Where: Cornelius, North Carolina
Style: French country home
Tea Selection: 50 loose leaf teas
Teatimes: Tuesday to Saturday, 10 to 3
Reservations: 24-hour notice for Afternoon Tea, High Tea and Royal Tea; Walk-ins welcome for Cream Tea or Luncheon Tea
Cost: $45 Grand High Tea Royale; $39 Traditional High Tea; $32 Afternoon Tea; $22 Luncheon Tea; $14 Cream Tea
Destination Tea Tip: Before calling to make your reservation, visit the cafe’s online menu to peruse your tea sandwich choices, as you will pre-order these when you reserve your teatime. Note there is also a full lunch menu available as well, and the cafe has outdoor seating out front, some of which is covered.
Prices and teatimes are subject to change. Please see our North Carolina afternoon tea directory for the latest details.
Destination Tea Notes: What, you ask, most impresses us about royal tea at the French Market Cafe and Gourmet Shop? As they say, it’s all in the details. Repeatedly, owners Kathy and Bob Montbleau surprise us with thoughtful touches that add up to a very satisfying afternoon tea experience. Like the moment you bite into the strawberry garnishing your champagne flute, to discover it’s been marinating in champagne itself. Another rare but welcome provision: each place setting has a small dish at the ready, to collect tea infusers we remove from our teapots once our teas are steeped to our liking. If you usually push your croutons to the side, do not make that mistake here, where these tasty homemade wonders are seasoned to perfection, taking the creamy tomato basil soup to another level of scrumptiousness. Part of the fun of returning here throughout the year will be walking into a refreshed tearoom, set with holiday themed decorations and table settings, echoed in seasonal menu items and teas. We like the small note on our table that kindly requests we enjoy our 90-minute reserved seating time. This can be a touchy thing to communicate, as afternoon tea is a leisurely affair, but it’s done graciously here, and we find the allotted time ample to enjoy our 5-course meal. Our server is friendly and attentive, while Kathy herself makes the rounds in the dining room to see that her guests are pleased with their meals. We are!
Scones & Spreads, Savories and Sweets
Guests can take home confections, teas, scones and more, sold in the market at front of the store.