When Twinings Tea approached me for an interview I was most flattered, especially as it is the first one of their series of interviews with 'influential' people. As a prominent character in the fitness industry they were inspired by what I do, my lifestyle choices and wanted to show how Twinings could be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle. They even asked Olivia Huntingford, a healthy food blogger, to create a healthy summer salad based on my lifestyle and food likes using lemon zest tea in the dressing. How cool is that?
I arrived at 216 The Strand which is the Twinings flag ship shop which has been there for 300 years!! I've walked past it so many times and never thought to explore. In 1706 Thomas Twining bought Tom's Coffee House and has been known for selling the best teas ever since!
According to the Twinings website "The location of the shop was perfect as it straddled the border between Westminster and the City of London, an area that was newly populated with the finest of London’s aristocracy as a result of the Great Fire of London. By this time Coffee houses were a popular feature of London life. Men - but never women - of all classes would gather there to drink, gossip and to do business. Coffee shops gathered a loyal clientele by specialising in particular products or by encouraging customers with common interests. Poets for instance would go to one establishment, army officers to another." Sound like modern times to me!
The gorgeous Cloé, who is part of e-Commerce team at Twinings met me at the back of the shop by the tea bar and explained that the shop had started off in one of the several arches and grew rapidly as the shop became more popular. It is so quaint and yet modern at the same time. The tea bar is where Tea Ambassadors brew up teas as an art form, using such precision in measuring and timing to get the perfect cuppa! I was introduced to our ambassador, Julia, the most knowledgable and articulate tea lady I've ever met!
Julia had decided, based on my confession of being a Caramel Latté addict, that a selection of chai teas might suit me. Whilst she was preparing our first drink, Cloé began asking me questions about my work. She had done her research...
Julia set about serving us with piping hot Caramel Redbush Chai Lattés with a hint of caramel syrup made with almond milk. Wow, I could easily give up my coffee addiction for this! Really yummy! She then made a couple of ice cold versions and my favourite was the Velvety Vanilla Chai Latté, made with a hint of vanilla syrup and semi skimmed milk. Julia gave us scientific reasons for why she had chosen to make it that way... with precisely 6 minutes of brewing, the particular amount of ice used, how the vanilla syrup accentuated the vanilla in the tea... not only did all of that sound fascinating, it tasted wonderful too, very refreshing and cooling on that roasting hot summer day!
Thanks for having me, Twinings!! xxx