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Spilling the Tea

The Horniman's Digital Team have been working with partners across Europe to develop an exciting new web-app Tea Trail London.

If you follow us on social media, you may have seen our announcement of Tea Trail London, a new web-app that explores tea drinking and history in London through 3 different trails.

On the web-app - which can be viewed on a desktop, tablet or mobile phone - you can follow each trail, illustrated with objects from our the collections here at the Horniman and discover famous and secret London sites for a fun, tea-themed day out.


Three Themed Trails

The trails are thematically arranged and feature a mix of museums, shops, heritage sites and the best places to have afternoon tea.

Our three trails are: Tea Through Time, World Tea Tastes and Taking Afternoon Tea .

Tea Trail London is our contribution to Europeana Food and Drink, which aims to co-develop digital cultural resources with an eye to creative and business development across Europe through the theme of food and drink. Based on Frederick Horniman's tea legacy we decided to pick tea as our theme.

Working with Semantika, a Slovenian company who are one of the leading Museum Applications providers in Central Europe, we decided to create a web-app that would be versatile for a wide range of users such as families, Londoners, national and international tourists.

The history and world of tea is vast! So we began by identifying three potential themes, had a hot cuppa then went out into London to find the less well-known tea story.

Tea in London

We partnered with some of our favourite London-based museums: The Geffrye, Museum of Brands, The Museum of London and National Portrait Gallery finding exciting archive images of tea drinking, portraits of famous tea folk and beautiful tea sets.

Heritage sites such as The Cutty Sark and 6 Belgrave Square tell the fantastic story of tea's arrival in London and the invention of afternoon tea.

With so many great tea-stories emerging we approached some of London's most famous afternoon venues including Brown’s Hoteland The Berkeley who serve world famous teas. Brown's HOtel is London's oldest hotel and their afternoon tea was graced by Agatha Christie and allegedly Queen Victoria, whereas The Berkeley’s fashion inspired tea is a modern re-imagining of traditional tea.

And we thought it was only fair if we gave you a few tea shops so you could enjoy tea at home. Yumchaa, Fortnum and Mason and Kusmi Teas (as well as others) all offer a broad range of teas from around the world.

We visited a lot of sites, venues, archives and collections to develop these trails to have unique and original content. Be sure to take a look!