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Is there anything more delightfully indulgent than sitting down to afternoon tea? Scones, clotted cream, dainty little pastries, and savory cucumber tea sandwiches … It’s one of those experiences that makes you nostalgic for a centuries-old tradition. And with Mother’s Day and spring celebrations upon us, there’s no better time to gather your best friends and family and sit down to a lighthearted afternoon tea. These are 10 of the best afternoon tea services across the South!

The Windsor Court

300 Gravier Street, New Orleans, LA 70130 • (800) 262-2662

If you’re a Britophile, you’ll love living out your version of The Crown in the classic setting of Le Salon at The Windsor Court hotel in New Orleans. Afternoon tea begins with a light cocktail or sparkling beverage; then, you’ll sip from a selection of 26 loose-leaf teas while listening to the delicate harmonies of a live harpist or pianist. Tea sandwiches, housemade scones, and delicious desserts are served on timeless Wedgewood China, completing the formal English vision.

Dining room set up for an afternoon tea service.
It’s afternoon tea with a side of traditional formality in New Orleans. Image: Windsor Court Hotel

​The Peabody

149 Union Avenue, Memphis TN 38103 • (901) 529-4000

Within its elegant Chez Philippe space, The Peabody boasts the only traditional English afternoon tea in Memphis. You’ll enjoy warm scones from Peabody Pastry Shop and three courses of savory sandwiches and sweets. If you’re taking your cues from Lady Whistledown, you’ll appreciate how their website describes afternoon tea, “It became a place to see and be seen, and most assuredly, a place to share the latest gossip.”

Table set up for an afternoon tea service at The Peabody.
Memphis offers authentic English afternoon tea at The Peabody. Image: Trey Clark for The Peabody Hotel

The Hermitage Hotel

231 6th Avenue N., Nashville, TN 37219 • (615) 244-3121

The Hermitage Hotel has curated the perfect brand partnership for their weekend afternoon tea. Together with Draper James, they host ‘Spillin’ Tea with Draper James,’ an event inspired by recipes from Reese Witherspoon’s cookbook, Whiskey in a Teacup. You’ll sit down to fine loose-leaf tea and, yes, a bit of whiskey in a teacup. Of course, the room is dressed in Draper James’s best, with their signature gingham and prints decorating the tables.

Table setting for afternoon tea with patterned napkins and pastries.
The Hermitage Hotel boasts a beautiful tea service in a beautiful and historic space. Image: The Hermitage Hotel

The Jefferson Hotel

101 West Franklin St., Richmond, VA 23220 • (804) 649-4750

Every Friday and Saturday, The Jefferson Hotel afternoon tea is a beloved tradition that often books months in advance. You’ll sit on the mezzanine balcony of the historic hotel, overlooking its Rotunda lobby. Then, you’ll dine on finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones with Devonshire cream, strawberry preserves, pastries, and bread. It’s a timeless experience that matches all your formal high-tea dreams. (SB Tip: The hotel also hosts specialty tea services on the first and third Friday and Saturday of every month.)

Table with pastries, flowers, and teapots.
The Jefferson Hotel hosts high tea on the first and third Saturday of every month. Image: The Jefferson Hotel

Camellias at Hotel Bennett

404 King Street, Charleston, SC 29403 • (843) 203-0922

With pastries and goodies from Charleston’s favorite, La Patisserie, Camellias brings a fanciful tea experience to South Carolina. Serving tea by day and champagne by night, Camellias has been lauded by Food Network as the “most Instagrammable restaurant in Charleston.” With its floor-to-ceiling pink decor, you’ll understand why it has earned that title. You can choose from the standard tea or the Children’s Tea, featuring offerings designed especially for little ones. Alternatively, you can go all out and indulge in the Crown Tea with a bit of rosé bubbly as an accompaniment.

