Where: Hendersonville, NC
Style: Romantic cottage
Tea Selection: 40 loose leaf teas
Teatimes: Wednesday to Friday, 11-5; Saturday 11-4
Reservations: 24-hour notice for full afternoon tea; walk-ins welcome for cream tea
Cost: $18.95 Miss Camelias Afternoon Tea; $15.95 Sugarbakers Southern Belle Tea; $12 Children’s Tea; $5 Cream Tea
Destination Tea Tip: Housed in a former feed supply store, this inviting teahouse would be a great venue for an intimate celebration (think bridal/baby shower, birthday, retirement party).
Destination Tea Notes: Hostess Kym Brown masterfully decorates her petite teahouse such that it feels cozy without feeling cluttered, sweet but not saccharine, and pretty without being too frilly for the gentlemen. I know because my partner at this review is my husband, for whom I someday need to dedicate a separate blog post: “When John Goes to Tea.” Let’s just say it’s a bit of a bull-in-a-china-shop situation, and, as it happens, this time the bull is on a no-carb diet. In other words, my husband loves me! And happily, he finds several things worth flexing his dietary rules for here. It’s easy to do, as Hostess Kym Brown serves a scrumptious afternoon tea with one of the best egg tea sandwiches ever, and delightful desserts from nearby bakery Gateaux. Kym — who has been in the tea business for many years, culminating in her opening A Southern Cup (now 3 years old) — has an authentic appreciation for the custom of afternoon tea, and a smile for all her guests with whom she happily shares tales of tearoom life. We learn that community members regularly donate inherited family heirloom teasets to A Southern Cup. As we get to know how connected she is to her community, we see that these gifts make sense: around here, Kym is the center of tea life.