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Britain’s Best Fireworks Shows

On 5 November 1605, Guy Fawkes had big choice ahead of him. To blow up the Houses of Parliament, or back out? He decided to go for it, but unfortunately he was caught guarding explosives beneath the House of Lords.

310 years later, you’ve got a simpler decision to make. Which firework show to go to, and which brew to bring along in your Contigo Mug. It’s the best way to thaw frozen fingers…


Source: Flickr/Dominic Alves

5 November - Free, 5-12pm

Nowhere does bonfire night quite like Lewes in East Sussex, where as many as 30 processions march through the cobbled streets carrying burning crosses and dressed in weird and wonderful costumes. Five gigantic bonfires are lit on the hills surrounding the town and each procession sets off its own fireworks.

You’ll need to keep your wits about you when following the processions, so choose a good strong tea for sustenance. Our Chinese Lapsang Souchong is a Bonfire Night classic – the deeply smoky taste comes from smoking the tea leaves over pinewood fires, a technique discovered back in the 16th century.

Source: Flickr/JTOcchialini


5 November - Free, firewalk at 6.30pm, fireworks at 7.30pm

Aberdeen launches its Winter Festival on 5 November with a hats-off fireworks display on Aberdeen Beach. The celebrations start with fire jugglers and a charity firewalk across burning coals, followed by some of the best fireworks you’ll see in Scotland. Arrive early to bag the best places on Beach Boulevard and Beach Esplanade.

The Chinese invented fireworks, and there are several myths about how ‘gunpowder’ green tea got its name. It was either a British mispronunciation of the Mandarin phrase ‘gang pao de’’) or because merchants mistook the tightly rolled leaves for pellets of gunpowder. Just don’t mention the plot to a Scotsman!

Source: Cmglee


5 November - Free, fair from 6pm, fireworks at 7.30pm,

The spires of the Cambridge colleges are lit up against the sky when Midsummer Common launches its annual fireworks extravaganza. After the fireworks there’s all the fun of the fair – Cambridge is home to some pretty spectacular fire dancers. There’s a rumour that Fitzbillies will be selling their famous Chelsea Buns on site. Fingers crossed it’s true!

It wouldn’t be winter without chai, and we’ve got plenty to choose for Midsummer Common – our signature Spice Imperial is based on the classic Indian masala chai, our Shanghai Chai is a green tea alternative and our Herbal Chai has a delicious aniseed sweetness. If it’s extra chilly on the night, go for our spicy Chilli Chai blended with black tea, cardamom, ginger and cloves.

Source: Mark Wooding


7 November - £5, fireworks at 7pm

There are loads of fireworks displays going on around Bristol, but our favourite is the Fireworks Fiesta at Canford Park. In previous years they’ve raised up to £30,000 for local charities, so the £5 ticket goes to a worthy cause. If last year is anything to go by it’s worth booking your ticket in advance!

Halloween was all about Toffee Apple tea, but for bonfire night we’re brewing up Baked Apple. Based on the dessert served with sultanas, roasted nuts and cream, it’s slightly more mellow than our Toffee Apple, with a sprinkle of caramelised hazelnuts and flakes of almond.


6 November - Free, gates open at 3:30pm, fireworks at 5pm

London’s most popular fireworks display is probably the Lord Mayor’s show down on the river by Blackfriars and Waterloo, but personally we prefer the one at Coram’s Fields near Kings Cross. The ‘fields’ refer to the giant playground surrounding the site where Thomas Coram set up his Foundling Hospital in 1741 and you can only enter if accompanied by a child!

We couldn’t resist adding hot chocolate to the list. It’s a toss up between Salted Caramel or Chilli, two dark hot chocolates with a delicious twist – we closed our eyes, spun a teapot and it pointed in the direction of… Chilli. Decision made. The kids might prefer something a bit simpler – White Hot Chocolate and Rocky Road are tried and tested favourites!

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