Finding My Southern Lady at Afternoon Tea at the Peabody Memphis Hotel

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I have lived in the South my entire life, but I'm afraid I don't embody the ideal of the genteel Southern lady. I'm more comfortable in jeans, sandals, and t-shirts than I am in pearls, heels and a hat (can I just confess I have not worn a dressy hat since I was 10?). The last time I went to an afternoon tea was when I was barely in my teens. So, while in Memphis I went to afternoon tea at The Peabody Memphis.

The Peabody Memphis Hotel is a grand Southern hotel, filled with tradition like afternoon tea.

 

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Afternoon Tea At the Peabody Memphis

“We haven't had any tea for a week. The bottom must be out of the universe.” — R. Kipling

Coming to Memphis for a conference seemed the perfect opportunity to relive this grand old Southern tradition that generations of girls have grown up with. So, armed with my luggage, and wearing jeans, wedge heels and a cute top I navigated my way to the Peabody Memphis. I'll admit I had not planned on having afternoon tea. So it was a spontaneous decision. After checking in, and storing my luggage, I tossed my hair, threw my shoulders back, stood up ramrod straight and made my way across the lobby of the Peabody Memphis to Chez Phillipe.

The Peabody Memphis Hotel is a grand Southern hotel, filled with tradition like afternoon tea.

The Peabody 2015 © Trey Clark for The Peabody Hotel.”

 

Sometimes I think it is not the clothes we dress in but the attitude we project to others. This day, in this grand hotel of the South, I walked across the lobby of the Peabody hotel like a lady dressed in her finest dress, heading for tea at Chez Phillipe. As I was seated in the plush crescent-shaped booth, the serene atmosphere began to permeate my spirit, and the Southern experience began.

 

Tea in Chez Phillipe

Entering the doorway of Chez Phillipe you leave the hustle and bustle of the lobby behind. Stepping from behind his podium the host greets me by name and leads me to my table. The tables are dressed in crisp green linen and topped with a bright white linen cloth. Decorative columns act as a divider between two levels. As I look around I see towering trays of delicious little sandwiches and desserts. My mouth begins to jump for joy at the sight.

The Peabody Memphis Hotel is a grand Southern hotel, filled with tradition like afternoon tea. Peabody Hotel 2015 © Trey Clark for The Peabody Hotel

Peabody Hotel 2015 © Trey Clark for The Peabody Hotel

 

What is Served at an Afternoon Tea

My waiter described each tea choice, and I chose the Scarlet tea, a lovely fruity herbal tea. The first course, savory, of course, was a selection of petite sandwiches artfully arranged on a tiered tray. The day I was there the sandwiches were chicken salad, a prosciutto ham with apricot preserves, salmon and cream cheese, and cucumber. I was a bit apprehensive about how to eat the sandwiches – transfer them to my plate and eat them with my fork? Pick them up and eat them? I chose to use my fork (and knife). I literally imagined that I was in a proper English tearoom, wearing my finery, and just went for it.

The Peabody Memphis Hotel is a grand Southern hotel, filled with tradition like afternoon tea. Peabody Hotel 2015 © Trey Clark for The Peabody Hotel

Peabody Hotel 2015 © Trey Clark for The Peabody Hotel

 

After finishing the savory sandwiches, it was time for a bit more tea and a scone. The day I was there the scone was a full-size blueberry scone, served with raspberry jam and a divine Devonshire clotted cream. The scone was definitely a bit larger than I am used to but coupled with the jam and the clotted cream, it was heavenly!

The third and final course came with a change of tea. For the dessert course I chose the Earl Grey Supreme. The desserts were about the size of a petit four – a selection of deliciousness. The selection included an opera cake, a citrus tartlet, pistachio tart, lemonade cheesecake,  and chocolate dipped cream puff. I am not going to lie – they were all delectable!

The Afternoon Tea at the Peabody Memphis is definitely a special occasion experience. I hope that Southern mamas continue to uphold this grand old tradition and take their daughters to experience afternoon tea – maybe even at the Peabody Memphis. It would also be a treat for daughters to take their mamas and grandmamas to.

You be the judge and make a reservation to go to Afternoon Tea at the Peabody. I'd love to know how you enjoy this old Southern tradition at the Peabody Memphis or a tearoom in your hometown!

 

Afternoon Tea at the Peabody

Afternoon Tea at the Peabody Hotel

Wednesday – Saturday 1:30 pm to 3:30pm

$35 Chez Phillipe Tea
$45 Peabody Tea (includes a glass of bubbly champagne)

149 Union Avenue
Memphis, TN 38103

 

Have you visited the Peabody Memphis & Had Afternoon Tea?

 

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Many thanks to The Peabody Memphis Hotel, Memphis Tourism and Mediavine for helping to host our stay. As always, all opinions are our own.

 

11 Comments

  1. What fun. I must give it a try when I make it to Memphis. Thanks Betsi. –MaryGo

    Reply
    • You will love it! It was such a fantastic experience! But girl you are going to be in ENGLAND! Do tea there!

      Reply
  2. Afternoon tea is EVERYTHING! So glad you enjoyed.
    We loved meeting you at Bloghouse Memphis and hope to hear from you again soon!
    ~Jenny, Mediavine Marketing Associate

    Reply
    • Hi Jenny! Yes it is! I really enjoyed meeting you and Rose at Bloghouse Memphis. I am diligently working on implementing the suggestions from Bloghouse Memphis – my new website is almost ready, and my sessions and pageview are steadily rising! Thanks so much for everything!

      Reply
  3. Wow, Betsi! It all sounds so civilized. Just what we need as a sanctuary from this uncivilized world. Thank you for reminding us that these kinds of delights still exist. I’m going to treat myself the first chance I ge.

    Reply
    • Hi Penny! I have done teas before, but it has been a long time since doing one like the Peabody. It is abosolutely something that I recommend doing at least once in your life!

      Reply
  4. Hi Betsi

    I wish I had joined you. Sounds like fun and delicious.

    Bisa

    Reply
    • It was really a treat for me!

      Reply
  5. I’m not a tea drinker, but looks like lots of fun. I’d love to see the duck parade there.

    Reply
    • They are so cute, Robin! And it is an extraordinary hotel!

      Reply

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Hello, I'm Betsi!

Welcome To My Travel World.

Relationships are the cornerstone. Let us help you discover how to unplug, destress, and travel - after all, Travel is a LIFE SAVER! Betsi is a freelance journalist and the founder of BETSI'S WORLD, an online travel website. She is a traveling storyteller whose passion lies within sharing the depth and beauty of the destinations she visits. Betsi and Jim, her travel companion, travel the world while documenting their adventures and Read More...