As I reflected on my trip to London, I felt that the title of this post is a succinct summation of my time there.  Let me explain.  I was first invited to speak at New Direction Partnership (held at Back2Balance) and shared the platform with Claire Boyles. Claire is a public speaker on what is, and how to use Twitter.  She gave many examples of how the micro-blogging tool has helped her and her business and also has a great story of how Twitter helped her to find her dog! She does give a warning in her bio though, that she does tweet a lot 🙂

One of the most wonderful things about networking meetings are the unexpected tweetups.  One of these occasions occurred at KallMeBack’s Ultimate Business Women’s Day Out in Enfield.  Daniella came by to the MayKingTea stand and wondered why my business name sounded so familiar.  After I talked about MayKingTea, she realised that we had actually been tweeting about the delights of Chai tea a few days earlier! Her twitter id is @sprintstationers – and so from meeting in the Twitterverse to meeting in person, it truly was a wonderful experience.

I also had the privilege of catching up with @amandaeatwell again who has a formidable eye for capturing those special moments on camera.  I’m rather disappointed that I won’t be able to attend her recently launched photography courses but they’d make a great Christmas present for those interested in photography.

Another regular tweeter is @AlisonPerssonAlison provides practical guidance on how to get a property in shape for selling or letting out.  So whilst Alison deals in property, I deal with proper tea :o) (thanks Adrian for the clever pun!) Alison also attended my “Around the World in Eight Tea Cups” tea-tasting class where we talked about all the tea categories, tea processing, and the health benefits of tea.  More importantly we were able to taste some beautiful teas including Jasmine Dragon Pearls and Dragonwell green tea.

I love to network and in attending one of Stella’s Athena groups it was great to catch up with Lisa Symons, Dawn Gomes and Vanessa Harris to name but a few.  There were lots of new and familiar faces including Maxine Glover.  Maxine has a beautiful place in Loughton called The Relaxation Place where she carries out workshops on meditation and alternative therapies.  We’re looking to collaborate next year, so watch this space.

Another wonderful surprise I had was when I popped into Espressimo Café and found that the café recently had a refurbishment which included a new price board showcasing my teas.

I had a star struck moment when I discovered Claire Ptak’s The Whoopie Pie Book in Sainsbury’s, Bolton.  As soon as I visited her wonderful cake shop I asked her to sign my copy.  I can’t wait to try some of her recipes as they would go extremely well with some of my teas (currently sold at Violet Cakes).  Having an endorsement on the front of her book from Jamie Oliver, Claire has many plans for Violet Cakes and we’ll be looking to collaborate together next year too.

My second star struck moment was when I was invited to Poulomi Desai’s Usurp gallery.  I was in wonderment, shock and admiration of Poulomi and her thought-provoking book. I took out my teapot, shared some tea and whilst she signed my copy of her book, we shared our experiences of growing up as an ethnic minority in 80’s Britain.  We are currently working together on a tea-themed event scheduled to run next year.

So that was MayKingTea in London, cherishing the memories, my friends and colleagues over a cup of tea.