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Meet the 216 Strand Team

Tea-rific Ambassadors

Stephen Twining

Stephen Twining

Job Title: Director of Corporate Relations

Tell us about your role at Twinings and what you do.
I am a global brand ambassador for the company, and support our markets in gaining media coverage. Explaining to retailers and out of home customers the difference between our teas and tea in general. Increasingly talking about our blending skills for Infusions.

Tell us a typical day in the life of your role.
There really are not any typical days!

What do you love about your job?
The variety of things I get involved in, and working with the different teams around the world. When I hold consumer tastings, seeing people faces light up when they discover a new tea.

What made you choose your career?
When I was 8 years old, I conducted my first tea tasting for my class mates. They were amazed by the variety of different tastes, so I thought I would teach the world about tea and infusions.

Name two traits to describe yourself?
I enjoy working with and meeting people, and I have a great passion for our products.

What's your favourite country you’ve visited?
I have been lucky enough to visit over 50 countries, but my favourite journey is always the one that takes me home.

What's your favourite tea?
It changes by the hour, as different teas suit me at different times of day.

What's your favourite product?
I love several of our Cold In'fuse range, and especially the Passionfruit Mango and Blood Orange with fizzy water. Lemon and Ginger is a perennial favourite as is Blackcurrant, Gingseng and Vanilla.

Ali Goode

Ali Goode

Role: Channel Business Manager.

Tell us about your role at Twinings and what you do? I work in the ecommerce team on strategy for the Twinings website. I have also had roles in the out of home team and also shopper marketing.

How long have you worked at Twinings? I joined Twinings in October 2014, so that's over 7 years.

Tell us a typical day in the life of your role? I will be looking at ways in which we can improve the website and provide our wonderful customers with a better experience.

What do you love about your job? I love the variety and that no two days are ever the same. Twinings is a great company to work for and it's a huge bonus to have a cupboard full of teas to enjoy throughout the day

What made you choose your career? I have been open to new opportunities throughout my career and have developed my skill set along the way. I really believe it is important to keep up with trends in the market and adapt your career as the world around changes.

What do you think are the best skills that you bring to your job? Visionary. Seeing the bigger picture. Getting things done. 

Name three words that you would use to describe you. Courageous, Loyal, Yogi.

How do you think your colleagues would describe you? Driven, Supportive and Calm.

What's your favourite country you’ve visited? I was fortunate enough to travel to Sri Lanka a few years ago with work. We visited the tea estates, picked our own tea and enjoyed the local cuisine. I loved the vibrancy of the country.

What's your favourite tea? I drink green tea every day, but actually would say my favourite tea is an Oolong tea.

What's your favourite herb? I love the calming effect of Camomile.

What makes you one of Twinings Wellbeing Experts? I am a qualified yoga instructor, I recently completed my 200 hour teacher training and regularly teach classes. The style of yoga I teach is a power vinyasa flow which really gets my body moving before or after a day at my desk. I regularly enjoy cold water swimming and have recently taken over as one of Twinings UK&I wellbeing champions.   

Meet the 216 Strand Team

Our highly-trained staff are here to advise you on all thing’s tea!

Natalia Dabrowska

Natalia Dabrowska

Role: Twinings Strand Flagship Store Manager.

How long have you been with Twinings?
Since early 2011 – that is pretty long but I love every minute of it.

Which tea could you not live without?
Assam – my morning wake-me-up tea, my lifesaver and a tea fit for any occasion. But I also like the whole range of teas that come in our Superblends range - they are created with the specific aim to fit in with our personal wellness. At the moment my favourite is `Focus`.

How have your tea habits changed over the years?
Absolutely! Working with Twinings is like working in `tea haven`, you’re spoiled for choice. I used to drink only black teas and only a few herbal infusions, but now I love white and green teas and love to mix different flavours.

What’s your top tea tip?
Don`t be afraid to try something new – so often we stick to our favourite tea and never try anything new – be adventurous!

How do you relax?
With a cup of Twinings whole-camomile-flowers infusion and a good book.

Julia Hutchings

Julia Hutchings

Role: Senior Brand Ambassador.

Tell us about your role at Twinings and what you do? I work in the Twinings Strand shop providing Masterclasses to the public and I provide all in store training to our team. 

How long have you worked at Twinings? I first joined Twinings in June 2014.

Tell us a typical day in the life of your role? Every day can be so different, depending on the customers that come in to the shop and what sort of tastings we are providing. For example yesterday morning I had a tour group of 17 students from America, for a private shop tour and tasting before the shop even opened!

