High tea is an annual tradition in my family, and our absolute favorite spot to visit is Laura's Tea Room in Ridgeway, South Carolina.
Location: 105 North Palmer Street, Ridgeway, SC 29130
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, usually 10:00-4:00 for the gift shop, but always call to confirm
Phone: (803) 337-8594
If you're unfamiliar, high tea consists of a light meal that includes some savory food along with sweets, and of course, tea!
Know Before You Go
- Reservations are required and can only be made via phone. They book up quickly and usually have a waiting list.
- High tea seating times are from 11:00 am to 1:45 pm
- Children under 12 are not permitted (including babies)
- There is no dress code, but many enjoy dressing up as you can select your own vintage hat from their selection
- The tea room is located upstairs and there is not an elevator
- Tables seat up to 7, to parties larger than that will be seated at separate tables
- Cost is $35.95 plus tax and tip per person. Parties of more than 6 have 18% gratuity automatically included.
- Visiting in November or December is especially magical with all of their holiday decor.
Upon arrival, you'll check in at the gift shop downstairs and will be directed to head upstairs. You have the option of selecting your own hat to wear (we enjoy doing this and posing for photos), then you will choose your own tea cup and saucer from their beautiful collection of 100+ vintage options. Once you've made your choices, your hostess will lead you up another short set of stairs to your brilliantly decorated table. You can see a short video of our visit below.
You'll have a seasonal iced tea waiting for you at the table, and you'll have a tea menu to peruse before selecting the hot tea you'd like. Our party chose peppermint chocolate and thoroughly enjoyed the flavor. At Laura's Tea Room, the menu changes seasonally but on our recent visit, we received the first course of a scone which we topped with a dollop of Devonshire cream and lemon curd, then our second course was tomato basil bisque with homemade cheese straws. The third and final course is a three-tiered tray of goodies! We had to take the chocolate cake home in a to-go box because we were so full from the other courses and the wonderful Christmas Cherry tea!
Have you had afternoon tea before? I'd love to hear your favorite spot, if so. Be sure to visit Laura's Tea Room if you're ever in the area; it's just under 40 minutes from Columbia, SC. It's such a lovely historic setting and their gift shop is filled with unique finds. You can read all about their history here.