We would walk up a stone path, through fragrant bushes of rosemary, lavender and a flowering butterfly garden, to enter the historic 1882 home that was the Faded Rose Tea Garden in Chamblee, Georgia.
It was only after more than a year of ordering off the à la carte menu of freshly made salads, soups and sandwiches, that we discovered the bottomless pots and delectable treats of afternoon tea at the Faded Rose. This world was foreign to us three girls, coming from Italian, Dominican and Vietnamese cultures. No matter; the Faded Rose gradually acquainted us, promising to be “an oasis of calm, gentility and impeccable service,” and it so was. It was our place for a time. We became regulars. We had much to discuss, we knew we would laugh and sometimes cry over our tea. Does memory exaggerate the Faded Rose’s vast tea selection? We were eager to get there and reluctant to depart.
In fiction, mystical places can wink in and out of existence and time after they have served their purpose. With hindsight, we see just how magical the Faded Rose was and how precious our time there. As the Faded Rose closed its doors and was ultimately torn down, that time passed and along with it, that “us”: that new young mother, that job-seeker who was moving home to New York any day now, that about-to-be Match.com favorite.
The Faded Rose lives still, surely in many fond memories, but also here at Destination Tea, because it is there that we first began playing with the idea of helping others learn about afternoon tea and where to find it.
Thank you Faded Rose and all the local business owners who give free reign to their imaginations to create beautiful and whimsical afternoon tea rooms and menus. Your hard work creates a home: for friends to gather, for time to slow, for stories to spill and for senses to wallow in delight.
Who were the three?
Anyone reading this homage to such a special place can feel the beautiful memories this tea house gave us. Thankful for such a special place that created the love of tea…wish we knew what a gem we had. High standards for other tea houses to follow.
I was having a peek online trying to find an old article about my Faded Rose Tea Garden. To find your article made me cry but also to smile at how much others “got” my tea escape.
I am Jeanne Lord, the owner. Shortly after closing, my husband passed away after being sick for many years. I had twin 6 year olds and my world was turned upside down. That tearoom was my heart and soul as was my family. My kids are now 16 and when they venture off to college soon, I hope to find a another perfect locale. Thanks for the tea trip down memory lane.
Oh my goodness, Jeanne! What an honor to hear from you, and very sorry for your loss. If you can believe it, the day you posted this comment, some of my Dunwoody girlfriends were talking about local tearooms and mourning the loss of the Faded Rose. We surely do hope you open another tearoom, and please let us know when you do! What an emotional homecoming that will be for those of us who learned about afternoon tea from you. Best wishes to your family and you.