What do you love about your job? I really love tea and It makes me really proud to represent Twinings as a company particularly through masterclasses to the public.. I take real enjoyment in talking to people about tea and I truly believe that everybody loves tea and if not - they haven't found their perfect tea yet.

What made you choose your career? I originally worked in a company selling fountain pens and handbags and was recruited by Twinings. Now I can't imagine my life without tea!

What do you think are the best skills that you bring to your job? I bring a genuine passion and interest in tea. I am always looking for more historical facts or information to bring to the team and to share during the masterclasses

Name three words that you would use to describe you. Obsessed with tea.

How do you think your colleagues would describe you? Passionate, energetic and knowledgeable.

What's your favourite country you’ve visited? I had the opportunity to go to Sri Lanka with Twinings in 2017 and that visit really impacted me in a huge way. I was able to see tea plants for the first time and the knowledge I gained from that trip is something I bring to every masterclass I have the pleasure to host.

What's your favourite tea? I cant choose a favourite, so I would say Tie Guan Yin Oolong, Chakra Silver Tips and Lady Grey

What's your favourite herb? Camomile and Lemon Verbena.

What makes you one of Twinings Wellbeing Experts? I have always had a keen interest in wellbeing and I have seen how this can directly impact peoples lives. Eating healthily and using traditional remedies to support you can make a huge difference. Twinings are on a wellbeing journey themselves at the moment and the new products that they are producing is opening my eyes up to all the different herbs that the world has to offer and I am enjoying learning all about them. 

Alessandra Rovetta

Alessandra Rovetta

Role: Brand Ambassador.

Tell us about your role at Twinings and what you do? I love making our customers feel pampered and through my service and attention to detail, hope to create memorable brews and ensure our sessions are practical and engaging.

How long have you worked at Twinings? I joined the Home of Twinings in February 2022.

Tell us a typical day in the life of your role? Every day could sound pretty much the same – caring our customers, managing the tea bar and tastings – but there is always something exciting and challenging that makes different every single day.

What do you love about your job? I adore sharing my passion for tea with all the people I interact with on daily basis, creating an inclusive environment where they feel welcome. And the constant desire to improvement, getting to meet and speak with interesting and inspiring people.

What made you choose your career? Smitten by Britain and a truly love for tea got me into the UK tea industry.

What do you think are the best skills that you bring to your job? The wisdom, that comes with experience. Communication, that means active listening as well as frankly speaking. And fantastic teamwork.

Name three words that you would use to describe you. The first three adjectives that come up to describe myself are kind, organised and proactive.

How do you think your colleagues would describe you? I would say welcoming, enthusiastic and sweet.

What's your favourite country you’ve visited? Italy, of course! It flaunts the most astonishing cultural treasures and magnificent scenery, mesmerizing you completely from North to South. Italy is just amazingly gorgeous, not only incredible architecture, art, history, literature, poetry, music - and all this going on for centuries – but also great food and fabulous, creative people.

What's your favourite tea? This is a hard question because I pick tea based on what state I want to be in, body feelings, season and weather, moment of the day etc. So I would say my favourite tea is the one I haven’t tried yet! However, if I could only have one type of tea for the rest of my life, I would choose a Darjeeling.

What's your favourite herb? The Nanah mint, full of flavour, intensely aromatic and sweet, superb for cold brew Moroccan mint tea and as a condiment in many vegetables recipes.

What makes you one of Twinings Wellbeing Experts? Putting the customer at the centre is the first step to human-friendly health and wellbeing, which include having good mental health, high life satisfaction, a sense of purpose, being socially connected and ability to manage stress. As people seek new ways to learn about and take responsibility for their health, I offer the support they need from every facet of society, using empathy, ethics, resilience, respect and transparency. There is so much good stuff to share about small lifestyle changes that can make a big difference to how look and feel.

Angelo Tantillo

Angelo Tantillo

Role: Brand Ambassador.

Tell us about your role at Twinings and what you do? As Twinings Brand Ambassadors, it's our responsibility to create a warm and comfortable space for customers to learn about our history and our range. It's our job to create a connection and a memory that makes them want to come back. 

How long have you worked at Twinings? I started in December 2021.

Tell us a typical day in the life of your role? Depending on the day, I start with making sure that the shelves are restocked and the products are displayed nicely and then I set up the tasting bar in order to have tea ready for the first customer of the day. Then the doors open and it's showtime! Three days a week we run Masterclasses and Bespoke Blending Sessions so on those days we need to make sure that the tasting room is ready. It's a bit like setting up a stage. 

