Destination Tea: Ivy Tea House

Where: Historic Norcross, GA
Style:  Cottage chic
Tea Selection:  18+ loose leaf teas
Teatimes:  Wednesday to Friday 11 to 5, and Saturday by reservation
Reservations: 48-hour notice for Spa Tea, Brunch Tea or Southern Tea; walk-ins welcome for Ivy Tea menu Wednesday to Friday
Contact: 470-424-4715 or Reserve Here
Cost:  $38 Spa Tea; $36 Brunch Tea; $36 Southern Tea; $26 Ivy Tea; $20 Mommy and Me Tea; $15 Children’s Tea
Destination Tea Tips:  Plan return visits to sample all four scrumptious tea menus, but if you can only do one, we say it’s a toss-up between the Brunch Tea and Southern Tea. And bring the gents! Wednesday to Friday, a lunch menu is served alongside afternoon tea, but you may find the Brunch Tea or Southern Tea filling enough to satiate the heartier appetites. “This was actually substantial,” testifies one serious eater for whom past afternoon teas had been too dainty (love you, Dad).

Exterior of Ivy Tea House in Norcross

Destination Tea Notes: Introducing Destination Tea’s official “home” teahouse! Little did Nicole Outler know that she was granting our wish when she opened Ivy Tea House in historic Norcross this March, but she’s earned our gratitude and adoration all the same. Since the closing of the Faded Rose in Chamblee, long have we awaited a tearoom in our neck of the woods that embodies all the things we love about afternoon tea:  a beautiful space with creative touches; knowledgable and gracious service; reasonably-priced, fabulous, scratch-made goodies; and of course, quality teas. Get thyselves comfortable, because this review wins the Award for Most Pics. How else could we properly give you a virtual tour of Ivy Tea House’s abundant afternoon tea offerings? 

Ivy Tea House is the perfect place for converting your friends and family into afternoon tea lovers. Firstly, hand-crafting delicious food is a talent Nicole comes by honestly. Her parents are long-time caterers who formerly ran their popular Bleu House Cafe out of this location. Smartly, Nicole renovated the space, but kept her brother’s secret-recipe focaccia bread on the teahouse menu. And she’s no slouch in the kitchen herself, having run her Gingerspice Bakery wedding cake business and dessert counter for years before treating us teahouse customers to her culinary imaginings (which she imagines in double servings!). Secondly, tea is not an afterthought, as it can sometimes be at venues with serious kitchen cred. Atlanta tea enthusiast Aranthza (“Ari”) Fenimore is on staff here, where she curates a diverse and flavorful tea experience for guests, while dreaming of educational special events to come, like tea tastings or four-course dinners with tea pairings.

Over the course of our five visits in the three months since this teahouse opened, we’ve already seen exciting developments, like the new outdoor seating on the covered patio. As this young team continues to expand their creative vision for Ivy Tea House, we’ll be on the lookout for updates to share with you. For now, feast your eyes on this.

Outside patio of Ivy Tea House in Norcross, GA
We’d gladly take a romantic tea in rain or sun on this covered patio, ensconced in greenery and shaded with simple DIY wooden blinds.
Ivy Tea House logo in Norcross, GA
Can you picture our excitement at first sight of this filigreed logo?
cane furniture interior Ivy Tea House in Norcross, GA
Pretty glass-topped cane tables can be difficult to scoot up to for the long-legged. Dad made do by straddling the table legs to get in close and personal with our tea tray.
knit bunting and pocket garden in Ivy Tea House in Norcross, GA
Nicole emphasizes her appreciation for Norcross’ greenery with a pocket garden as wall art.
interior tearooms at Ivy Tea House in Norcross, GA
The teahouse has two rooms which seat about 36 diners.
Upholstered wall in Ivy Tea House
Nicole worked on the renovation herself, and we enjoy her choice of fabric on the upholstered banquet wall.
Lit tearooms inside Ivy Tea House in Norcross, GA
Long windows allow natural light into the space, which is grounded by a dark grey-blue floor.
Table setting at Ivy Tea House in Norcross, GA
Befitting its name, the teahouse’s windows are framed in ivy.
winking Bailey's cups at Ivy Tea House
Winking Bailey’s cups want you to know that its BYOC here (bring your own champagne).
Angela Renals of Destination Tea at Ivy Tea House in Norcross, GA
Hello from Angela in her happy place

Tea Service

Setting a place for Grandma at Ivy Tea House in Norcross, GA
On our family visit here a week after Angela’s grandmother’s passing, we set a place for her. Our thanks to the staff at Ivy Tea House for helping us honor her in this way.
Flower centerpiece at Ivy Tea House in Norcross, GA
Lovely flower centerpieces, and fun blue glassware
Flower teacup at Ivy Tea House in Norcross, GA
Part of the adventure is discovering beautiful teacups around the table.
Tea menu at Ivy Tea House in Norcross, GA
We like every tea we try here, including the smoky Lapsang Souchong, black Vanilla, black Southern Peach, rooibos Vanilla Berry Truffle, green rooibos (a first) Lemon Merengue, roasted Genmaicha and spicy Chai tea.
Flavored iced waters at Ivy Tea House in Norcross, GA
A refreshing preamble, iced water infused with cucumber, or on another day, grapefruit, in vintage glassware
Fun tea cup at Ivy Tea House
Found another great cup!
Iced tea lattes at Ivy Tea House
Tea is bottomless here – yes! Guests may each choose a pot of hot tea or free refills of an iced version. Here, our young reviewer enjoys a Vanilla Berry Truffle rooibos iced latte — a yummy sugar- and caffeine-free choice for kids.
Pouring tea at Ivy Tea House in Norcross, GA
On our every visit, Ari is accommodating and an excellent tea guide, this time offering to prepare us her recommended blend of Rose Petals with English Breakfast and Earl Grey. Love it!

