Destination Tea: The Whitley

Where: Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia
Style:  Chic hotel
Tea Selection:  2 tea cocktails
Teatimes:  Saturday 3 to 5
Reservations: Reservations required
Contact: 404-237-2700
Cost: $45+ High Tea
Destination Tea Tips:  When reserving, you will be asked to pre-order your drinks and food for the table rather than per person, each item serving about two people. Remember cash if you want to valet.

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

exterior afternoon tea at The Whitley hotel in Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia

Destination Tea Notes: The Whitley hotel occupies the former Ritz-Carlton Buckhead building, where for many years a traditional afternoon tea was served in the lobby lounge. Saddened by the loss of an iconic afternoon tea in Atlanta, we were delighted to learn that “high tea” is now offered in The Whitley’s Trade Root restaurant. However, we advise leaving your typical afternoon tea expectations at home. We learned that The Whitley’s high tea is more like a cross between an afternoon tea and a happy hour. Perhaps Pinterest is responsible for this concept; Pinterest Predicts did say that in 2022, “afternoon tea is the new happy hour.” We thought it meant folks are taking tea instead of visiting bars for their late afternoon social hour, but in The Whitley’s interpretation, high tea is a boozy one, where you select the accompanying foods à la carte. The suggestion of afternoon tea remains, with tiered cages for serving, creative tea cocktails presented in glass teapots, cucumber and smoked salmon tea sandwiches among the savory options, and “scones” (more cakey, like a blondie bar) that are nonetheless delightful. The Crunch & Munch savory menu items really take this teatime off-roading, with fried bites and a charcuterie plate. We say, if you enjoy a happy hour just as much as an afternoon tea, this is the tea adventure for you, at which you will find all the food well prepared and the service extremely gracious.

interior afternoon tea at The Whitley hotel in Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia
Beyond the lobby, a quiet room is roped off for high tea service. Sleek mustard banquets tuck into windowed alcoves.
gold wallpaper at high tea at The Whitley hotel in Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia
Enjoying the botanical gold embossed wallpaper
dressed for teatime at The Whitley hotel in Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia
Dressed for tea with hat, tea fascinator and ascot (yes!)
high tea menu at The Whitley hotel in Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia
Before attending, you pre-order your menu selection. Each item serves about two people. The chef honored our request for a vegan version of the Cucumber & Heirloom Tomato Finger Sandwich, and kindly came out during the meal to make sure we were satisfied.

Tea Service

Appreciating the fresh ingredients infused in the Cucumber Mint Mystic Tea made with Hendrick’s Gin, Aloe, Cucumber Juice, Lemon, Mint Syrup and Blue Flower Tea. Glass teapots sit on the bottom tier of golden cages. Our server pours the tea over a giant ice cube she has placed in each of our coupe glasses.

Jasmine Peach Mystic Tea at The Whitley hotel in Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia
Option two, the Jasmine Peach Mystic Tea, is the table favorite, with Hendrick’s Gin, Lillet Blanc (a white wine mixed with macerated sweet liqueurs and bitter green orange peels), Peach Syrup, Lemon and Jasmine Tea.
iced tea cocktail at high tea at The Whitley hotel in Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia
Although these tea concoctions are served as chilled cocktails, we bet you could request a non-alcoholic version and/or drink it hot.

Scones & Spreads, Savories and Sweets

tiered birdcages at high tea at The Whitley hotel in Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia
Our third tea in a row with birdcage tiered trays. We spy a trend!
teapots sit in the tiered cages at The Whitley hotel in Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia
An afternoon tea first for us: the teapots sitting on the tiered tray
tiered trays at The Whitley hotel in Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia
A mix of pretty flowers adorn the cages
scones at The Whitley hotel in Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia
Pictured here is a double order of scones — cinnamon and chocolate chip, served with fruit and a spot of whipped cream. Though not actually the consistency of a true scone, they are warm, moist and disappear quickly.
chocolate plate at high tea at The Whitley hotel in Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia
We finish our teatime with the All About Chocolate plate, with Ferrero Rocher chocolates and gourmet truffles with smooth ganache interior.
from afar The Whitley hotel in Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia
The Whitley sits catty-corner to Phipps and Lenox malls.
DestinationTea
Tea Voyageuse, discovering the world of afternoon tea, based in Atlanta, Georgia.

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