What do you love about your job? Sharing my knowledge with customers at the bar, brewing teas for them and let them know about our range and history.

What made you choose your career? I'd say that this career chose me! I have a background in acting and food and storytelling are my favourite things. A job like this allow me to combine them and I love it!

What do you think are the best skills that you bring to your job? A talent for storytelling. A quite solid history of customer service. 

Name three words that you would use to describe you. The million dollar question: "whimsical, team player (I know these are two words), loyal". 

How do you think your colleagues would describe you? Intelligent, funny, elegant, eccentric, energetic and considerate.

What's your favourite country you’ve visited? Portugal.

What's your favourite tea? Tie Guan Yin Oolong. The aroma reminds me of my grandparents balcony.

What's your favourite herb? Sideritis scardica (Mountain Tea), Spearmint, Rose… I can't choose one. 

What makes you one of Twinings Wellbeing Experts? The idea that mental wellbeing and physical wellbeing are very much connected and the strong will to learn everything I can about the benefits of teas and tisanes so that I can share my knowledge with my customers. And to practice what I preach! 

Leah Eagles

Leah Eagles

Role: Brand Ambassador.

Tell us about your role at Twinings and what you do? I talk to customers and engage with them to help them find the best tea suited to them! I'm here to help customers with whatever they need. I love engaging with each person and finding out what tea is perfect for them!

How long have you worked at Twinings? Since October 2021.

Tell us a typical day in the life of your role? My day starts with set up; making the teas for the Tea Bar, opening up the tills, organising and restocking products on the shelves. I then welcome in customers throughout the day and try to find the perfect tea for them and ensure everyone leaves happy - and of course having a tea break!

What do you love about your job? I love meeting the diverse range of people that come into shop. I love getting to know people and maybe teaching them something new about tea. I also love using information from just talking to them to be able to recommend a tea they would have never thought to try but end up loving!

What made you choose your career? I have always loved tea and take a keen in interest health and well being. Twinings, with it's focus on tea and well being, seemed the perfect fit! Being able to mix my love for tea and my enthusiasm for wellbeing made this a fantastic opportunity. I hope my joy for the job rubs off on the customers!

What do you think are the best skills that you bring to your job? I enjoy talking to people therefore I feel my personality is the best thing I can bring as I love making everyone feel welcome and uplifted from being at Twinings.

Name three words that you would use to describe you. Cheerful, knowledgeable, passionate.

How do you think your colleagues would describe you? Excited to learn and a team player.

What's your favourite country you’ve visited? The USA - New York in particular!

What's your favourite tea? Rosy Fig white tea and the 'Calm' Superblend tea are my two favourites - however a very hard decision!!

What's your favourite herb? Mint - so refreshing and uplifting

What makes you one of Twinings Wellbeing Experts? Even before working at Twinings, I have always been very interested in health and wellbeing. Because of this, I feel I already have a broad range of knowledge on wellbeing and what wellbeing truly means. I love expanding my knowledge on the subject and I am always looking to learn more.

Liam Rose

Liam Rose

Role: Brand Ambassador.

Tell us about your role at Twinings and what you do? As a Brand Ambassador my role here at the Twinings Strand store is to match customers with their perfect tea, to provide new tea experiences to those seeking to broaden their tea horizons and teach the Masterclasses.

How long have you worked at Twinings? Since July 2021.

Tell us a typical day in the life of your role? First my colleagues and I set up the shop and, once we're open, we help customers find the products they are after or find them new teas and infusions they may not have even heard of yet. 

What do you love about your job? The variety of teas we work with and the depth of their history fascinates me. 

What made you choose your career? The working environment that surrounds tea is one of relative calm and relaxation so, while the store can be very busy, there is always a moment for calm and a cup.

What do you think are the best skills that you bring to your job? I am a very organised and detail focused individual, my love for systems and clarity is one I hope benefits my work ethic. 

Name three words that you would use to describe you. Organised, interested & open. 

How do you think your colleagues would describe you? Always happy to listen. 

What's your favourite country you’ve visited? Iceland, I took a week long trip to hike the mountains and waterfall around Reykjavik and those memories have certainly stayed with me.

What's your favourite tea? Long Jing, or Dragon Well green tea. It's a beautiful, pan-fired green tea from Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province, China. I lived there for 2 years and it left an impression on me.

What's your favourite herb? I love the aroma and smoothness of lavender when combined with a deep black tea. 

What makes you one of Twinings Wellbeing Experts? Part of the training we go through here at the Strand is to impart to us the importance of wellbeing and the helpful effects of the many and various components in our blends. 

London Tea Experiences