I’m a Tea Addict, So Shoot Me!


Okay, I’m officially obsessed with this coffee and tea shop, and, to be honest I have wanted to do a feature on them for a while now and just haven’t got round to doing it.  So here goes…

Ismail, is a relatively medium sized coffee and tea house in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.  Now to say that I am a fan of coffee and sitting with one brewing whilst casually writing or reading, is a MASSIVE understatement, even in cold weather I will sit outside the shop to get the full benefit of the warming hot drink grasped in my hands.  Usually I darken such doorways as Costa or Starbucks, quick, easy, and basically identical,  what you don’t get with Costa and Starbucks is that feeling of individuality, you don’t get the feeling that your tea was brewed just for you or that your coffee was ground specifically so you would enjoy it.  Well this is where Ismail differs.

Everything in this place is luxury personified (with amazingly competitive prices as well, they won’t rob you blind like some other places!)  The teas are, firstly, BEAUTIFUL, my favourite is the one pictured above, ‘Amaretto Royale’ is THE most beautiful tea I have ever tasted, and if you are a fan of fruity teas like I am, but always get disappointed that it just doesn’t taste how you expect, this tea certainly packs a punch.

A spice and fruit infusion of crushed almonds, apples and cinnamon, this carefully balanced blend combines the creamy sweetness of almonds with subtle hints of cinnamon and ripe green fruits. I Drink it without milk and I add just a touch of honey to add to that rounded warmth sweetness you get from the apples and almonds.  Although there are no cherries in there, it honestly tastes like a cherry bakewell tart fresh from the oven.

AND, the brewing process is all sorted for you, the beautiful glass teapots let you watch the whole process as you are granted with a little timer, set at the counter that alerts you to the moment when your tea has brewed perfectly, this tea in particular takes 4-5 minutes to brew to an appropriate standard, which gives you enough time to settle in your seat, get your phone out and your book or paperwork.  PERFECTION.

Now Ismail doesn’t stop at tea and coffee, OH NO!! they are known locally for having THE best Hot chocolate in town, my personal opinion is that its the best Hot Chocolate in the world.  I’ve had Hot Chocolate in Italy, America, France, Belgium, Canada, Devon, and all of them have been there own little amount of perfect but Ismail’s is phenomenal, it’s beyond anything you’ve ever known…

This photo was from another trip to Ismail, a slightly colder day when all I could think of drinking was hot chocolate…Now let me take a moment just to explain this beautiful drink from beginning to end.

1) £2.40 (Starbucks £2.85 McDonalds £2.79 for the same size as Ismail)
2) What you can see there is a tall glass that has melted Belgian chocolate smothered around the inside of the glass and a deep well of chocolate at the bottom of the glass.  The chocolate is the best I’ve ever tasted and they do it in Milk and Dark chocolate.
3) The glass is then topped up with milk, hot and frothy, THEN…
4) They top it with an Ismail coin, a thick chocolate coin that sits on top and melts down into the milk.
5) When you stir this bad boy, the chocolate disappears into the milk, swirling round into the MOST amazing hot chocolate you will ever taste in this world.
6) Beware the chocolate moustache, my advice, just run your finger around the rim of the glass before you drink, I’ve seen many a person walk away with a beautifully crafted swirly moustache of Belgian goodness!

Now whether you live up north, or in the local vicinity GET YOUR BUTT TO ISMAIL PRONTO!  They are amazing in there from the food to the drinks to the cakes to the EVERYTHING, oh and did I mention that you can buy their teas and coffees AND CHOCOLATE in store and online? I didn’t mention it? oh well, YOU CAN BUY EVERYTHING IN STORE AND ONLINE!!!


Muchos Love, and Happy coffee-ing!
Cheers for Reading,

L.J x

“I Will Kill You and Everyone You’ve ever Met…”

Maybe I should have stated earlier, I don’t ACTUALLY want to kill anyone…
It’s a quote from the NEW series of Vampire Diaries coming to ITV…oops!

Haha, Soooo now that awkward situation is over, you know the one where you started to read this thinking I was a Serial Killer, kind of hoping you had stumbled across something insane when actually I was just cleverly diverting your beautiful attention to my blog post about what I’ve been watching recently, call it a mega-review if you will, sit down make your self comfy, get a cuppa if you’re feeling cheeky and settle down for my TOP 5 [5*s*t*a*r*] programmes to watch this year.

