Destination Tea: Southern Seasons

Where:  Rome, Georgia
Style:  Traditional
Tea Selection:  4 preselected loose leaf teas, 40+ teas available upon request
Teatimes:  Thursday to Saturday, 2:30 to 4:30; and private parties of up to 50 guests
Reservations:  Required
Contact: Reserve here or 706-528-4546
Cost: $35 Afternoon Tea
Destination Tea Tips: In addition to afternoon tea and themed teas, the tearoom offers a Monday luncheon. The tearoom may also be able to accept an afternoon tea reservation outside listed teatimes, call to check.

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

exterior afternoon tea Southern Seasons in Rome, Georgia

Destination Tea Notes: This is the kind of tearoom review we love to write. The takeaway is: go here, you will love it. Owner Haley Johnson bought this 100-year-old building on Broad Street in historic Rome over the summer, completely renovating it with the help of her husband and close friend, to create a gorgeous tearoom with all the antique feels, that can seat up to fifty guests. Afternoon tea guests enter into the adjoining, narrower gift shop and tea bar, open week-long for tea drinkers to pop in for a tea or restock their favorite blends. While a full kitchen buildout is underway, the tearoom is currently bringing in their afternoon tea foods from local vendors, and we learned we would be previewing their Regency Tea menu. (The tearoom plans themed tea menus throughout the year).

Beyond the beautiful surroundings, several lovely things pleased us at this afternoon tea. Our hostess, manager Hanna, doted on us and formally presentated the tiered tray and recommended teas. We appreciated the varied flavors in the teas offered (the meal came with 2 hot, 1 iced), which came to the table perfectly steeped and kept warm as needed. And just as we were happily exploring the contents of our tiered tray, manager Esme sat down at the piano to play, beautifully. When owner Haley came over to chat with us, we were taken with her boundless energy and enthusiasm to develop this business. And then this happened.

Angela mentioned to Haley that the china set out on the table was very special to her: she had inherited the same Wedgwood set from her Grandma Freda. Over more than ten years of reviewing afternoon teas, this is the first time this teacup pattern had ever been set out for her. Haley smiled large and shared that, before we arrived, she had swapped out the teaset on the table, wanting to use one of her favorites instead. This “coincidence” is actually a known phenomenon that other tearoom owners have reported over the years in conversation (for example, read the end of this Pennsylvania teahouse post). To Angela, it is a heartwarming blessing, to be reminded of a loved one at the tea table, and it is part of what makes afternoon tea a beautiful tradition — the way it connects us to the past.

low tea at afternoon tea Southern Seasons in Rome, Georgia
Softly upholstered antique sofas and armchairs create a variety of seating areas, some (very properly) around low tables – the original setting for afternoon tea.
piano at afternoon tea Southern Seasons in Rome, Georgia
Appreciating the greenery around the piano
our tea table at afternoon tea Southern Seasons in Rome, Georgia
Our table at the front of the tearoom
tearoom for afternoon tea Southern Seasons in Rome, Georgia
The Johnsons installed a glossy tin ceiling, originally popular during the Victorian era, another historically accurate afternoon tea effect.
tea tables at afternoon tea Southern Seasons in Rome, Georgia
Loving the velvety cobalt blue cushions
tennis sets for teacups at afternoon tea Southern Seasons in Rome, Georgia
Another low tea seating smartly features “tennis sets” also called “tea and toast sets” or “tv snack sets,” a smart teaset choice that allows guests to pick up their plate and cup with one hand.
low tea at afternoon tea Southern Seasons in Rome, Georgia
Or perhaps you may like to luxuriate here.
conversation starter at afternoon tea Southern Seasons in Rome, Georgia
We smiled to see a conversation starter set on the table. We never got around to answering, because we had too much catching up to do. What would be your answer?

Tea Selection

pouring tea at afternoon tea Southern Seasons in Rome, Georgia
Originally produced in the ’60s, this Belle Fleur Wedgwood pattern was given to Angela by her grandmother. Here she is plied with the first yummy hot tea: Breakfast at Buckhingham Palace (Southern Season’s private blend Earl Grey with double cream).
iced teas at afternoon tea Southern Seasons in Rome, Georgia
We were each offered an iced tea, which you can request sweetened or unsweetened: Jane Austen’s Fruit Pudding and Elizabeth Bennet’s Caramel Cordial. Loving these cut glass goblets. These were refreshing, but perhaps needed to be steeped with a bit more leaves – we found the flavors to be faint. [Pro Tip: remember to use double the amount of tea leaves to water ratio if you are going to add ice that waters down your brew later].
rooibos at afternoon tea Southern Seasons in Rome, Georgia
We ended with the Cocoa Peppermint Willamette rooibos blend, delightfully fragrant and uncaffeinated, which paired well with the dessert course.

Scones & Spreads, Savories and Sweets

three tiered tray at afternoon tea Southern Seasons in Rome, Georgia
The afternoon tea tray arrives, decorated with white rose petals.
tea sandwiches at afternoon tea Southern Seasons in Rome, Georgia
The tasty savories include Creamy Cucumber Sandwiches with Lemon and Dill, Toasted Pimento Cheese Sandwiches (yum!) and Coronation Chicken Salad Croissants.
quiche at afternoon tea Southern Seasons in Rome, Georgia
Hanna also serves us each a warm crustless quiche.
scones at afternoon tea Southern Seasons in Rome, Georgia
Creative scone flavors delight us: Muffaletta with Goat Cheese and Pistachio Gorgonzola with Black Currant Glaze. Haley was open to feedback on these, which we typically like to be softer, and shared that homemade clotted cream is in this tearoom’s future. Hooray!
desserts at afternoon tea Southern Seasons in Rome, Georgia
We enjoyed our sweet treats: Madeleines with Strawberries and Cream (Angela’s favorite), Raspberry Chocolate Cakes, Chocolate-Coated Grapes and Macarons.
fruit cocktail at afternoon tea Southern Seasons in Rome, Georgia
A post-script to the tiered tray was this fruit cocktail with coconut flakes, which we did not prefer to the fresh fruit offered earlier.
gift shop at afternoon tea Southern Seasons in Rome, Georgia
There’s much to explore in the gift shop…
private tea blends at afternoon tea Southern Seasons in Rome, Georgia
Southern Seasons offers its own loose leaf tea blends, and we much appreciate the aroma jars to help you pick a favorite.
teapots at afternoon tea Southern Seasons in Rome, Georgia
For those who feel they need another teapot at home, the gift shop stocks large, 6 to 10-cup pots, perfect for hosting.
local artwork at afternoon tea Southern Seasons in Rome, Georgia
Local art is for sale, portraing scenes of historic downtown Rome, flowers and tranquil settings.
tea cup florals at afternoon tea Southern Seasons in Rome, Georgia
Because Southern Seasons works with local florists, tea and fresh flowers combine for this perfect gift idea for your tea-loving friends: tea cup florals!
DestinationTea
Tea Voyageuse, discovering the world of afternoon tea, based in Atlanta, Georgia.

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