Where: Hendersonville, North Carolina Style: Charming cafe Tea Selection: 14 loose leaf teas Teatimes: Tuesday to Saturday 11:30-1:30 (last seating), and Special Tea Events Reservations: 24-hour notice for afternoon tea; walk-ins welcome for cream tea (Tu-Sat, 10-3) Contact: 828-845-4242 Cost: $25 Afternoon Tea; Cream Tea $7.95 Destination Tea Tip: This new teahouse is very popular, so book your reservations well in advance.
Destination Tea: The Book & Bee Cafe & Tea — newly opened this year, just 30 minutes south of Asheville — was the perfect teahouse to pair with our book club’s visit to the Biltmore. We set out to tour “The Last Castle” after reading this book by Denise Kiernan, and how à propos to kick off our trip by meeting fellow bibliophiles Lesley Shipley and Victoria Cummins, the mother-daughter owners of The Book & Bee. Throughout the teahouse, you’ll find nods to the ladies’ favorite tales and love of British culture, from the book spines front steps to the themed tea rooms, and teas given literary names. A Harry Potter fan in our group even spied a Marauder’s Map teapot. Lunch is also served here, where most everything is made from scratch, and we appreciate that seasonal ingredients are featured. The Book & Bee afternoon tea experience is so lovely from start to finish (as well as extremely affordable, with service that is on point) that the afternoon tea newbies in our group became instant fans of the tradition. Reviewing the weekend, one in our group even comments, “the afternoon tea was the highlight of our trip.”