Some may already be on TV and some may give you a bit of a wait, but hopefully you’ll enjoy my rundown…

-: UK vs. US :-


Now it’s not often that I watch a TV series, on  TV, at a time which it is technically specifically supposed to be viewed.    Being Human caught my intrigue when I was doing one of my late night WordPress Benders, and the advert for season 4 popped onto the telly.  Not since Buffy the Vampire Slayer, have I felt such excitement over a BBC channel at 9pm.  So before it came on I got myself seasons 1-3 and had a marathon weekend [needless to say YES I’M SINGLE! AND UNEMPLOYED! that’s where I get the time]
Being Human (UK) is one of those shows that truly captures that part of you that still believes in Halloween and Ghost stories, that part of you that loves to cry Bloody Mary into the mirror when your pissed and Watches slayer movies on Valentines, but it’s the quintessentially BRITISH comedy that turns that into pure genius!
In the inbetween between my marathon slog and the new season I caught a few episodes of the US version.  Now although I personally prefer American Series’ I found that again although amazing in it’s own right (I LOVE THE VAMPIRE MOTHER!!) I feel that its the good’ole Brit Sarcasm and Wit that just takes ours to another level!

UK ALL THE WAY [BBC3 9pm Sundays]
* * * * * – One To Watch

Proper Sunday Afternoon Action...


Ok, Ok, I know not everyone has SKY or VIRGIN or one of those better than average boxes that lets you watch this…that’s why I’m not going to tell you to search WatchSeries into that search engine called Google because I am NOT recommending you should watch them online EVER! because that is breaking the law!

On the other hand, if you have already seen Warehouse 13 or not, it offers to its viewers face paced, exciting, action packed and historically  intrigueing episodes that journey you through history searching for ‘artifacts’  Warehouse 13 already has numerous seasons but it’s return in I think March of this year (don’t quote me on that) is being highly anticipated in The Common Tarte household!

[SYFY Channel]
* * * * * – One To Look Out For!

Alphas Review

What Heroes Missed Out!


Alphas is one of those programmes, it harks back to the age old Superhero vs. the Government debate, and initially can seem very old hat.  “OH NO they can’t be ‘contained'” “The government are evil and want to experiment ahh!!” But, alphas provides it viewers with hard action.  There is simply no other way to put it, the powers are believeable, and highly creative, putting new spins on the average super-human powers showcased in show after show.  Alphas manages to do what Heroes couldn’t.  It lends itself to a character focused script instead of plot focused, which means its not hard to follow, its riveting to watch and it captures your attention every second.  My favourite character is Gary, actor Ryan Cartwright is PHENOMENOL!!! and Gary is one of those characters I could laugh and cry and fear for all in one episode! Top marks Alphas, catch up online with the first series and get ready for the Second coming later this year!

[SYFY Channel]
* * * * * – One To Keep In Mind

Misfits ReviewBest British SciFi/Comedy For Years!



Yes, I admit, I am a Misfits slut! I love nothing more than settling down, turning out the lights, having a cuppa and a smoke and AVIDLY watching the next installment of misfits.  So before the haters seep out of the ground, SEASON 3 rocked!  Maybe you had to get some polyfiller for the Robert Sheehan sized gap in the show, Joseph Gilgun came on and made his own massively awesome hole himself.  I did find that we didnt learn ENOUGH about his power, and I was left at times with a sense of confusion, but overall I think the team did an Amazing job of making up for the vacuum that was going to be Sheehan’s Departure, Here’s to season 4 this year, may it live long a prosper and keep us on the cusp of all that is politically not-so-correct!

* * * * * – One To Always Watch.

Homeland Review

Don't Judge This Book By It's Cover


Homeland, Homeland, Homeland, Award winning, All Star Cast, Impeccable writers and 5* All American Hollywood Production, can you tell that I loved this series yet?

Okay, Homeland starts on Channel4 this week, but I have been lucky enough to already have seen the first season.  I will try VERY hard not to add any spoilers!
Homeland is truly a show to be reckoned with.  CIA, Terrorism, Marines, Suicide Bombers, Infidelity, Mental Health and good old American Spirit.  Homeland brings a whole knew perspective to the Terrorism subject.  The premise is an American Marine POW has been turned and is working for Al Qaeda, then what happens? They find an American Marine POW!  The writing is insanely clever, and the cast are AMAZING there are faces from across the world of film and television including actors from Criminal Minds, V [2009] and even her dainty self Miss Claire Danes.  Now I have a pet peeve, and that is Miss Dane’s bottom lip,  I hated it in Romeo and Juliet when she wakes up but doesnt save Romeo!! anddddd I hate it in this when she cries [can’t tell you why, SPOILERS]  Apart from Miss Dane’s lower lip I loved homeland, it’s ability to keep you guessing til the very last second is truly GENIUS and I’d recommend to anyone that they tune in this week!

[Starts: Feb 19th, 9.30pm, Channel4]
* * * * * – ONE NOT TO MISS!

Well, that’s it for today kids! I hope you enjoy
any of the programmes I have listed today
and if you want to pose a counter review
I’d be happy to hear your thoughts 🙂

Cheers For Reading,

L.J x