Destination Tea: The Dirty Tea

Where:  Virginia Highland, Atlanta, Georgia
Style:  Svelte contemporary
Tea Selection:  12 loose leaf teas
Teatimes:  Wednesday to Sunday, 11 to 7
Reservations:  Required, ages 12 and up only
Contact:  Reserve here
Cost: $114 (includes tip) Afternoon Tea
Destination Tea Tip:  There is $10 valet parking across the street or paid street parking.

exterior afternoon tea at The Dirty Tea in Virginia Highland, Atlanta, Georgia

Destination Tea Notes: Newly opened last month in Virginia-Highland, The Dirty Tea was “founded by a daughter’s dream and a mother’s love.” Whereas American tearooms have largely been run by retirees, The Dirty Tea is part of a trend we’ve seen cropping up across the country over the last five years: parents partnering with their young adult children to open a tearoom. The result is a heartwarming family venture full of creative energy that modernizes the tearoom experience. Mom Rita Campos explained the patience, time and effort it took daughter Brittany and she to completely renovate their space into what is now a stylish, elegant tearoom. We are reminded that Brittany’s London travels inspired her tearoom vision, when we see here the iconic blush tufted ladyfinger-back swivel chairs originally conceptualized for London tearoom Sketch.

This tearoom positively shimmers, with gilded teasets laid on glossy white tables under chandeliers, while softly upholstered seating, tufted throw pillows, and inset nooks warm the space. Contemporary R&B plays as fashionably dressed guests sip their tea and smile their approval when Rita visits their table. Likely because pastries are brought in from popular neighborhood bakery Alon’s, the price point at The Dirty Tea is akin to a holiday tea at The St. Regis or The Ritz-Carlton. Much like those high-end hotels, the service at The Dirty Tea is caring and seeks to please. Because we thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon tea here, it would be good to see The Dirty Tea add the option of a more moderately priced weekday afternoon tea menu, perhaps foregoing the bubbly and a few sweets, so that coming here doesn’t have to be reserved for special occasions.

interior afternoon tea at The Dirty Tea in Virginia Highland, Atlanta, Georgia
Welcome to Atlanta’s newest tearoom
inside afternoon tea at The Dirty Tea in Virginia Highland, Atlanta, Georgia
To the left, the tea bar has upholstered seating, while the main dining area at right is a bit elevated (with a ramp up at back)
pink seats at afternoon tea at The Dirty Tea in Virginia Highland, Atlanta, Georgia
Cut-outs peer through to the tea bar and fresh roses grace the tables, which are fully set for afternoon tea.
tea table at afternoon tea at The Dirty Tea in Virginia Highland, Atlanta, Georgia
A favorite element of ours: the plush blue sofas in arched, softly lit nooks, with tiled-and-patterned backdrop and round mirror. This picture-perfect seating also gives your party some privacy as you converse over tea.

Tea Selection

tea is served at afternoon tea at The Dirty Tea in Virginia Highland, Atlanta, Georgia
After champagne is poured, each guest chooses their tea, served in a 5-cup teapot, with tea steeping inside. A tea timer comes to the table to indicate when the tea is ready. Our server graciously received our suggestion to provide a small dish to collect removed tea infusers to neatly prevent tea from overbrewing.
teaspoons at afternoon tea at The Dirty Tea in Virginia Highland, Atlanta, Georgia
Loving the details in these teaspoons, this one topped with a jade stone to pick up the green in the beautiful teacup pattern.
creme brulee tea at afternoon tea at The Dirty Tea in Virginia Highland, Atlanta, Georgia
We agreed our favorite was the Black Crème Brûlée tea – so yummy! Sugar cubes, lemon slices and a honey pot are at the ready.

Scones & Sweets, Savories and Sweets

three-tiered tray at afternoon tea at The Dirty Tea in Virginia Highland, Atlanta, Georgia
Tea sandwiches include a turkey club, chicken salad, and cucumber cream cheese (2 per person), all tasty and made with soft bread.
scones and desserts at afternoon tea at The Dirty Tea in Virginia Highland, Atlanta, Georgia
Orange cranberry scones are perfectly baked, with a soft buttery inside
cream and jam at afternoon tea at The Dirty Tea in Virginia Highland, Atlanta, Georgia
Our server was happy to oblige our request for cream and jam for our scones. We dotted on this cream, which was yummy. She called it a crème fraîche, but it had the liquid consistency of a crème anglaise.
Alon's desserts at afternoon tea at The Dirty Tea in Virginia Highland, Atlanta, Georgia
An assortment of 7 expertly crafted desserts delighted us with their richness and flavors (the lemon square and salted caramel macarons were our favorites). Guests will either have to divide each sweet in half to try everything, or agree on divvying the lot among them.
DestinationTea
Tea Voyageuse, discovering the world of afternoon tea, based in Atlanta, Georgia.

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