A Brew With a View
Brew With A View
‘Keep it simple and focus on what matters’ – Confucius
Nothing can be simpler than a cup of tea and nothing can possibly matter more than people - our friends, families, neighbours, colleagues and life’s strangers, the people that we see every day, pass on a walk or in the street but know nothing about, the people we just don’t happen to meet. And so the ‘Brew With A View’ was conceived by our wonderful friend Bunty Phillips. Drinking tea outdoors, truly the simplest of pleasures, with the sole mission of making our world a better place one cup at a time. Life-affirmingly effective, affordable and attainable bringing with it the joys of conversation and connection, compassion and community along with the possibility of a moment shared, a memory made, or a worry halved with a friend or a stranger, over a cup of tea, outdoors.
Bunty organised the very first Brew With A View on a wet New Year’s Day of 2017, in a farmer’s old tythe barn overlooking fields in the heart of the stunning south Oxfordshire Stonor valley. With the single desire to bring people together and with one spontaneous trial text message inviting friends to ‘Join us for a New Year’s Day Brew With A View - the kettle will be on and the teapot will be full, no reply or commitment necessary’. Just add one humble old Morris Minor laden with folding chairs and a table, the camp stove and kettle, a basket full of commemorative mugs, tea, cake, an ageing collie dog and fourteen open-minded, outdoor loving unsuspecting friends wrapped up in woollies, hats and scarves miraculously heading out into the cold and the unknown on a quest to find the promise of a brew with a view - and so the story starts. They came, they drank tea and chatted together for literally hours. The inaugural brew was a resounding success, mission accomplished, without exception every single person headed home with a smile in their hearts and fresh conversations in the heads, and so the trial and the dream of bringing together people to drink tea outdoors in an increasingly disconnected, difficult and all too often lonely world was fulfilled.
Five years later and the regularity and popularity of the simple conscious act of getting outdoors to drink tea continues, with the 2022 New Year’s Day Brew With a View bringing out over a hundred people to do just that together on a grey old misty day on a far away hill. Such days come with only one request – that everyone just speaks to at least one stranger. So, not just five years but countless monthly brews later, the tea making kit continues to be kept busy and travel far and wide – from the West Country beach brews in Devon, Cornwall and Dorset, the metropolitan park-life brews in London to the heather topped hills of Scotland, any outdoor space or place will do.
So, in short, life inevitably brings with it both the good days and the best times, the dark days and the worst times but no matter what – life is always better when we find the time and make the effort to get outdoors. To change one’s surroundings, one’s outlook, view and perspective is to change one’s world, whether it’s feeling the sun on ones face or the rain through ones toes, hearing a bird sing or watching a river flow - at that moment in time, life will, undoubtedly be better, feel lighter, simpler, brighter. Sometimes we just need to learn to help ourselves, to find our own toolkit for life, for living, for breathing and for winning – and for me, it’s taken years but I’ve eventually learned that miracles happen outdoors, the greatest, simplest and most effective cure for my demons, insecurities, worries and world are truly about keeping it simple and focussing on what matters and, undeniably for me - about getting outside, connecting with life and with people - preferably with tea.