Twinings: When history and tech combine

Creative agency Dalziel & Pow came onboard with the goal to transform the 80sqm transactional retail space into the “true spiritual home of the Twinings brand”.

“It was such an amazing opportunity to have a site like that, that Twinings has held on to for so long. We kept and restored all the original elements the best we could,” Jemima Berridge, design team leader, brand environments, Dalziel & Pow, told Inside Retail.

Image of 216 Strand
216 Strand is London’s oldest tea store. Photo: Supplied

“We reinstated ceiling rows and refurbished all the cornice and things like that, which ended up being just such a stunning backdrop to the actual interior which is quite contemporary in a lot of ways.”

While paying tribute to the rich heritage of the brand, the design has a modern feel. Warm lighting glows over a host of natural and quality materials such as grasscloth, raw oak, brass and stone.

Image of Twinings flagship
Visitors can hear the stories of Twinings tea growers through an audio message. Photo: Supplied

Visitors can touch, smell and taste the tea during the entire brewing process, while slow-moving images of gardens and herb fields tell the story of its origins.

Interactive experiences punctuate the customer journey, and the basement has been transformed into a private tea-tasting bar which also offers masterclasses.

Image of Twinings tea blending class
Visitors are invited to create their own blends. Photo: Supplied

Stephen Twining, director of corporate relations and tenth generation of the Twining family, said the brand is very proud of the new look.

“This extensive redesign will give all our visitors a chance to better understand the skills and good work we do at Twinings, while walking in the footsteps of many notable customers,” he said.

Image of Twinings tasting bar
Portraits of the Twining family adorn the walls of the Tasting Bar. Photo: Supplied

And while the pandemic has prevented a grand reopening ceremony, Twining is hopeful that they will be able to mark the opening in the near future.

“It’s been a very quiet low key affair, but we’re getting the message out that anyone passing by can come in and have this new experience,” he told Inside Retail.

“As soon as we’re allowed we will be celebrating and inviting as many people as we [can].”