Destination Tea: The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta’s Naughty or Nice Holiday Tea

Where:  Downtown Atlanta, Georgia
Style:  Holiday elegance
Tea Selection:  6 loose leaf teas from Palais des Thés
Teatimes:  Special Tea Events
Reservations:  Required
Contact: 404-221-2088
Cost:  $70 Naughty Tea; $55 Nice Tea; $35 Child
Destination Tea Tips:  Bring cash to tip the valet, and if you’d like to take holiday photos (there are several good backdrops for it here), arrive about 15 minutes before your teatime. We recommend attending this holiday tea with a party of 6 or less (details below).

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

Holiday Tea at The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta

Destination Tea Notes: The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta throws an extravagant holiday tea party that will especially delight anyone who loves indulging their sweet tooth during the holidays. We happily recognize several familiar faces from the Spring Tea staff, who remain very attentive, busily making sure everyone has what they need. For this occasion, the Ritz has added a hot cocoa bar that serves up giant mugs of hot chocolate with all the trimmings, which “naughty” guests will have the option of spiking with Kahlua or Bailey’s. The Naughty Tea (a royal tea) also includes a glass of champagne, and strawberries marinated in Grand Marnier topped with chantilly cream.

We like the way the Ritz decants teas and refills your teacup with whichever tea you like, allowing you to try them all if you please. However, this method requires servers to frequently revisit the table to keep teacups full and warm, while also serving multiple courses of food and drink. This is why we recommend going to this holiday tea with a smaller party, to minimize interruptions and allow you a proper holiday visit. We did bring our gentlemen this time, and unsurprisingly, their consensus was that they would have liked less dessert and more savories. It’s true the savory and scone courses were everyone’s favorite, taste-wise, though the artful presentation of the desserts was a visual feast. We also appreciate the thoughtfulness of setting up several festive photo stations in the event space, so that family and friends can capture a holiday memory. That’s just what we did, creating a very special family picture, because my parents were visiting (our second time together since the pandemic hit).

family photo at Holiday Tea at The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta
The Fredas
banquet room at Holiday Tea at The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta
The banquet room festooned to ring in Christmas. Giant teddy bears await their photo opp.
photo station at Holiday Tea at The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta
Another photo station to pose for your Christmas Card portrait.
nutcracker at Holiday Tea at The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta
Santa Nutcracker, making sure every table has plenty of clotted cream

Tea Service

tea menu at Holiday Tea at The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta
Delicious teas by a Parisian tea maker, Blue of London being the favorite
teapots in a line at Holiday Tea at The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta
Beautiful teapots, tea is steeped and decanted at the bar
tea poured at Holiday Tea at The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta
Servers are kept busy refilling teacups around the table
hot cocoa station at Holiday Tea at The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta
Hot cocoa bar with all the trimmings
hot cocoa at Holiday Tea at The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta
This giant Santa-red mug decked with chocolate shavings, marshmallows, butterscotch chips and oreo crumble looks like a North Pole special.
champagne at Holiday Tea at The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta
Champagne at the ready for the “naughty” guests

Scones & Spreads, Savories and Sweets

savories at Holiday Tea at The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta
The only miss in the savories course is the bland Southern Egg Salad Biscuit. Otherwise, these are the favorite recipes of the afternoon, including Cucumber Sandwich on Rustic Bread, Smoked Salmon Vol Au Vent with Caviar (the perfect bite) and Prosciutto with Caramelized Fig on Focaccia.
children's tea sandwiches at Holiday Tea at The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta
Children’s tea sandwiches include ham and cheese and peanut butter and jelly two ways (one with Nutella)
scones and clotted cream at Holiday Tea at The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta
Served with lemon curd, clotted cream and jams, scones are perfectly warm and soft inside, in three flavors. The Ginger-Pecan and Cranberry Scone is wonderful.
Christmas desserts at Holiday Tea at The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta
This wooden snowy mountain chalet with advent-calendar-like cubbies substitutes for the tiered tray. Christmas-themed desserts include Petite Swiss Roll Holly Candle with Christmas Spiced Mousse, Chocolate-Cherry Ornament, Opera Christmas Present, Pear-Ginger Bavarian Christmas Tree and Red Velvet Santa Claus Macaron.
chantilly strawberries at Holiday Tea at The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta
A last sweet treat, the “naughty” guests enjoy their Grand Marnier marinated strawberries topped with thick cream.
piano Christmas tunes at Holiday Tea at The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta
We return to this beautifully decorated lobby for more photos, and Grandpa Freda treats us to some impromptu Christmas carols.
posing at Holiday Tea at The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta
Sometimes in regal settings, we like to pose for our imaginary cover shoot. Beneath this wall of aristocrat portraits,
how can we not imagine ourselves Lady of the Manor?
blue of london tea
The perfect companion beverage to write this review: the very same Blue of London tea by Palais des Thés, which we so enjoyed at the Ritz, found at Fresh Market. Note the hand-stitched cotton tea bags (love this non-toxic and biodegradable tea bag).
DestinationTea
Tea Voyageuse, discovering the world of afternoon tea, based in Atlanta, Georgia.

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