Scones & Spreads, Savories and Sweets

Nicole Outler of Ivy Tea House in Norcross, GA
Hello Nicole!
Three-tier trays at Ivy Tea House
In keeping with their golden logo, a sea of shimmering tea trays

Spa Tea

Spa Tea savories at Ivy Tea House
Wisely acknowledging the growing trend towards vegan/gluten-free/refined-sugar-free diets, Nicole wants to offer an afternoon tea that still feels like a special treat, even if it is a super healthy one. The Spa Tea is gluten-free and refined-sugar-free. It includes Smashed Avocado & Radish on Cauliflower Toast (amazing!), Nori Quinoa Roll, tasty Chicken Satay Lettuce Wraps…
Tahini dip with veggies at Ivy Tea House
…and assorted fresh veggies with magical tahini dip (tween-approved).
Spa Tea desserts at Ivy Tea House in Norcross, GA
The Spa Tea desserts include granola yogurt parfait, vegan chocolate pecan brownie (so good) and fresh fruit.

Brunch Tea

Brunch Tea at Ivy Tea House
Make way for the hearty Brunch Tea!
We love the Brunch Tea! Savories include smoked salmon tartine with capers and dill, mini bacon quiche and chicken sausage balls.
Scones and cream for Brunch Tea at Ivy Tea House
The Brunch Tea includes golden raisin scones served with jam, lemon curd and “ivy cream,” the teahouse’s homemade substitute for Devonshire cream. Somewhere between a butter and a whipped cream, it is SO good!
Dessert course of Brunch Tea at Ivy Tea House in Norcross, GA
The Brunch Tea desserts include mini cinnamon rolls (yes!), peach-pistachio squares (our favorite pieces are a bit crispy and chock-full of nuts) and fresh fruit.

Southern Tea

Southern Tea at Ivy Tea House in Norcross, GA
The Southern Tea may be our favorite.
In case you can’t automatically see why, read on.
And hello, Ari!
Savories of Southern Tea at Norcross, GA's Ivy Tea House
Another filling tea menu, the Southern Tea includes Sweet Potato Rounds with cranberries and goat cheese (clever to use sweet potato as a substitute for another bread), tomato pie, and the outstandingly wonderful deviled tea egg with pepper jelly and jalapeno. Also, we are treated to our first butter pecan scones…
Desserts at Ivy Tea House in Norcross, GA
…which are served with jam, lemon curd and ivy cream. Desserts include fresh fruit alongside fabulous banana pudding parfait and praline brownie, both so rich and creamy, but not overbearingly sweet.

Ivy Tea

The Ivy Tea at Ivy Tea House in Norcross, GA
The Ivy Tea is the teahouse’s standard afternoon tea on offer without reservations.
Savories of Ivy Tea at Ivy Tea House in Norcross, GA
What you see here is a serving for one! The Ivy Tea House doubles down on its menu items, which for the Ivy Tea include a choice of three savories: avocado toast, ham and brie sandwich, smoked salmon toast, tarragon chicken salad profiterole and (pictured) egg salad sandwich, pimento cheese phyllo cup or cucumber sandwich on focaccia. Just look at this freshness.
Scones and desserts at Ivy Tea House in Norcross, GA.
The scrumptious scone of the day with jam, lemon curd and ivy cream is included with the Ivy Tea, as well as classic cream puffs and lemon squares for dessert. Yes, please!

Children’s Tea

Children's Tea at Norcross, GA
Ivy Tea House sticks to popular kids menu foods (cheese, bread, chicken, PB&J, cookie), but adds a bit of refinement and choice ingredients to make their Children’s Tea feel special. Note: our Children’s Tea savories include peanut butter and jam phyllo cups, chicken kebobs and pimiento cheese sandwiches, but since our visit, the menu now serves chocolate and strawberry cup, ham and pimiento cheese pinwheel and chicken kebobs.
chocolate chip cookies at Norcross, GA's Ivy Tea House
Warm, generously-sized chocolate chip cookies are served fresh from the oven!
Outdoor wooded area at Ivy Tea House in Norcross, GA
Bordering the gravel parking lot, wouldn’t this wooded area make the perfect setting for a fairy garden tearoom?
DestinationTea
Tea Voyageuse, discovering the world of afternoon tea, based in Atlanta, Georgia.

6 Comments

  1. I’m so glad you have a lovely tea house in your area now. (Just wish there was one in mine!). Everything looks so delicious. If I’m in the Norcross area, I will certainly visit!

    1. Our patience was rewarded, and we hope yours will be too someday! In the meantime, if you ever make the trip down, we’d love to meet you there. Hope you are enjoying the summer!

  2. This place is everything you say it is! One of the best tea-houses ever. As to the honorary seat for Grandma, I am speechless (except in my heart). Thank you.

  3. First of all, this is by far the best post I’ve seen on Destination Tea. Congrats Angela!

    Wow, this tea-house certainly exceeded my expectations! Offerings were ample and scrumptious. Kudos to the folks behind the scenes that make it a very special experience. This one should be a “must visit” on any tea-lover’s list. Go, you won’t be disappointed!

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