover/tired/cold people were getting their brews as quickly as possible! The best thing was just not to look out the front, keep our heads down and keep brewing as the queue didn’t seem to get any shorter! But we got through it. We laughed a lot, had great feedback from customers, lots of regulars over the course of the weekend and were more efficient than ever. And despite aching legs, croaky voices and chronic lack of sleep, my poor friends, having been falsely promised a weekend of music-fuelled fun, instead worked tirelessly to pull it off. Not only will I feel eternally grateful for their help, but seeing the endless line of people waiting to get their cup of G&P was also a very surreal moment and one I’m not sure I’ll ever forget.
After a week or so back at the comparatively calm Kings Cross, and just as the summer felt like it was coming to an end, another festival invite came in. This time, End of the Road - a little known but much-loved gem of an event with an incredible music line-up. We couldn’t resist dragging that summer feeling out a bit longer and were very honoured to be asked so didn’t hesitate in confirming our attendance. So Watson & I and a last minute team of crumpeteers headed to deepest, darkest Dorset. We had a bit of a hairy journey struggling up hills with a very heavy load - with no shops for miles around there would be no emergency runs for milk or butter so we really were full to the brim with supplies! The festival was another great success – as crazy as Wilderness but with some Sigur Ros thrown in – and we were particularly excited to serve none other than JARVIS COCKER a Good & Proper brew. I’m tempted to put the photo on the wall of the van in the hope that it might be the start of a ‘celebrity customer’ wall but I’m not sure there’ll be many more anytime soon!
We were also at Soho House's amazing House Festival in aid of War Child and KERB's Saturday event at Granary Square, both of which were great, sunny events.
Back to school
We’ve had a couple of events since, including Vodafone Fashion Weekend at Somerset House and the Classic Car Boot at the Southbank, but have otherwise returned to our posts at Kings Cross and Brockley Market where the cold brews have been replaced with warming hot ones and familiar faces from Central Saint Martins have returned post-break. So you can still find us there anytime you’re in town..
We’ve had a flurry of press excitement, seemingly all at once, and been lucky enough to be featured in the following since I last wrote:
Waitrose Magazine (Aug issue):
Stylist (these aren’t my own words I hasten to add!): http://www.stylist.co.uk/stylist-network/work-life/work-life-emilie-holmes-founder-good-and-proper-tea
Stella Magazine/Telegraph online: http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/news-features/TMG10349666/The-Style-Agenda-October-4-10.html
Watson has also been featured in the latest Eurostar campaign airing this week! Apparently, if you come to London, you could meet the love of your life under the hatch of a certain tea van! See if you can spot him in the London film here: http://stories.eurostar.com/
So there is our news. Despite lots of great stuff, it is still a very long journey ahead (if I had a penny for every time someone asked me for a coffee…) but I am more excited than ever about the future of G&P and hope you are too.
Come and see us if ever you can and in the meantime, happy brewing and keep your eyes peeled for a new member of the team: Moriartea, a stand-alone Brew Bar being built as we speak : )