Destination Tea: Château Élan Winery & Resort

Where:  Braselton, Georgia
Style:  Modern elegance
Tea Selection:  12 loose leaf teas
Teatimes:  Friday to Sunday, 2 to 4
Reservations:  24-hour notice
Contact:  Reserve here
Cost:  $75 Royal Tea; $55 Versailles Afternoon Tea
Destination Tea Tips: Upon entering the resort, follow signs to The Inn, go through the lobby and down the double staircase to Versailles Restaurant where afternoon tea is served. Thoughts to think upon: why not stay at the resort overnight and make it a weekend of tea and wine-tasting?

Prices and teatimes are subject to change. Please see our Georgia afternoon tea directory for the latest details.

exterior afternoon tea at Château Élan in Braselton, GA
Vines trailing up to the Winery Tasting Room (The Inn with Versailles restaurant is to the right)

Destination Tea Notes: Coming to afternoon tea at Château Élan has been an exercise in patience, and that patience has finally been rewarded! Years ago, just as Destination Tea was forming, Château Élan discontinued its well-known afternoon tea service. Then in 2020, after The Inn’s renovation, my friends in The Atlanta Tea Society discovered afternoon tea had returned to Château Élan, but before we could reserve our teatime, the pandemic arrived. Patience, Angela, patience! In June, Versailles reopened for afternoon tea, and we were at the ready.

The Versailles restaurant offers an array of seating options from intimate to open, in a collection of sleek peacock leather upholstered round booths and wall-length banquettes, traditional tables and lounge seating with low tables, accent lamps and potted plants. [Because of how the high ceiling affects the acoustics, guests who are hearing impaired may want to request a high-backed booth].

You feel as if you are in a grand museum hall, under an iron-paned glass ceiling softly lit by a glowing wave of hundreds of single globes in varying opacity. A harpist plays beautifully near a fountain that centers the space, but the real show begins when the natural light clouds over and rain begins to pour over the glass roof. It is at once romantic and sophisticated, the spell only slightly broken as the resort’s pool-goers traverse the space, peering at our elegant teatime. We smile at their curiosity and recommend the experience to them, which we find includes dedicated service, high quality teas and one of the best egg salad sandwiches we’ve had yet.

The Inn, afternoon tea at Château Élan in Braselton, GA
Either plan to valet or leave time to walk over to the Inn from surrounding parking lots
interior double staircase at afternoon tea at Château Élan in Braselton, GA
Double staircase pours into the recently renovated atrium
skylights at afternoon tea at Château Élan in Braselton, GA
We are seated amidst potted Birds of Paradise, near to the sweet music of the harpist.
Versailles tea table at afternoon tea at Château Élan in Braselton, GA
Appreciating the collection of chairs and couches in tan, grey and caramel. We seat one person per side of the table to practice social distancing.
Quiet nook and friends at afternoon tea at Château Élan in Braselton, GA
I spy my favorite nook in the atrium: a peacock blue wood paneled sitting area tucked between columns.

Tea Service

teapots and teacups at afternoon tea at Château Élan in Braselton, GA
Firstly, we love this teaware with its scalloped design in glossy ivory, trimmed and embellished with gold. Demitasse spoons perch on our teacups, awaiting our tea choices. Each guest is invited to select a large pot of tea, and we are all impressed with the high quality tea leaves that steep inside our pots. Our server kindly brings extra plates so that we may remove the black tea leaves after five minutes to prevent bitterness. However, look below to see how I am rewarded for allowing my Yunnan Silver Needle (a white tea with delicate, melon-like flavor) to continue steeping throughout the meal. Our server shares that this tea is their most requested, and I am so glad I chose it. Its light flavor becomes more distinct with each sip, but never competes with the rich afternoon tea foods. Definitely adding this tea to one of my top ten to enjoy with afternoon tea.
silver needle tea at afternoon tea at Château Élan in Braselton, GA
Angela’s white tea after 3 minutes…
longer steeped tea at afternoon tea at Château Élan in Braselton, GA
…and after 10 minutes

Scones & Spreads, Savories and Sweets

tea trays arrive at afternoon tea at Château Élan in Braselton, GA
Throughout our meal, our server is diligent about protecting her guests, wearing mask and gloves.
three-tier tray at afternoon tea at Château Élan in Braselton, GA
Unlike the typical afternoon tea plating, Château Élan blends the three courses throughout the tiers. Note the pretty turquoise swirl centered on these scalloped plates.
tea sandwiches and savories at afternoon tea at Château Élan in Braselton, GA
Sometimes the standards become the standouts of the tea meal. Served on melt-in-your-mouth white bread, Château Élan’s egg salad sandwiches with a touch of whole grain mustard are concocted exactly to our liking. While the stiff pumpernickel bread detracts from the cucumber-radish sandwich with dill cream cheese, we very much enjoy its gluten-free cousin: the burst of lemony crème fraîche hidden inside a cucumber topped with smoked salmon and capers. The crème fraîche doubles as filling for the marble rye rounds topped with prosciutto, and, calling to mind a summer trip to the shore, a pastry puff is stuffed with seafood salad.
clotted cream and spreads at afternoon tea at Château Élan in Braselton, GA
Our server graciously fortifies our supply of clotted cream, jam, marmalade and honey served in mini ramekins.
savories and scones at afternoon tea at Château Élan in Braselton, GA
The scones’ crispy outsides tell us they’ve been overdone. In contrast, the perfectly bite-sized petit fours each deliver a morsel of creamy sweetness in four flavors: tiramisu (above), almond, raspberry and custard (below).
egg salad sandwiches and desserts at afternoon tea at Château Élan in Braselton, GA
Yummy multi-flavored macarons complete the dessert course.
DestinationTea
Tea Voyageuse, discovering the world of afternoon tea, based in Atlanta, Georgia.

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