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
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.
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.