Update: In 2020, The Confection Cottage Bakery & Tea Room (renamed in August 2019) closed.
Where: Aiken, South Carolina Style: Cheerful Cafe Tea Selection: 2 proposed loose leaf teas from list of 100+ Teatimes: Tuesday to Saturday, 8:30 to 4 Reservations: 48-hour notice Contact: 803-335-1440 Cost: $30 High Tea; $30 Gongfu Cha Chinese Tea Ceremony; $28 Afternoon Tea; $10 Cream Tea Destination Tea Tips: Consider paying the add-on fee to have owner Lady Kelly MacVean hostess your tea. Certified by the U.K. Tea Council, the American Tea Master Association as a “Tea Master,” and International Tea Education Institute (ITEI), Lady Kelly can give you a thorough introduction to afternoon tea. Even if you are an afternoon tea connoisseur, you may still learn something new from Lady Kelly – we did!
Destination Tea Notes: Every now and again we discover a tearoom the likes of La Dolce, where a professional, creative eye attends to every detail in cultivating an afternoon tea service that is authentic and unique all at once. Not only do we love Lady Kelly MacVean’s taste in hats, we also appreciate her love of tradition and history. She’s not play-acting when she calls herself a “lady,” because she is one, having purchased property in the Scottish Highlands during her time living abroad. She sets the tea table with antiques and vintage teaware. As a dual-certified tea master, she recommends tea pairings and hosts tea tastings to help others develop a love of tea. And she wisely teams up with her daughter, Chef Kirstie Wohlfeil, who whips up a scrumptious, made-from-scratch afternoon tea menu.