Saturday, October 22, 2016

My Country, 'Tis of Tea — Tennessee

I realized this week that I really don't know too much about my neighbor to the north, Tennessee, but I did manage to gather a few tea-related Tennessee tidbits that I thought were interesting, and I hope you will, too!

• The Woman's Exchange of Memphis, a group founded in 1885, has an award-winning tearoom that is still going strong today.  I love to read old tearoom cookbooks, and in this one, I found the first (and only) pimiento cheese recipe I'd seen that calls for melting the cheese. (It was delicious!) Go here if you'd like to see what the Woman's Exchange is up to today. While it's not an English-afternoon-tea type of tearoom, it still sounds like a lovely place to visit one day!

• The M & O Tea Room in Gatlinburg (postcard circa 1940) was a tearoom and craft shop that billed itself as "a good place to rest or play!" Like a lot of southerners, I grew up going to Gatlinburg, Tenn. on family vacations. For that reason, I was intrigued when I found this vintage postcard for the M & O Tea Room and Craft Shop and The Rossmore in Gatlinburg. The back of the card is blank, and I wasn't able to find out anything about this tearoom except that it was in operation around 1940 and some local weavers sold their wares here. Newer hotels had come along by the time I was a child visiting Gatlinburg, but I'll bet the M & O served many a happy tourist in the tearoom in its heyday.

• It's closed now, but one of my all-time favorite tearooms was Miss Mable's Tea Room in Dickson, Tennessee. I visited with a girlfriend more than a decade ago now, and to this day I can remember the beautiful tearoom, the exceptional service, and the delicious food including some scones that remain among the best I have ever eaten. Happily I have some cookbooks from the tearoom to help me keep those memories near! I was dismayed this week to find that I apparently never put my Miss Mable's photos in my official tearoom scrapbook. I know they're somewhere in all the boxes of paper and photos I have squirreled away, but meanwhile, my friend Phyllis blogged about Miss Mable's here. (I had forgotten about the PT Cruiser with "Driving Miss Mable" written across the back!) I think there's a lot of truth to that old saying about how people may forget what you've said to them but they will never forget how you made them feel. Miss Mable's made me "feel" as if I were family, and I'll never forget that wonderful experience!


  1. One of my favorite tea rooms, The English Rose, is in downtown Chattanooga, TN.

  2. I have heard of Miss Maple's. How fun that you got to visit there.


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