On my day in London, only by chance, I passed by a lovely Twinings shop. Without even knowing, I’ve been to a historical shop, that has been trading for over 300 years. The shop is amazing, I took a lot of pictures, so prepare for them.
The Twining family was from Gloucestershire and they were weavers and millers. After the recession, they moved to London in 1684. Thomas was 9 at that time. He followed his father’s profession and become an apprentice. At 26, in 1701, he became a Freeman. He wasn’t waving anymore and he was working for an East India Company merchant, Thomas D’Aeth. He handled early shipments of tea.
Thomas Twining bought this place in 1706, when it was Tom’s Coffee House. The coffee houses were popular at that time. By selling tea, he was able to offer something new and exciting and that differentiated him from his competition. His son, Daniel, started exporting tea to America. In 1771, Richard Twining took over the business. He was Chairman of the London Tea Dealers and his persuasion made the Prime Minister to lower the taxes on teas. This meant was more affordable. In 1787 they chose their logo and today it is the oldest commercial logo that has been in continuous use since it was made.
Women weren’t allowed in coffee shops, but Twinings had fine tea, so the ladies were waiting in their carriage while the footmen were buying the tea from the shop. In 1837 Queen Victoria granted Twinings its first Royal Warrant for tea and Twinings supplied every successive British Monarch to date.
Not even the WWI or WWII could hurt the business as there was demand for tea. Twinings also supplied the Red Cross.
Twinings Masterclass. It sounds interesting, the masterclass lasts for 2 hours, it involves a lot of tea and stories about the tea culture in the UK, the origin of tea. It’s something I would like to do even though I’m not as keen on tea as my husband is.
This is the Pick & Mix. A bag it’s only 15p and it’s a great way to discover flavours before buying a box or two.
This was our visit to the shop.
We bought a lot of interesting teas from the Pick & Mix stand. I already tried a few and I’m delighted. I liked the China rose, it has a very strong rose flavour, the Intensely Fiery Ginger&Rhubarb is really intense and I liked it even though I didn’t taste rhubarb as much. Blackcurrant&rhubarb is delicious, it has an almost cake-like flavour, I will buy it again. Intensely tropical is refreshing. Fudge melts and Salted caramel are two sweet flavoured teas and I loved them both.
Have you been to Twinings before? If you haven’t and you want to visit the shop, the address is: 216 Strand, London WC2R 1AP.