One of the most luxurious ways to spend a weekend afternoon in Charlotte, NC is to have tea at The Ballantyne Hotel. Even before you go into one of the fanciest hotels in the Queen City, you’re met by a gorgeous fountain signifying you’re walking into luxury. Once inside, you’re immediately surrounded by grand chandeliers, plush seating, and expansive windows overlooking the former golf course.
After taking in the decadent lobby, you make your way over to the host station to get your seat for tea. Rather than sitting at a stuffy table, the Ballantyne Hotel has all kinds of different seating options for tea. Larger groups may be sat on stylish sofas with a table in the middle. Some people sit at adorable tables for two. Others are in gorgeous, high-backed chairs that play up the sense of royalty. It doesn’t matter which table you get because the experience is amazing regardless.
Once seated, your ever-attentive server comes by to take your tea preference. Even though you’re surrounded by luxury, the servers are down-to-earth, friendly, and always willing to ensure your experience is top-notch.
The Terrific Tea Choices
The Ballantyne Hotel Afternoon Tea features a wide selection of Rare Tea Company teas. Rare Tea Company is the official tea company of the British Royal Family. They focus on sustainability in the tea trade, so you can feel good about the tea you are drinking. You can choose from teas like the always-faithful English Breakfast Tea to more exotic, floral, white teas.
One of Ballantyne’s signature teas is the Emperor’s Breakfast. It’s a black tea that has notes of caramel and chocolate. It’s dark and sumptuous, warming you from the inside out.
Another popular option is the Wild Rooibus tea, which the hotel describes as “A richly delicious infusion with deep earthy notes, bright red berries, and cedar. Can be beautifully enhanced by the addition of maple syrup and a twist of lemon zest.”
The tea is all looseleaf and each person gets a personal teapot full to themselves. The servers come around to ensure the water is still hot, so you never feel like you’re going to run out of tea.
In true afternoon tea fashion, you also have cream and sugar cubes to add to your drink.
Amazing Food Choices
Once you pick your tea flavor out, the server comes back with a tray stacked with sumptuous, mouth-watering treats. Whether you are looking for sweet or savory, it’s all beyond delicious. Ballantyne Hotel says their tea is based on traditional English tea but with a Southern flair.
The savory selections are different types of tea sandwiches. The menu rotates from week to week based on the season. The sandwiches might be chicken salad served in a mini pie crust or smoked salmon with cream cheese on rye. There are usually four or five different savory selections. Each savory bite is more delicious than the last.
After you’ve finished all of your savories, it’s time for Ballantyne’s freshly made scones. These are perfect and fluffy, so similar to the ones you get in London. They are served with traditional cream and jam or curd. These are also seasonally rotated, so every time you come, you can experience different flavors.
The final course of the afternoon tea is probably the best – the scrumptious sweets! These sweets can include french macarons, cream puffs filled with seasonal flavors, perfectly crumbly cookies, or decadent chocolate mousse. Each is carefully crafted to match the theme of the tea.
The award-winning pastry chefs take care to create edible chocolate cups, perfectly cooked cream puffs, and adorably frosted cupcakes.
Having tea at the Ballanyne Hotel is a must-do in Charlotte. The entire experience is drenched in comfort and luxury at the same time. There’s no rush while you are there. You can just sit, relax, drink your tea, and have a spectacular afternoon with your family or friends. While the setting and the menu might seem pretentious, the ambiance is welcoming, the food is delicious, and the staff is incredibly friendly.
Here are some more essential details about Tea at Ballantyne hotel:
When is tea held at the Ballantyne Hotel?
The Ballantyne Hotel offers Afternoon Tea every Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling the hotel. They have seasonal menus that change often. It’s important to call ahead because it usually sells out.
Who will enjoy afternoon tea at the Ballantyne Hotel?
It can be for anyone! It’s great for a girl’s afternoon out with your best girlfriends. It is also an amazing event for families – a dashing father having tea with his adorable daughter, sisters laughing and eating together, and moms and daughters having their own special time. It can be a fantastic date idea, too.
How long does Afternoon Tea take at the Ballantyne Hotel?
Generally, it lasts about an hour. Take your time to savor every bite and every sip. Just enjoy the surroundings and the deliciousness.
What should I wear to Ballantyne Tea?
Dress to impress! While you could wear just about whatever you want, it’s such a fun treat to dress up in a cute tea dress and fascinator. What other occasion do you have to wear a fascinator? It’s also family-friendly, and nothing is cuter than seeing little girls sipping their fancy tea in princess dresses. If you’re not feeling up to that, you can always wear a cute blouse with a nice pair of jeans or trousers. There really is a large mix of outfits and styles at tea.
How much food is there at Ballantyne Tea?
When the trays first come out, it might not seem like enough food, but it definitely is enough for a meal. You will probably be struggling to finish that last delicious pastry, but it’s so good, you will find a way. With the savories, the warm scones, and the sweets, you’ll be full before you know. Also, you’ll have unlimited hot tea to wash it all down.
Is there alcohol available at Ballantyne Tea?
For an extra cost, you can upgrade to the “Royal Afternoon Tea”, which is the same as regular tea but with a glass of Moët & Chandon Imperial Champagne. If you are looking for an extra-special afternoon, this is definitely the way to go.