Dezeen Magazine

Teatulia by Russell Sage Studios

Tea shop meets cocktail bar in London's Teatulia

Russell Sage Studio looked to the crops of Bangladesh to form the rich-hued interiors of this tea shop and bar in central London, which serves hot drinks by day and alcohol-infused tipples at night.

Teatulia is situated on Neal Street in Covent Garden, a tourist-filled shopping district populated with fashion boutiques, eateries and some of London's most prestigious theatres.

Teatulia by Russell Sage Studios

This is the tea brand's first standalone store in the capital, whose products have until now only been stocked in luxury retailers such as Harrods. The shop will serve six different brews of hot tea during the day and in the evening will offer customers an extensive selection of tea-based cocktails.

All of the beverages are made with leaves picked in the Tetulia Garden, a tea-growing region of northern Bangladesh and from where the brand takes its name.

This was the starting point for Russell Sage Studio, which designed the store's interiors. Starting with a blank canvas, they decided to develop a colour and material palette based on photographs of the Tetulia landscape.

"We tried to mix these influences with modern materials, textures, and finishes," the studio told Dezeen.

Teatulia by Russell Sage Studios

Deep blue paint has been applied to the lower half of the walls to mimic the region's skies, while a panel of oakwood inlaid with hessian has been put up behind the bar in reference to the fabric sacks traditionally used to transport tea leaves.

Several turquoise and cherry-red leather chairs have been dotted throughout, echoing the brightly-hued clothing of workers in the Tetulia Garden fields.

Pops of colour are also provided by the openly displayed jars of tea that customers can purchase, and the curved terrazzo bar counter that features oversized yellow and green-coloured aggregate.

Teatulia by Russell Sage Studios

At the rear of the store is a living room-style seating area backed by a large gridded shelf, currently filled with an array of novels curated by the Oscar-winning Scottish actress Tilda Swinton.

Every month a different actor, musician, or writer will choose what books appear in-store, as part of the brand's hope to form a "unique blend of tea shop, cocktail bar, and literary salon".

Teatulia by Russell Sage Studios

Russell Sage Studio is based in London's Victoria and has previously developed interiors for a host of other restaurants in the city including Dishoom in Shoreditch and Quaglino's in St James.

Similar to Teatulia, central London eatery Farmer J serves coffee and snacks to commuters during the day before becoming a spot for cocktails after dark.