Company Logo - Home Link

Visiting The Twinings Tea Shop

Updated: March 28, 2024
 By Margaret

One thing most travelers know about British culture is that we like to drink our tea!

It's so well known that our tour guides often receive questions about where to get the best tea, what is the most historic tea, and more.

There is nothing more quintessentially British than taking a cup of tea, and arguably the most popular brand of tea in the United Kingdom is Twinings.

This post will provide all the information you need to visit the Twinings Tea Shop and learn about the history of this beloved brand.

What is Twinings Tea Shop?

The best way to learn about this historic tea shop is by watching our tour of the attraction led by our tour guide Sinead.

That said, we'll still cover the most important details here to give you a sense for what Sinead talks about on the tour.

The video begins by introducing viewers to the store's rich history, dating back to its establishment in 1706 by Thomas Twining.

The Twinings Tea Shop itself has been standing here on The Strand in London for nearly as long – since 1717. Believe it or not, Twinings first business was coffee!

Tom’s Coffee House, located just behind the existing shop, was popular for its coffee as, at that time, tea was far more expensive…around £160 for only 100g.

However, as tea became more and more fashionable and easily available with the growing tea and spice trade, the public’s taste for tea far surpassed the taste for coffee.

So, Twinings cleverly switched gears and focused on tea, leaving coffee behind.

Today, their shop still does stock coffee, but you’ve got to look hard to find it as the store is packed to the rafters with tea!

The store's connection with the royal family is highlighted, including the Royal warrants it has received since Queen Victoria's reign in 1837.

Sinead emphasizes the store's significance as one of the oldest and most historic tea shops in London, adorned with a beautiful shopfront and displaying various blends and products.

Throughout the tour, our guide explores the store's extensive tea selection, focusing on famous blends like Earl Grey.

The fascinating story behind Earl Grey tea's creation is attributed to a gift received by Prime Minister Charles Grey II during a diplomatic mission to China.

Today, Twinings has a social care program and commitment to ethical sourcing, ensuring fair working conditions and sustainable practices in tea plantations.

The expertise required to work at the Twinings Tea Store is fairly impressive, and during our tour, Sinead actually interviews an employee to get an even more detailed description of the training and tea blending masterclasses offered here.

In recent years, the Twinings Tea Shop has adapted to changing tastes by innovating with wellness teas and a variety of flavored blends. They even had a King's Coronation tea!

Visitors are invited to taste several differenty teas to explore and find new flavors they might enjoy.

Although not a big shop, Twining stocks every type of tea the company produces including standards like English Breakfast and Earl Grey, as well as more exotic flavours like Chai, Cinnamon, and Lapsang Souchong.

Tea can be bought by the box, or even in individual packets for those who just want to try a single cup.

Museum & Exhibition

In the back of Twinings Tea Shop is one of the smallest museums in London, dedicated entirely to the brand Twinings.

Artifacts on display here include the original Royal Warrant Queen Victoria granted to Twinings (details below), antique tea caddies as well as old advertisements dating back centuries.

Certainly small but absolutely charming, it’s definitely worth popping in to try, taste and enjoy this essentially British shop.

Free Tea Tasting

Inside the shop, you will find the tea bar. Here you can touch, smell and taste different varieties of Twinings teas.

You can also request and enjoy free samples from the friendly and helpful staff.

From free Twinings tea tasting to free information, this bar features a daily choice of free tea tasting with varieties hand-picked by their expert team.

Tea Masterclass

In their new downstairs tasting room, Twinings is now holding tea masterclasses!

Designed for anybody who loves, or wants to get to love, tea, this class will see you tasting teas as well as learning where they come from, how they are made, and what makes Twinings tea so special.

"From bud to cup" this 2-hour experience is priced at £45 per person.

Royal Warrant

Guests to Twinings will notice that just above the entrance to the shop is the coat of arms of Queen Elizabeth II.

This is the Royal Warrant – a credit that has been given to Twinings because the Royal Family drinks their tea!

Originally it was Queen Victoria who granted the Royal Warrant (available to see in their museum) in 1837.

But, our late Queen Elizabeth II also enjoyed Twinings tea and it is her Warrant that is on display outside the shop today.

As Twinings has supplied goods for the Royal Family for nearly two centuries, we expect to see the wording on the warrant change to reflect our new Monarch, King Charles III, soon.

Each box of Twinings tea you can purchase in the shop has the Royal Warrant printed on it – making them delightful little gifts to take home to friends and family!

Visitor Information

Address: 216 Strand, London WC2R 1AP
Museum & Exhibition Cost: FREE
Hours: Friday to Wednesday 11:00 - 18:00 / Thursday 11:30 - 18:30
Nearest Underground Station – Temple

+++Tea fans should check out our blog post on where to get real Afternoon Tea in London. For more museums in the City of London check out our blog here!+++

About The Author


An American simply by accident of birth, Margaret moved to London over 16 years ago and hasn’t looked back since! With a keen interest in History – and a BA degree to match – Margaret prides herself on her knowledge of the amazing city she calls home and she's been guiding here now for nearly a decade. Social history is her real expertise, with sound understanding of the day-to-day lives of Londoners over the past centuries. Read More...
Updated: March 28th, 2024
Back to Top