Lea Tierney is co-founder and chief maker at Rosemary & Robert Chocolate, producing artisanal products from highest grade cacao, wrapped without plastic and sold only in small independent outlets and online.

What one piece of seasonal wisdom helps you in winter?


I think what we see in nature reflects best what we most need in the changing seasons. I tend to feel the cold and suffer with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) during the darker months but building fires, sitting and drinking hot chocolate next to them and eating lots of spiced foods really helps me cope with the transition into winter.

What one self-care ritual do you never skimp on?


Cacao – I eat it every day. Whether that’s in my smoothies, product testing or cooking with cacao butter, chocolate plays a huge role in my self-care. Chocolate has become pretty essential to my wellbeing as the nutrients it possesses help me maintain balance during my cycle making it a lovely meditative and mindful process that helps ground me. Every month (usually with a New or Full Moon depending on how I’m feeling) I’ll light some candles, mix up some ceremonial hot cacao and set some intentions for the month ahead.

What’s cooking in your kitchen this month?


A lovely comforting favourite of mine has been a spiced squash and sweet potato soup with ginger for added warmth and white beans for added creaminess. I often get soup-for-breakfast cravings during autumn and winter, so I tend to make double the quantity I need. On busier days I get the soup maker going in the morning and pour it out into a stainless steel Stanley flask for a quick, no fuss lunch.

What always brings a smile to your face?


Our rescue cockapoo puppy Georgie always brings a smile to my face. There’s a good reason he’s Chief Happiness Officer at Rosemary & Robert. He’s a little ray of sunshine and he simply loves life. Even on the gloomier days he’s sure to make us appreciate the outside more with his exuberance during walks and his ecstasy in damp grass and muddy puddles. Plus, getting back from a walk to a steaming cup of tea, a cuddle with the dog and a good book is just heaven.

What are the best treatments you’ve had locally?

I booked in for an hour’s flotation pod therapy at Simply Float in Tunbridge Wells simplyfloat.co.uk which was so relaxing and reminded me how much I need to spend time in and around water to feel peaceful. That was followed by my first ever Reflexology session with Jane De La Haye at Neal’s Yard in Tunbridge Wells nealsyardremedies.com and I felt so much relief after that treatment it was amazing. I had brunch at The Plant Base in between treatments so it was a proper all-round treat of a morning theplantbase.co.uk.

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