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Eat: Photoessay

By Christine Pemberton

Henry James once wrote "There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea." If the tea-obsessed folk at 3 Clive Road have anything to do with it, we should all take time out of our busy lives and savour our tea, too.

Ah yes. Why 3 Clive Road?

Let Radhika Chopra the founder of the eponymous tea company tell us in her own words "Our journey begins in the year 1931 at the home where our father was born, No. 3 Clive Road, New Delhi."

Date Published: 20th September 2016

3 Clive Road, Delhi Photo

Just look at this gorgeous confection, which is one of the amazing teas developed exclusively for the Delhi-based boutique tea company “3 Clive Road”. This is their “Jodhpur” blend and in a delightful tribute to the blue city of Jodhpur, it contains startlingly blue cornflower petals.

3 Clive Road, Delhi Photo

Grown in the tea gardens of north east India, the finest full-leaf teas find their way to 3 Clive Road, where they are handcrafted into exclusive, one-of-a-kind blends.

3 Clive Road, Delhi Photo

The refinement and a sense of yearning for a slower, more relaxed pace of life inspires much of the 3 Clive Road philosophy. Radhika explains that much of her love for this erstwhile lifestyle comes from the detailed dairies maintained by her grandfather. His address? Oh, 3 Clive Road. Naturally.

3 Clive Road, Delhi Photo

For over 50 years, the then Comtproller General for the colonial British government kept meticulous diaries, detailing the life and times both of the Chopra family, but also of the historic, turbulent times through which India was passing, as the country journeyed towards independence.

3 Clive Road, Delhi Photo

Uniquely blended teas, gorgeously designed packaging, names redolent of all the romantic corners of India, the teas of 3 Clive Road are unashamedly luxurious.

3 Clive Road, Delhi Photo

Tapping into the world of nostalgia and elegance is one of the cornerstones of the philosophy behind 3 Clive Road. Savour your tea. Savour the moment. After all, in Radhika Chopra’s own words "Our customer is someone who is proud of a beautifully designed and quality product that is Indian made."

3 Clive Road, Delhi Photo

More from Ms Chopra, who understands the ground realities of marketing a luxury brand of home-grown Indian tea in India. The customers "need to know that there is a difference in quality and they need to know where the tea comes from." Certainly no local chai was ever displayed as gorgeously as this.

3 Clive Road, Delhi Photo

And so the experimenting and blending and creating of new tastes continue. Each new blend is a marriage of tea and spices and colour. And what is even more delightful is that the tea-lovers at 3 Clive Road also love to pair biscuits with their tea. Pure indulgence. And positively encouraged, too.

3 Clive Road, Delhi Photo

So, yes, let’s adapt some of the 3 Clive Road philosophy, shall we? Slow down, sip our tea, savour a moment of pure indulgence.

3 Clive Road, Delhi Photo

As we reluctantly put our cup of 3 Clive Road tea back down on the tea-table, and brush away the delicious biscuit crumbs, take heart in these wise words: "When tea becomes ritual, it takes its place at the heart of our ability to see greatness in small things…" (from The Elegance of the Hedgehog) Cheers.





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