Afternoon Tea in a Coffee House
I love to travel and I especially love to find tea rooms on my travels. If a city has a tea room that offers afternoon tea, it goes on my check list. That is the basis for my holidays with my daughter. We leave the husbands home and search out the most popular destinations that offer tea time. Don't get me wrong, they also have to have some great shopping and sightseeing. We love learning about the different places we visit and of course, shopping for some unique treasures. That's all part of the getaway fun.
One of our favorite weekend destinations is Savannah, Georgia. You don't need much time there because the tourist area which engulfs the old city is not very large so a couple of days will do the trick. They have adorable little shops, museums and lots of restaurants. One of the things that drew us there besides tea was it's history. Savannah is said to be the most haunted city in America. It is extremely interesting and lots of fun. They offer cute ghost tours and haunted pub crawls but they are just about having fun, nothing scary. We haven't seen any ghosts yet but we did have a strange thing happen to the chandelier in our room on one of our past visits, but that's a story for another day.
The bed and breakfast that we stay at offers afternoon tea at 3pm. A lot of the B&B's in the south also offer it. They serve sweet tea and sweets in the late afternoon. We love it. In addition to our sweet tea fix, we enjoy a proper afternoon tea with all the trimmings. That is what I found by mistake at the Savannah Coffee Roasters Cafe.
Two years ago, I urged my husband to take a weekend trip together to Savannah because he had never been there. Our room at the B&B wasn't ready when we arrived so we decided to take a walk. The hubby wanted a cup of coffee when we stumbled upon the Savannah Coffee Roasters Cafe. When we walked in, there was a seating area that had small tables and comfy leather chairs. The walls were covered in wood art signs with various sayings and framed burlap coffee bags from around the world. There was also a fireplace for those cool southern days. We ordered some cappuccinos and pavlova cakes. I had never tasted pavlova before but always wanted to try it. OMG...It was dreamy. It is named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova and I can see why. It was so light and airy. I had never tasted anything so heavenly. Their delicious pavlova is what sparked my interest in the cafe along with their delicious coffee. When we arrived back home, I looked them up on social media. While I was on their site, I saw that they offered afternoon tea. I was so disappointed that I hadn't known this while I was visiting but I was excited to try it on my next trip to Savannah.
It may seem like an oxymoron to have a proper afternoon tea in a coffee house but that is what my daughter and I had on our recent trip to Savannah. The Savannah Coffee Roasters Cafe offers afternoon tea on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. It is called "Libertea High Tea". We prebooked it for 11am on Saturday and 11am on Sunday. We were seated in an area where they have larger tables but still in the mix of the cafe. People dine on what I would call artisan foods. Everything is made on the premises and they offer many types of beverages, gourmet sandwiches, quiches, soups, salads, Southern breakfasts, sweets and of course their fabulous coffees and teas. It's a very appealing menu and I love the fact it's all made on the premises.
When we arrived, our table was covered with a white table cloth and a table runner that matched the color of the china. The cafe uses fine china by Royal Albert. There was a box of assorted Harney Teas on the table and our server Nan explained that they don't use loose tea leaves because they want their guests to try many different teas during the course of the afternoon. I thought that was a great idea because I am a big fan of Harney & Sons tea and their leaves are such good quality, it doesn't matter if they are loose or in sachets, it's always a good tasting cup of tea. Nan kept the teapot with hot water so we could change our tea bags at any time. There was a book on the table called "Traditional Afternoon Tea" by Martha Day. It had wonderful photos and recipes inside it. Nan also gave us a little history lesson about Afternoon Tea. It was a treat to hear how it all began in England so many years ago.
We ordered the vegetarian option. When Nan brought out our tiered cake stand, it was filled to the rims with delicious finger sandwiches, quiches and savory puff pastry treats. They also gave us sweet and savory scones and an assortment of desserts. Everything was so good and I was so full but I couldn't stop eating because it all tasted so wonderful.
The next day we arrived on time for our Sunday "Libertea High Tea". Our server Coty, who is also the cafe manager, set the table with the Royal Albert Polka Rose pattern. He also matched the table runner with similar colors. It looked so pretty. Coty brought our tiered cake stand filled to the rims with delicious savory and sweet treats. What I thought was so nice was the chef made us different items so we didn't have the same as the day before. The care they took to make our tea experience was above and beyond. Again, everything was fresh and delicious. The presentation was beautiful and our experience was a joy.
I have been to many tea rooms here in America and in the UK. I have to say that the Savannah Coffee Roasters Cafe was one of the best afternoon teas that I have experienced. They took such good care in making our afternoon a joyful one. From the table settings, to the service and the quality of the food and tea. I have nothing to add that could have made the tea service any better. I loved the feel of the relaxed modern environment coupled with the formal table scape. It is wonderful to know that a coffee house can not only produce award winning coffees but also prepare a perfect and proper afternoon tea here in America.
If you are looking for a weekend getaway, Savannah offers a fun time and be sure to book your "Libertea High Tea" at the Savannah Coffee Roasters Cafe. You will not be disappointed and make sure to grab a slice of their tantalizing Pavlova cake while there.
Savannah Coffee Roasters Cafe
215 W Liberty St, Savannah, GA 31401 (912) 352-2994
"Libertea High Tea": http://savannahcoffee.com/event