Destination Tea: Winter High Tea at Ivy Tea House

Update: Ivy Tea House closed in January 2023.

Where: Historic Norcross, Georgia
Style:  Cottage chic
Tea Selection:  24 loose leaf teas
Teatimes:  Friday 12, 2 or 4, Saturday 12 or 2
Reservations: Pre-paid reservations with 4-day notice
Contact: Reserve Here or 470-424-4715
Cost:  $40 Spa Tea; $39 Winter Tea; $39 Abundance Tea; $39 Southern Brunch Tea; $30 Afternoon Tea; $30 Vegetarian Afternoon Tea; $30 Children’s Tea

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

winter tea at Ivy Tea House in Norcross, GA

Destination Tea Notes: Happily, we recently revisited Destination Tea’s “home teahouse” in Norcross, Georgia: the fabulous Ivy Tea House. We know we are lucky to be so close to this gem. After all, return visits are necessary to make sure we do not miss their seasonal tea menus, the latest of which is an Indian-themed high tea for the winter months. One of the many wonderful things about Ivy Tea House is that they allow each diner to choose their own afternoon tea menu, so each person can have the experience that most appeals to them, and everyone gets to sample that many more treats (if you’re in the sharing mood). We order one Winter Tea and one Southern Brunch Tea.

Side note: Though American and Australian tea-goers often use “high tea” and “afternoon tea” interchangeably, afternoon tea is the proper name for the fancy afternoon meal with 3-tiered tray of finger foods. (Get the full story on our Afternoon Tea 101 page). Because the winter menu from Ivy Tea House features main dishes that you eat with a fork, we think it is appropriate to categorize it as a high tea.

The inspiration for this winter’s tea menu came after an Indian family requested traditional foods for their private tea party. Tammy Johnson, queen of savories and Nicole Outler, pastry chef extraordinaire, began exploring Indian grocers and recipes, getting so pumped about these flavors that they decided to feature them in their winter tea menu. Fittingly, this menu incorporates ingredients that warm the body against winter chills according to Ayurvedic principals, such as pepper, mango, fig, mustard, sweet potatoes and cardamom. If you don’t already love Indian food, no worries, because this vegetarian menu delivers a flavor profile that spices things up without delivering overwhelming heat or pungency. A scrumptious virtual trip around the world!

Tea Selection

tea selection at winter tea at Ivy Tea House in Norcross, GA
Guests may choose their teas (one 4-cup pot per person) when reserving online, and will then find warm teapots of their chosen delights ready and waiting upon arrival. To pair with the Winter Tea’s Indian flavors, we recommend trying the Darjeeling, Spicy or Rustic Chai, Mango Honey, Green Garden or Carrot Cake.
teacup at winter tea at Ivy Tea House in Norcross, GA
We go with a favorite of ours: Lemon Meringue, and try the Green Garden rooibos, also adding an extra pot of Earl Grey Creme during the meal.

Scones & Spreads, Savories and Sweets

chaat and chutneys at winter tea at Ivy Tea House in Norcross, GA
First arrives a chaat similar to Indian bhelpuri, with onion, cilantro and mustard oil, puffed rice and peanuts. “Chaat” describes many different dishes offered as snacks by Indian street food vendors.
garlic naan and papadum at winter tea at Ivy Tea House in Norcross, GA
Toasted garlic naan and crisp papadum is paired with cilantro, tamarind, and chili chutney (which we happily add to all our savories as well).
savories at winter tea at Ivy Tea House in Norcross, GA
Each item in the savory course is delicious: Yogurt Rice with Pepper and Mustard Seed Chhonk (an infused oil), Tofu & Black Lentil Tikka Masala and Aloo Gobi with Sweet Potatoes and Cauliflower.
scones and desserts at winter tea at Ivy Tea House in Norcross, GA
Chai scones are paired with Ivy Cream and Orange Marmalade, followed by the dessert course, a dreamy Mango Lassi Mousse, and exotic Fig and Pistachio Barfi (an Indian fudge).
Angela of Destination Tea at winter tea at Ivy Tea House in Norcross, GA
When the little ones come to tea for the first time, it is a delight for all. She comments, “I smell something good and it’s coming from the kitchen.” That is correct!
Angela of Destination Tea and Valerie of The Cheeky Teacup at winter tea at Ivy Tea House in Norcross, GA
Hello to Valerie of The Cheeky Teacup, an Atlanta vintage tea party caterer. This picture also shows the Destination-Tea-approved Southern Brunch Tea tray (not to be missed!).
everything is better with tea and cake at winter tea at Ivy Tea House in Norcross, GA
Isn’t it though?
Tea Voyageuse, discovering the world of afternoon tea, based in Atlanta, Georgia.

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