Where: Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia
Style: Modern cafe
Tea Selection: 8 sacheted loose leaf teas by Dammann Frères
Teatimes: Monday to Saturday 11-4, and private parties of 15 or more by reservation
Reservations: 48-hour notice
Cost: $35 Afternoon Tea
Destination Tea Tip: Circle around to the rear of Lenox Square Mall and follow the signs to the Neiman Marcus valet. The valet is on the top level of the parking deck, or you can park a level below, walk in, and take the elevator to the NM Cafe.
Prices and teatimes are subject to change. Please see our Georgia afternoon tea directory for the latest details.
Destination Tea Notes: Did you know that department store tearooms were all the rage in the early 20th century, both abroad and here in the United States? The opulence of that age was understandably diminished through two World Wars and the Great Depression, causing department stores to streamline their operations. By the 1950s, afternoon tea had been removed from most department store tearoom menus, but it was precisely at this time that luxury retailer Neiman Marcus opened its first restaurant, the Zodiac, in its flagship Dallas store, as a sales strategy, to keep customers from leaving for lunch. Today, 39 Neiman Marcus stores across the country have restaurants, and more than a dozen of these serve afternoon tea. Each city and chef has the ability to craft their menu to suit their customers’ demands, but certain Neiman Marcus classics are found nationwide (more on that later).
The exciting news for Atlantans is that until very recently Lenox Square Mall’s Neiman Marcus has only offered private tea parties to large groups. Thanks to the new General Manager, Stacy Holtz, NM Cafe has begun offering a regular teatime at the Atlanta location, no minimum party size. Naturally, as soon as we learned this, we reserved an afternoon tea.
Rather than the ornate department store tea salons of the past, NM Cafe has a modern design and quietly relaxed scene, tucked into the back of the store. If you find the cafe setting a bit casual for an afternoon tea, it’s worth noting that all other neighboring Buckhead teas cost twice as much. Come here for a yummy, scratch-made menu and the chance to treat yourself to an afternoon tea as a respite and social hour during your shopping trip.
Please note, we experienced an early version of their afternoon tea service that didn’t include the full menu, which is coming out now (pictured at the end of this post). Scones will be added to future afternoon teas at NM Cafe, fret not!