Destination Tea: Donaldson-Bannister Farm

Where:  Dunwoody, Georgia
Style:  Colonial revival
Tea Selection:  2 prepared teas
Teatimes:  Annual Afternoon Tea (Spring)
Reservations:  Pre-paid reservations required
Contact:  770-668-0401
Cost:  $40 Sesquicentennial Afternoon Tea
Destination Tea Tips:
  While the Dunwoody Preservation Trust is considering adding seating to welcome more guests at future teas, we advise following DPT on social media or routinely visiting our Georgia directory to make sure you get a ticket to this limited seating event when it’s announced. Note that though the farm has a Chamblee-Dunwoody Road address, the parking lot is on Vermack Road.

Afternoon Tea at Donaldson-Bannister Farm in Dunwoody, Georgia

Destination Tea Notes: Fifteen years before Destination Tea was founded, afternoon tea was served in our hometown – Dunwoody, Georgia – at the Farmhouse Tea Shoppe, housed in the first historic home saved and restored by the Dunwoody Preservation Trust (DPT): the Cheek-Spruill House. DPT was actually first formed to save this 1906 farmhouse, and went on to manage the restoration of a second historic Dunwoody property: the Donaldson-Bannister Farm. Especially because we have long regretted missing out on a visit to the former Dunwoody teahouse, we love that DPT has brought afternoon tea back to historic Dunwoody, by celebrating the Donaldson-Bannister Farm’s 150th anniversary with a tea party, which they plan to host annually.

The ladies of DPT’s Sesquicentennial Committee (say that three times fast) diligently researched and menu-planned this afternoon tea with the guidance of local author Judith McLoughlin of Shamrock and Peach tour company, who served as guest speaker between courses. The culmination of their preparations and cooking was a relaxing, yummy teatime peppered with afternoon tea education and heartfelt stories. We look forward to this becoming an annual tradition in our community, where friends old and new gather in a historic setting to support the DPT’s work in a very delicious way.

wagon at Afternoon Tea at Donaldson-Bannister Farm in Dunwoody, Georgia
Appreciating the gem green accent color used on these doors and shutters.
entering Afternoon Tea at Donaldson-Bannister Farm in Dunwoody, Georgia
Aprons at the ready
Judith McLoughlin at Afternoon Tea at Donaldson-Bannister Farm in Dunwoody, Georgia
Hello Judith (and to her right, Dunwoody Mayor Lynn Deutsch)!

Tea Service

teapots at the ready at Afternoon Tea at Donaldson-Bannister Farm in Dunwoody, Georgia
A mix of pretty teapots standing by in the kitchen, ready to serve the prepared Irish Breakfast tea, which Judith explains is primarily Assam, blended with Kenyan tea for a malty flavor. In contrast, she says, English Breakfast tea blend is a bit more delicate. In Ireland, she tells us, Irish Breakfast is known as “a good cup of tea you can stand on.” She recommends adding milk as they typically do in Ireland.
pretty teapot at Afternoon Tea at Donaldson-Bannister Farm in Dunwoody, Georgia
A little bird perches over a rose vine on this pretty teapot. The second tea served is a tisane: Herbal Fruit Paradise, a blend of berries, rose hips, currants and hibiscus.
teacup art at Afternoon Tea at Donaldson-Bannister Farm in Dunwoody, Georgia
Many of the teacups are loaned to DPT by David Long, a longtime community supporter and local interior designer, like this one with an Asian garden motif. The DPT committee supplemented his collection with thrift store finds.
Irish Breakfast at Afternoon Tea at Donaldson-Bannister Farm in Dunwoody, Georgia
My first time spying a forked handle on a teacup – love these details

Scones & Spreads, Savories and Sweets

three-tiered tray at Afternoon Tea at Donaldson-Bannister Farm in Dunwoody, Georgia
Extra tall, ornamental three-tiered trays crown our tables.
tea sandwiches at Afternoon Tea at Donaldson-Bannister Farm in Dunwoody, Georgia
Tea sandwiches include Roast Beef with Horseradish Mayonnaise (very nice), Salmon with Cream Cheese Dill Spread, a rich Pimento Cheese, and a table favorite – Cucumber with Cream Cheese Dill Spread.
scones at Afternoon Tea at Donaldson-Bannister Farm in Dunwoody, Georgia
Homemade currant scones are flaky and buttery, served with mock clotted cream and preserves.
desserts at Afternoon Tea at Donaldson-Bannister Farm in Dunwoody, Georgia
Dessert includes gingerbread cookies, lemon tarts, and super yummy chocolate cinnamon cookies, almond shortbread cookies and raspberry crumble bars. The DPT committee should be commended for some excellent baking!
Judith McCloughlin and Angela Renals at Afternoon Tea at Donaldson-Bannister Farm in Dunwoody, Georgia
Judith is a lovely ambassador for tea customs and traditions. I so enjoy meeting her, and dreaming of a tea tour in Ireland (someday!). Throughout the tea, Judith speaks about the history of afternoon tea and Irish tea customs, such as offering a cup of tea as a mark of hospitality, and shares her teapot collection with us to demonstrate the evolution of the teapot from clay yixing teapots to silver and finally porcelain. In this picture she is holding a Wedgwood teapot originally created in 1761, for John Wesley of the Methodist Church. Its design has a rose for England, a thistle for Scotland and shamrock for Ireland. I was touched to learn that this teapot has prayers printed on each side, to say grace before tea is poured:
“Be present at our Table Lord
Be here and everywhere ador’d
These creatures bless & grant that we
May feast in Paradice with thee.”
the Shamrock and Peach by Judith McLoughlin at Afternoon Tea at Donaldson-Bannister Farm in Dunwoody, Georgia
The mock clotted cream served at the tea is a recipe from Judith’s book, which spans food culture from Judith’s Irish heritage to her present day life in the American South.
DestinationTea
Tea Voyageuse, discovering the world of afternoon tea, based in Atlanta, Georgia.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *