Destination Tea: Gala Desserts

Update: In 2022, Gala Desserts moved into a new location in Mount Pleasant, SC.

Where: Charleston, South Carolina
Style:  Coffeehouse cafe
Tea Selection:  Assortment of bagged Bigelow teas; 6 loose leaf teas by Charleston Tea Plantation
Teatimes: Tuesday to Thursday 7:30am-10pm; Friday until midnight; Saturday 9am-midnight
Reservations:  Reservations required for full tea; walk-ins welcome for cream tea
Contact:  843-212-3227
Cost: $25 Full Tea; $15 Child
; $10 Cream Tea
Destination Tea Tips:  
We scored several awesome wardrobe finds in neighboring National Children’s Cancer Society Thrift Store. Save time for a bit of retail therapy for a good cause!

Prices and teatimes are subject a change. Please see our South Carolina afternoon tea directory for the latest details.

exterior afternoon tea at Gala Desserts in Charleston, SC

Destination Tea Notes: Of course, one expects the baked goods to be the standout at a bakery afternoon tea, but please take your time to appreciate the savories at Gala Desserts because the tea sandwiches are so satisfying, it is our favorite course of their tea meal. We also take special pleasure in being served homemade lemon curd. My one note, which I mention to the kindly server is that a scratchmade afternoon tea of this caliber is rightly paired with high quality teas. That’s when she shows me their collection of Charleston Tea Plantation tins, explaining that they have new infusers on order, which is why they served Bigelow teabags instead. This reminds me that I want to shoot a video about the many ways to steep loose leaf teas soon, but I digress. Gala Desserts, which also offers paninis, salads, tapas and specialty cocktails (!!), would be a fun teatime outing for moms, both with the kids, and without. Kudos to Charleston once again — one of the top U.S. cities for afternoon tea and a recommended destination for your next tea tour — where we have now experienced three scrumptious afternoon teas of the eight on offer here.

entering afternoon tea at Gala Desserts in Charleston, SC
Entering Gala Desserts
interior afternoon tea at Gala Desserts in Charleston, SC
Pleasing interior design: white-glossed original tin tile ceiling, turquoise wall behind cubby shelves looks like a giant compartmented shadow box, and matching bright turquoise chairs feel playful.
front counter at afternoon tea at Gala Desserts in Charleston, SC
Light gold Tiffany chairs face the bustling street.

Tea Service

tea selection at afternoon tea at Gala Desserts in Charleston, SC
Each guest chooses a Bigelow tea and the server brings 3-cup teapots of hot water. Afterwards, when I suggest that high quality loose-leaf teas would be a better match to this tea meal, I find out that Gala stocks loose leaf teas from Charleston Tea Plantation, but are awaiting new infusers.
teacup at afternoon tea at Gala Desserts in Charleston, SC
I admire my elegant teacup and enjoy the sweet-zingy taste of the Ginger Peach Turmeric.
tea table at afternoon tea at Gala Desserts in Charleston, SC
For herbal and black teas, the teapots with hot water may not be the requisite boiling hot, but as you can see, this scrumptious tea tray has us all smiling.

Scones & Spreads, Savories and Sweets

savories at afternoon tea at Gala Desserts in Charleston, SC
The savories are delicious! Freshly baked breads are filled with egg salad, chicken salad with grapes and mozzarella with pesto (Angela’s favorite). Also pictured here are the delicious, zesty homemade lemon curd (“or lime? why so green?” we wondered), cream and jam.
desserts at afternoon tea at Gala Desserts in Charleston, SC
Cranberry-orange scones are just right, sharing the tray with dessert: pecan tarts, ginger cookies and the Venetian (Gala’s chocolate cake).
Tea Voyageuse, discovering the world of afternoon tea, based in Atlanta, Georgia.

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