Our Latest Afternoon Tea Directories (NJ, MA, RI)

Good news for you New England afternoon tea lovers:  you now have our full attention! Having just released our New Jersey directory last week, we are moving up the coast into chillier regions to help our Northeastern tea sisters find a great spot to warm up over afternoon tea. This week, we released directories for Massachusetts and Rhode Island, which showed a trend we’d like to delve into a bit.

Hampshire House Library for afternoon tea or high tea in Boston, MA
Private parties can reserve afternoon tea in Hampshire House, a turn-of-the-century Bostonian mansion

From Cape May, New Jersey, to Bar Harbor, Maine, we are finding that the Northeast is chock-full of historical-homes-cum-bed-and-breakfasts (B&Bs) that honor Victorian times with a complimentary afternoon tea service for overnight guests. We want Destination Tea users to know that in most cases these are light afternoon teas, offering two or three baked goods or savories served with tea. There are a few exceptions, where a B&B serves (both to in-house guests and the public) an elaborate homemade spread the likes of which you’d find in a stand-alone tearoom.

Which is which? Peruse our directories to find out! Typically, you will see a price listed for a B&B that offers a full afternoon tea service. We also encourage you to click through to the links in the “Details” column to get a preview of your various tea venue choices before you select your favorite, your next destination tea!

Destination Tea: The Market Tearoom and Country Store

Where:  West Columbia, SC
Style:  Country Market
Tea Selection:  200+ loose leaf teas
Teatimes:  Tuesday to Saturday 11, 12:30 or 2:30
Reservations:  24-hour notice
Contact:  themarkettearoom@gmail.com or Reserve Here
Cost:  $18 Afternoon Tea
Destination Tea Tip:  To find The Market Tearoom and Country Store, turn into the South Carolina State Farmers Market, then turn left into the lot for the Corbett Building and look for the big red barn doors on the building’s left side.Afternoon Tea at The Market Tearoom in West Columbia, SC

Destination Tea Notes:  The Market Tearoom and Country Store has that special excitement and creative energy of a newly born tearoom, expressed in the sincere welcome we received from owner Dupre Percival and manager/chef Jennifer Gerdes.  In addition to owning several successful food service and event planning businesses, Dupre is also a local food enthusiast. So when Dupre approached Jennifer  — who had been blending teas, making her own candles and hosting pop-up tea tastings — to suggest they pair up to convert his restaurant building’s front room into a tearoom and country store, she saw it was a natural fit. We saw that for ourselves, as customers passing through the tearoom paused to note our tea party and ask for more information on scheduling one of their own, or to order a freshly brewed tea to go. While the decor and South Carolina sourced wares give a country feel, Jennifer’s afternoon tea menu incorporates traditional southern and global flavors. The whole family enjoyed The Market Tearoom’s hospitality, finishing off our visit with a perusal of SC-made gifts and antique furniture.

Tea bar at The Market Tearoom in West Columbia, SC
Order from more than 200 varieties of tea at the bar.

Tea Service

Afternoon Tea table setting at the Market Tearoom in West Columbia, SC
Family dining table set for afternoon tea, with two pots of tea already steeped and waiting for us: South Carolina Signature (the house blend) and Moroccan Mint. Jennifer invited us to choose a third from her vast offering, and the kids requested Thai Chai, which they loved.
Interior The Market Tearoom Columbia SC
Walls lined with locally made goods and gifts; our curate arrives!

Scones & Spreads, Savories and Sweets

Fruit salad at The Market Tearoom in West Columbia, SC
Refreshing pink and blue fruit salad served family-style
Tea sandwiches at The Market Tearoom, SC
Generously sized finger sandwiches with perfectly soft bread included house pimiento cheese on white (tried very hard not to gobble this one), cranberry apple walnut chicken salad on wheat, and peach pepper ginger on cinnamon swirl.
Homemade scones of vanilla cream, masala chai and strawberry
Jam and cream for scones at The Market Tearoom in West Columbia, SC
Locally made blueberry lime jam and vanilla cream spreads for our scones
Tea desserts at The Market Tearoom in West Columbia, SC
Desserts included the exotic Leela’s mysore pak (an Indian sweet), “half-naked” strawberry basil petit fours (amazing) and pizelles (Italian wafer cookies) Jennifer handmakes from an inherited press.
Afternoon tea at The Market Tearoom in West Columbia, SC
We had a great time! About to go shopping amongst the displays of locally made goods, including jewelry made from chipped or dropped tearoom china. Love the upcycling!

Plan Your Autumn Teatimes, from Missouri to Pennsylvania

Autumn is trying very hard to make its appearance down here in Atlanta, where our afternoons are still heating up to 80 or 90 degrees. When cooler temperatures were forecasted for the weekend, my daughter sighed, “finally!”

For us afternoon tea goers, cool temperatures elicit memories and anticipation of gathering with good friends over a pot of hot tea and delicious treats. To make this time of year even more festive, many tearooms host special event teas, with a harvest or holiday theme. So much scrumptious fun to be had!

To assist you in making your fall and winter teatime reservations, we are busy researching and launching new state directories for afternoon tea every week. This week we have added afternoon tea directories for Pennsylvania and Missouri, including any special event tea dates.

As usual, it was a joy to talk with the hostesses and hosts of afternoon tea in these states as we discovered the variety of venues where afternoon tea can be found. In Pennsylvania, as well as at a tearoom, teahouse or inn, your next destination tea could be at a vegan bakery, mansion, antiques store, English pub, museum, or, like in Missouri, at a school! Both states boast an afternoon tea service prepared and served on campus by students. For all the details and to plan your next destination tea, peruse our state directories here.

Afternoon tea at Lancaster County Career & Technology Center in Mount Joy, PA