Destination Tea: The Café at Thistle Farms

Where:  Nashville, Tennessee
Style:  Modern farmhouse
Tea Selection:  8 loose leaf teas from Nashville-based Firepot Nomadic Teas
Teatimes:  Monday to Saturday, 1-3
Reservations:  24-hour notice
Contact:  615-953-6440 or Reserve Here
Cost:  $25 Afternoon Tea
Destination Tea Tips:
  Diners receive a discount at the gift shop where they can shop for a good cause (read more below).

Prices and teatimes are subject to change. Please see our Tennessee afternoon tea directory for the latest details.

exterior afternoon tea at The Cafe at Thistle Farms in Nashville, TN

Destination Tea Notes: My heart overflows as I write this review, because in all of Destination Tea’s afternoon tea directories, The Café at Thistle Farms is in a league of its own, with just a handful of peers. It is a social enterprise that, since 1997, has been “dedicated to helping women survivors recover and heal from trafficking, prostitution, and addiction.” They do this by providing 2-year housing, food, healthcare, therapy and education, free of charge to women who focus on living sober, honest and self-sufficient lives. Residents and graduates of the program can learn new job skills and make a living wage as employees of Thistle Farms, and after they leave the program, they still have access to counseling, education opportunities and emergency financial assistance. They say their community began with “with five women who allowed love’s gentle power to heal them. In these 20 years we have learned that peace can be as easy as sharing a story over a cup of tea..”

To take tea here is to participate in this peacemaking and healing, and it feels so good. All “goodwill-towards-women” feelings aside, this afternoon tea stands on its own as one we highly recommend, for its locally-sourced, scratch-made quality and scrumptiousness. We appreciate the friendly service as well, and note that whereas even some high-end hotels do not decant teas, the teas at Thistle Farms are perfectly steeped and decanted before coming to the table. The space, renovated just a couple years ago, is bright and welcoming, with a gorgeous teacup art installation hung in the foyer (read on to see why this is a highlight for Angela). We recommend an afternoon tea here as the perfect respite from the wild honky tonk nightlife of downtown Nashville. 

love heals at afternoon tea at The Cafe at Thistle Farms in Nashville, TN
Love this truism as wall mural.

“The name ‘Thistle Farms’ comes from the misunderstood thistle, the only flower to grow on the streets and alleys where the women of Thistle Farms have walked. Considered a weed by many, The thistle has a deep root that can shoot through concrete and survive drought. In spite of its prickly appearance, its soft purple flower and profound healing qualities make the thistle a mysterious and gorgeous flower. The thistle has become a symbol of survival and healing for our community and women survivors around the globe.”

– Thistle Farms’ Blog
teacup art installation at afternoon tea at The Cafe at Thistle Farms in Nashville, TN
Angela finally sees this art installation in person. The Café at Thistle Farms celebrated its 20th anniversary with this project, made in 2017 from donated teacups. Smart having a sitting area beneath, for leisurely perusal of the many teacup designs.
Angela's teacup at afternoon tea at The Cafe at Thistle Farms in Nashville, TN
Found it! We spy Angela’s Noritake “Halls of Ivy” china teacup, a wedding gift to Angela from her late Aunt Maryann. When Angela first learned of The Café at Thistle Farms and this teacup drive, she knew a memento of her Godmother Maryann’s spirit belonged here. Maryann was a powerful woman of huge heart and fierce desire to help others. She would be so proud of this enterprise.
interior of afternoon tea at The Cafe at Thistle Farms in Nashville, TN
The interior combines light walls with mixed tone woods.
cafe at afternoon tea at The Cafe at Thistle Farms in Nashville, TN
Sliding barn doors lead to the afternoon tea room.
tearoom at afternoon tea at The Cafe at Thistle Farms in Nashville, TN
A field of thistle is picture along one wall, opposite large iron-paned windows in the tea room.
table at afternoon tea at The Cafe at Thistle Farms in Nashville, TN
Our table sits beneath this wonderful photo of two women arm-in-arm.

Tea Service

tea selection at afternoon tea at The Cafe at Thistle Farms in Nashville, TN
Teas offered here are from a local tea company, Firepot, and guests are invited to choose one pot per two guests.
pouring tea at afternoon tea at The Cafe at Thistle Farms in Nashville, TN
We choose Firepot Breakfast and Iron Goddess of Mercy Oolong, both of which are perfectly brewed and decanted into glass pitchers. Elegant china cups are paired with ceramic saucers with flecked pattern.

Scones & Spreads, Savories and Sweets

salad at afternoon tea at The Cafe at Thistle Farms in Nashville, TN
For a nutrient boost, we add the salad, which is served with a lovely housemade lemon thyme vinaigrette.
afternoon tea at The Cafe at Thistle Farms in Nashville, TN
Portions are not bite-sized here, but you don’t hear us complaining.
sandwiches at afternoon tea at The Cafe at Thistle Farms in Nashville, TN
So scrumptious! Homemade chicken salad sandwiches on wheat and open-faced egg salad sandwiches with paprika and dill.
scones aat afternoon tea at The Cafe at Thistle Farms in Nashville, TN
The second tier holds cheese and spinach quiche and berry scones with icing, clotted cream and jam.
desserts at afternoon tea at The Cafe at Thistle Farms in Nashville, TN
Dessert includes white chocolate chip cherry cookies, chocolate ganache brownies, and the standout: orange blossom cake with whipped cream and strawberries, light and bursting with citrus flavor.
mantra at afternoon tea at The Cafe at Thistle Farms in Nashville, TN
Yes, yes, yes! As social enterprises go, The Café at Thistle Farms is a perfect fit for ladies who cherish the special bonds of tea sisterhood. By taking tea here, we get the chance to say we want to see all women thrive.
gift shop at afternoon tea at The Cafe at Thistle Farms in Nashville, TN
After afternoon tea, use your table’s discount card in the gift shop, where you’ll find gifts made by “woman-led justice enterprises” from around the globe, including handmade cosmetics from the women in residence at Thistle Farms. We snag an awesome “Love Heals Everybody” t-shirt.

We believe love is the most powerful force in the world.”

– Thistle Farms
DestinationTea
Tea Voyageuse, discovering the world of afternoon tea, based in Atlanta, Georgia.

2 Comments

  1. What an amazing place! Thanks for sharing about it. And, yes, both the teas and all of the tea foods looked delicious. I just found your blog and I look forward to more of your posts.

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