Where: Calabash, NC Style: Forest Cottage Tea Selection: 60+ loose leaf teas Teatimes: Wednesday to Saturday 11:30 or 1:30 Reservations: 24-hour notice Contact: 910-579-9500 Cost:$25.20 Ultimate Tea; $21.95 Light Tea; $12.95 Children’s Tea (ages 4 to 9); Cream Tea Destination Tea Tip: This popular tearoom has three cozy dining rooms, which can be reserved in their entirety for a group affair, so we recommend reserving your teatime here well in advance.
Destination Tea Notes: Your attention please, afternoon tea lovers, for it is time for us to gush! If you are remotely close to Calabash Garden Tea Room at any point in your foreseeable future, do not miss afternoon tea here. It is not often we issue imperatives like this, but hostess Kathy Cody is in a class all her own, applying her background in catering to craft one of the top afternoon tea menus we have ever had. She says that she puts “a lot of detail and a lot of love” into her made-fresh-daily and seasonally changing scones, savories and sweets, and we can confirm, we felt the love! It is very rare to be enamored of every morsel served on the curate (three-tier tray), but here, in this fairytale cottage, afternoon tea dreams become reality.
Where: Garden City, SC Style: Dainty Vintage Tea Selection: 40+ loose leaf teas by Tea Forté Teatimes: Monday-Saturday 10-4 Reservations: Walk-ins welcome, reservations strongly recommended Contact: 843-651-3071 or reserve here Cost:$22 High Tea; $16 Child’s High Tea (ages 12 and under) Destination Tea Tip: Over the summer this tearoom had a change in ownership, but loyal customers of the former Just Because IYQ should know that the new husband-wife team carries on the tearoom’s favorite recipes.
Destination Tea Notes: When Steven Neeves emerges from the kitchen to chat with us for a bit, he shares a story that brings a smile to my face: about when his wife Whitney, upon learning this tearoom would be closing, came to him to say, let’s do this! In only three years since Eileen Cyrus opened Just Because IYQ, she had garnered a loyal following of afternoon tea-goers, Whitney among them, who weren’t ready to say goodbye to their beloved local tearoom. In its second chapter, the now Whitney’s Tea Room & Cafe still offers its favorite recipes, passed on from Eileen to Steven (who, as a chocolatier, knows his way around a kitchen). This is one of those afternoon tea experiences that leaves you feeling happily spoiled, from the graciousness of the staff to the delicious meal, naturally preceded by a bit of dress-up. Having introduced a brunch service and clever vintage “sound system” (see below), the Neeves have already begun to inspire creative additions to the tearoom. We wish them every success in their new venture!
Where: Vancouver, BC Style: Traditional Luxury Tea Selection: 500+ loose leaf teas Teatimes: Daily 12-6 pm Reservations: Recommended, walk-ins welcome Contact: 604-692-0071 or via OpenTable Cost: $48 West Coast Tea Set; $48 Jubilee Tea Set; $42 Summer Tea Set; $39 Fortune Tea Set; $32 Chic Tea Set; $19 1837 Tea Set Destination Tea Tips: VERY SPECIAL — this is the only TWG Tea Salon in North America! Although teatime hours are listed as 2 to 6, they welcomed us earlier with a reservation. This would be the ideal place to win over the gents to the pleasures of taking tea, as several of TWG’s tea menus feature the hearty fare of a true high tea (supper).
Destination Tea Notes: Outstanding. One of the top 3 best afternoon teas we have had yet. Gods of afternoon tea, thank you for our “finding” TWG Tea Salon completely by chance, when passing it on the street. If one is not sufficiently blown away by TWG’s wondrous never-ending tea list, just wait until the food arrives, that should do it. There are half a dozen creative tea menus, some with tea pairing recommendations, each presenting sophisticated concoctions, locally sourced ingredients, and recipes infused with TWG teas. It was bittersweet discovering this recent addition to the Vancouver afternoon tea scene. We were so enamored of our experience that we immediately wanted to share it with all of you, but because TWG (The Wellbeing Group) is Singapore-based, their locations are logically prevalent throughout the Eastern hemisphere, with this being their only tea salon on our side of the globe. We’ll certainly keep our peepers peeled for any news of TWG Tea salon additions in North America. In the meantime, you’ll just have to make do with this visual feast.