Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Part II - Fourth Day in London

On my two previous visits to London I missed seeing Twinings historic tea shop and museum, so it was high on my list of places to visit this trip. The small shop/museum is located in the City of Westminster.

The sign below hangs to the right of the entrance.  It reads:  Thomas Twining founded the House of Twining by purchasing the original Toms Coffee House at the back of this site in 1706, where he introduced tea.  In 1717 he opened the Golden Lyon here as a shop to sell tea and coffee. In 1787 his grandson Richard Twining built the handsome doorway incorporating his Grandfather's Golden Lyon symbol and two Chinese figures.  Twinings is believed to be the oldest company to have traded continuously on the same site with the same family since its foundation.

~ 216 The Strand ~

Stepping over the historic threshold of Twinings made me think of Samuel Johnson, Jane Austen, and many of England's other notable citizenry who've purchased tea there over the past 209 years!  

Many chests of tea carried by the Cutty Sark were bought by Twinings.  In 1837 Twinings was honored when Queen Victoria appointed the company as a supplier of tea, and they have supplied every successive British Monarch to this date.

Twinings teas are served on board Cunard's luxury ships, as well as British Airways flights. The front of the store is the tea shop, and at the back is the museum and tasting area.

Even though I was limited on space for my flight home, I couldn't leave Twinings empty handed, so I purchased a small two-cup teapot and a wonderful book.

Imagine my surprise while reading the book later that night to find a May 1905 article from the Detroit Free Press newspaper in a book written by a British author, and published in the UK!

Directly across the street from Twinings is the beautiful Royal Courts of Justice building.

From Twinings we headed over to Tower Pier where we had reservations for a 3:30 p.m. Afternoon Tea Cruise on the River Thames by City Cruises.  It was Lori's Mother's Day present to me. 

Photo of the interior of the boat, before it filled up.  It was practically a sell-out cruise.

~ Some of the serving crew ~

I didn't take notes on what the finger sandwiches were, but I do remember egg salad, cucumber, and smoked salmon.

~ Scone Course ~

~ Savories ~

~ Desserts ~

When we were finished eating we had the option of going up to the top deck to view London's riverside landmarks, but we stayed at our table since there were windows all around the boat, and the views were great from our seats.

Tower Pier is right next to the Tower of London, so that was the first landmark we passed.

 Then the beautiful Tower Bridge.  It was a lovely hour and a half cruise.

~ Then we made our way back to our hotel for the evening. ~

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Today I'm joining Bernideen's Tea Time Blog for Friends Sharing Tea


  1. What a dream day! I don't think I could have left Twinnings with only a teapot. Actually, I am not sure I could have left Twinnings, ever! Love the tea cruise and then dinner at the Blackbird . .. oh la la. I will probably never visit London, but you certainly are hitting all my favorite places, so it is like I am on the trip!

  2. The Twinings Museum looks wonderful! And then a tea cruise - how delightful. What a relaxing way to see the sights of London.

  3. Wonderful. I loved visiting Twinings too...and until a few years ago there was a Tea And Coffee Pot Museum on the South Bank by the Tate as well...now closed. I have done the cruise, but for dinner. The tea looks wonderful! What a special Mother's Day gift! Pub food is nowadays so good and really quite inexpensive. So wonderful!

  4. Delightful! You had a very aggressive tour itinerary planned for your trip.

  5. I am enjoying every posting of your journey!

  6. I have never been out of the US. You are so lucky. I am having so much fun looking at all the beautiful pictures. Thanks, Martha

  7. What great fun! Love the idea of a tea cruise...as long as it's on calm waters!

  8. What a wonderful trip, Phyllis! I love that you are sharing photos and information. Makes me want to schedule a visit myself. :)

  9. Oh, I'm so happy you made it to Twinings! Like you, when I went there I felt the weight of history as I thought of all the tea customers who went before me. And I've never heard of a tea cruise, but what a splendid idea — and gift!


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