Pink dining room at Hotel Bennett
Camellias offers a fun and fancy tea experience in a memorable setting. Image: Hotel Bennett

Café des Beaux-Arts at the Flagler Museum

One Whitehall Way, Palm Beach, FL 33480 • (561) 655-2833

At the Café des Beaux-Arts, guests are transported back to the Gilded Age with fine loose-leaf tea and delicate pastries, sandwiches, scones, and other delightful sweets. The restaurant serves its own blend of tea, Whitehall Special Blend Tea™, along with pink lemonade — the perfect vibrant drink for Palm Beach. No detail is overlooked in the 19th-century Beaux-Arts railway palace, so tea is presented in the museum’s Whitehall Collection™ china.

A crowd of people enjoying an afternoon tea service.
Café des Beaux-Arts brings its exquisite tea service to Palm Beach. Image: Facebook

The Carolina Inn

211 Pittsboro Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27516 • (919) 933-2001

Served every Friday and Saturday afternoon, tea at The Carolina Inn takes its cues from a tradition that dates back to 1840s England. At this Southern Inn, they serve a classic menu of sweet and savory items and the British favorite, homemade scones with clotted cream and jam. Located on the UNC Chapel Hill campus, it’s a wonderful treat during a parent’s weekend visit. And, when the weather is warm, enjoy your tea on the darling garden terrace.

The Anvil Pub & Grill

611 Doug Baker Blvd., Unit 103, Birmingham, AL 35242 • (205) 637-7100

The Anvil Pub & Grill is a British pub in Birmingham with its own spin on high tea and classic English tradition. You can look forward to a glass of champagne, followed by a selection of tea and coffee. Plus, you’ll enjoy a mouthwatering menu of tea sandwiches, including smoked salmon with cucumbers and cream cheese on rye, ham and cheese with onions on a biscuit, chicken salad on white bread, and fried fish on brioche buns. And since no high tea would be complete without sweets, there are also sconces, muffins, fresh macaroons, tartlets, trifles, cookies, and truffles.

Dessert trays with pastries for afternoon tea.
The Anvil Pub & Grill serves all sorts of beautiful goodies — from smoked salmon and cucumber sandwiches to mini tartlets. Image: The Anvil


337 Bull Street, Savannah, GA 31401 • (912) 525-5880

The ornate, maximalist ambiance of the Gryphon tea room is eye-catching. Its carved mahogany bookcases and original stained-glass panels are appropriate for its location at Savannah College of Art and Design. The tea service is only $20 a person and includes tea sandwiches, scones with Devonshire cream and jam, assorted pastries, and petit fours, but you can also order off of the lunch or brunch menu if you’re looking for something more substantial.

Pastries on tiered stand.
The Gryphon tea room is architecturally stunning, and the tea service is downright tasty. Image: Facebook

Historic Rosemont Manor

16 Rosemont Manor Lane, Berryville, VA 22611 • (540) 955-2834

At Historic Rosemont Manor, built in the early 1800s, tea is served in three courses in an elegant room. Each tea has been custom blended for Rosemont, including the Byrd Blend black tea, a blend of Darjeeling, cream Earl Grey, and rose petals, and the Rosemont Blend green tea, which combines Sencha, refreshing strawberry and papaya pieces, rose petals, and candy pearls. Each course incorporates seasonal fruits and vegetables, and the perfect tea is selected for the various sandwiches, sconces, and sweets.

Room at Rosemont Manor set up for afternoon tea service.
Nostalgia abounds at Historic Rosemont Manor’s tea service. Image: Facebook

The Homefront Tea Room

4119 Cromwell Road, Chattanooga, TN 37421 • (423) 894-8028

Indeed the most unique tea experience on our list, the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum offers a high tea experience with all the usual fixings — sweet and savory items, sconces, and, of course, tea. But it’s followed by something less typical. After you’ve sipped and dined, you’ll board the railroad for a 65-minute train ride that includes four bridges and a pre-Civil War tunnel. It’s an incredible treat for history lovers or train-loving children and adults alike.

Afternoon tea service at Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum
The Homefront Tea Room is Chattanooga’s spot for tea amid the trains. Image: Penelope Soule Gault

Pinkies up!


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About the Author
Heather Bien

Heather Bien is a Southern writer, Richmond native, and aspiring gardener. She loves small-town travel and homemade lattes.