Destination Tea: Maggie Mae’s Tea Room at 1902 Stock Exchange

Where: Adairsville, Georgia
Style:  Southern, Historic
Tea Selection:  Pre-sweetened, flavored iced teas; Assortment of Stash bagged teas
Teatimes:  Parties of 8 or more, Tuesday to Saturday, 11 to 2
Reservations: 1-week notice
Contact: 770-773-1902
Cost:  $25.80 Tea Luncheon
Destination Tea Tips: 1902 Stock Exchange, which houses the tea room in one-third, has antiques and gifts for sale in the remaining two-thirds, so leave time for shopping!

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

Exterior tea lunch at Maggie Mae's Tea Room in 1902 Stock Exchange in Adairsville, GA

Destination Tea Notes: Tearooms like Maggie Mae’s are actually a big part of the reason Destination Tea exists today. These tearooms have been operating for decades, and may not have a sizable online presence, their business already thriving from having established a loyal customer base over the years. We were glad to finally gather a group large enough to reserve their tea luncheon so that we could experience it for ourselves and share with you.

In the early days of compiling our afternoon tea directories, we learned that American tearooms, especially in the South, may not serve a British afternoon tea, but rather operate as a lunch place featuring home cooking and fresh-baked desserts. If you love history, check out our post on the evolution of the American tearoom for the backstory. Destination Tea purely focuses on tearooms that serve afternoon tea, and Maggie Mae’s just made the cut because it is something of a hybrid. At the tea luncheon here (for large parties only), you’ll find popular Southern tearoom staples like chicken salad, hummingbird cake and sweet tea, served alongside house made scones and mock clotted cream.

We are fortunate to meet owner Rita Pritchard, whose team prepares the meal, including the salad dressings, in a small kitchen at the back of the 1902 Stock Exchange, which Rita has owned for 25 years. Few American tearooms have been standing this long, and Rita explains that her tearoom was at first much smaller, but grew in popularity, encouraging her to add tables. In this restored upscale mercantile of the early 1900s (which sold clothing, dry goods and more), Rita cleverly houses three businesses: Maggie Mae’s; vendor booths (antiques, home accessories, rare books and gifts); and upstairs, the Public Square Opera House, which hosts dinner theater performances and special event rentals.

Exterior tea luncheon at Maggie Mae's Tea Room in 1902 Stock Exchange in Adairsville, GA
Glossy pine green exterior paint and fresh flowers
interior tea luncheon at Maggie Mae's Tea Room in 1902 Stock Exchange in Adairsville, GA
Wood beam archways and brick interior
bistro sets at  tea luncheon at Maggie Mae's Tea Room in 1902 Stock Exchange in Adairsville, GA
At front of the tearoom, pretty black bistro sets – a design that became popular in America around the time that afternoon tea was becoming popular in England.
tea tables at tea luncheon at Maggie Mae's Tea Room in 1902 Stock Exchange in Adairsville, GA
One of three long rooms that make up the ground floor of this former mercantile. At back of the tearoom is the rare book seller, an original vendor of the 1902 Stock Exchange when it opened in 1994. This is the kind of versatile setting that welcomes the casually dressed while also suiting a fancified tea party.
table at tea luncheon at Maggie Mae's Tea Room in 1902 Stock Exchange in Adairsville, GA
Red leather upholstered captain’s chairs welcome guests to relaxing lunch around glass-topped tables set with black-and-white toile tablecloths and fresh flowers.

Tea Service

pretty tea set up at tea luncheon at Maggie Mae's Tea Room in 1902 Stock Exchange in Adairsville, GA
Teapots with hot water and a tea box of Stash bagged teas are offered with milk, lemon slices and sugar.
sweet tea at tea luncheon at Maggie Mae's Tea Room in 1902 Stock Exchange in Adairsville, GA
Alternatively, guests may choose fresh brewed sweet tea, (option to have flavored with raspberry or peach Monin syrups), served in frosty glasses. Not overbearingly sweet, these are yummy and the sight of them tempts several of us to choose iced tea.

Scones and Spreads, Savories and Sweets

tea plate at tea luncheon at Maggie Mae's Tea Room in 1902 Stock Exchange in Adairsville, GA
The luncheon plate includes mini croissant, fresh fruit, salad with choice of homemade dressing (the Vidalia onion and blue cheese were favorites), chicken salad with dried cranberries, and a small slice of homemade quiche that had the light creaminess of a soufflé. After slicing open my croissant to make a sandwich with my chicken salad, I’d advise skipping the average pastry to concentrate on the plate’s other tasty delights. The ladies around the table LOVED the quiche, but couldn’t squeeze the recipe out of Rita (we did try).
scone with cream and jam tea luncheon at Maggie Mae's Tea Room in 1902 Stock Exchange in Adairsville, GA
A homemade raspberry scone is served with mock clotted cream and jam.
hummingbird cake at tea luncheon at Maggie Mae's Tea Room in 1902 Stock Exchange in Adairsville, GA
The grand finish: a generous slice of moist hummingbird cake with whipped cream
friends at tea luncheon at Maggie Mae's Tea Room in 1902 Stock Exchange in Adairsville, GA
Trains come through historic Adairsville as diners enjoy their meals.
shopping at 1902 Stock Exchange in Adairsville, GA
After the meal, we shop the vendor booths, where the music playing in the tearoom, the housemade salad dressings and the Monin syrups are also for sale.
stopping at Buc-ee's on the way home
A bit of a shock, leaving an experience of old Southern charm to venture into new Southern travel center Buc-ee’s on the way home. I think both the mascot and I are wondering what we are doing here. Well, tea ladies can be interested in many things!
DestinationTea
Tea Voyageuse, discovering the world of afternoon tea, based in Atlanta, Georgia.

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