Destination Tea: Mandarin Oriental Atlanta

Where: Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia
Style:  Classic luxury
Tea Selection:  12 loose leaf teas by Tealeaves
Teatimes: Thursday to Sunday, 2:30-4:30
Reservations:  Required
Contact:  404-995-7500 or online
Cost: $38 Traditional Afternoon Tea
Destination Tea Tips:  Though the Mandarin has a Peachtree Road address, you’ll actually turn onto Stratford Road to enter the hotel driveway. Reminder to bring cash to tip the valet.exterior Mandarin Oriental Atlanta

Destination Tea Notes:  We celebrated when the Mandarin Oriental Atlanta reinstated its afternoon tea service this summer, especially given that an icon of afternoon tea – the Ritz-Carlton – closed its Buckhead hotel earlier this year. At the Mandarin, you will find every component of a traditional afternoon tea at an upscale hotel:  gracious service, leisurely pace, elegant decor, luxury tea selection and an elevated culinary take on the standard sweets and savories. Fancified girlfriends laugh over their royal teas (champagne added) in the ivory rotunda while other guests step through to the sunlit, charcoal grey bar room to take a late lunch or cocktail. As our servers encourage an unrushed affair, we happily settle into our quiet alcove for a private, uninterrupted teatime chat.

paper fans in Mandarin Oriental foyer
Trademark grey and cream paper fans with bouquet sentinels in the entryway
Cafe & Bar in Mandarin Oriental Atlanta
The Mandarin’s Café & Bar is comprised of seating areas round and grand, long and sleek, and quietly tucked away in alcoves and beneath stairs.
Table at Cafe & Bar at Mandarin Oriental Atlanta
Coveting this table under a winding staircase

Tea Service

Sample tea jars from Tealeaves at Mandarin Oriental Atlanta
Our favorite way to choose our teas:  by smell!
french presses at Mandarin Oriental Atlanta
Teas are served in French presses, which must be poured with confidence to avoid dripping. We start with masala chai and organic lychee green, and finish with the Shanghai rose – all delicious.

Scones & Spreads, Sandwiches and Savories

Scones and preserves at Mandarin Oriental Atlanta
Our scones arrive nestled in a cloth napkin to keep warm, paired with strawberry preserves, clotted cream and marmalade.
Tea sandwiches at Mandarin Oriental Atlanta
Apart from the cucumber being a bit watery, all the sandwiches are scrumptious, including smoked salmon with American Hackleback caviar on sourdough, truffle egg salad with chopped shallots on white, cucumber dill with boursin on rye, and curry chicken salad on wheat. Yum!
Desserts at Mandarin Oriental Atlanta
Desserts bear a British influence, such as the Royal Wedding lemon elderflower cake and the petite Vicki (miniature Victoria sponge cake). They bookend a chocolate brownie that is nearer to a fudge in its density. Fruit tarts and filled, buttery cookies finish this generous dessert course.
DestinationTea
Tea Voyageuse, discovering the world of afternoon tea, based in Atlanta, Georgia.

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