"Local Love" features Twenty Six Divine
Updated: Sep 8, 2019
Last October, I received a wondrous surprise that led me to cross off a top item on my Charleston bucket list. In a turn of good fortune, I won Afternoon Tea at Twenty Six Divine for myself and a friend, through a giveaway on social media! This quaint tea room had been on my radar for a while and I was super excited to visit - the experience did not disappoint.
Upon arrival to our reservation, Ashley and I were greeted by a coral colored door and friendly owner, Jenn Parezo. We entered a petite minimalist room with macrame on the walls and a pleasant aroma in the air. We settled at a table near the windows, imagining a day with favorable temperatures, where tea on the patio would be a delight.
"One day we would like to own our own building with just a little more space for our guests, but no more tables. We like the coziness of our tea room, we’ve got good vibes between our walls."-JP
We admired the diverse pieces of china and tiered platters on the table as Jenn listed off our tea options. I chose Cinnamon Spice and Ashley went with Rockville Raspberry. Twenty Six Divine exclusively serves Charleston Tea Plantation tea. Fun fact, Charleston Tea Plantation is the only grower of tea in North America - all other tea is imported from Asia, Africa and South America. If you have not been, I would definitely suggest paying the Charleston Tea Plantation a visit. The acres of tea bushes and rich history are not to be missed.
A few minutes later, our individual teapots arrived, along with an impressive spread of snacks and treats. Jenn graciously poured our first cup, explained all of the menu items, snapped a quick photo of us, and then it was time to dive in!
Mini Shepherd's pie -Savory tea sandwiches - Scones & biscotti - Homemade curd, jams and cream - Assortment of bite-sized desserts (hands down the best cake pop I've ever eaten!)
The menu included a variety of flavors and textures, and half the entertainment was choosing what to sample next. As for savory items, the mini Shepherd's pie was my favorite, and for sweet, the scones with jam and cream won me over - I ate 3! I've made scones a handful of times and love that they are a pastry that can be dressed up or down. The combination of scones and tea is absolutely perfect and Jenn is a wonderfully talented pastry chef.
"If I could only choose one pastry to have the rest of my life it would be a warm, light and delicate vanilla bean scone with jam & cream."-JP
It was refreshing to take some time out of my busy schedule (I was leaving for Bali in 2 days, so I had a ton of last minute things to do!) and get some 1 on 1 time with one of my besties. I have added Twenty Six Divine to my list of activities to do with visitors as it is a unique experience that can be enjoyed rain or shine (aka 100 melty degrees outside). Bonus, returning locals receive 26% off afternoon tea Monday- Thursday (by reservation), so there's really no excuse not to pay them a visit!
Additionally, you can attend one of their drop-in style events every third Wednesday of the month with tea, wine, and kombucha tastings, light hors d'oeuvres and sweets for $15/pp. Each month, one talented artist, designer, healer, author or creator is showcased and sells their work - it is an exciting way to expose people to culture and art, and inspiring to see locals supporting locals. I love this event for a Social Club outing with the ladies and hope to attend one soon.
All in all, Afternoon Tea exceeded my expectations and I'm excited to be able to share my experience with everyone. But wait, there's more...Twenty Six Divine is actually two parts - Jenn and her husband Enan. Chef Enan specializes in customized private dinners for 8-12 guests, at the tea room, or in your home. The Johnson & Wales graduate has an impressive background working all over the Charleston area and would love to help bring your event to life - starting with this Valentine's Day! Enan has created a delectable prix fixe four course dinner that sounds every bit as lovely as a dozen big red roses. Now that I know this, I've got a new 2019 bucket list item: experience Enan's cooking!
Check out my Q&A session with Jenn below to learn more about her passion for tea, connecting with guests and providing an unforgettable experience. Then, pop on over to the Local Love page to see how to connect with Twenty Six Divine, and be in the know for future events!
Do you have a favorite teapot/set?
Jenn: I joke with some of our guests that fine China sets are like fine clothes: you can never have too many & it’s hard to choose a favorite!
If you could have afternoon tea with anyone, alive or dead, who would it be?
Jenn: I will always choose my children to enjoy tea with if given the choice. They’re remarkable human beings & I love their insight and their company. Outside of my family, I would choose Princess Diana. She carried herself with such poise and grace but also made the world a better place with her kindness and generosity.
Any fun tea facts to share?
Jenn: Green tea is the healthiest beverage on the planet-loaded with antioxidants & nutrients. I drink it daily!
Who is the most notable person/group you have served?
Jenn: We love serving our bridal & baby shower guests along with our Scarlett hat ladies but we also enjoy when the room is quiet with only a handful of guests that we can chat with & get to know better.
What is your favorite thing about owning a tea room?
Jenn: My favorite part about owning a tea room is: EVERYTHING! I love giving people a quiet sanctuary to come to and slow down. I love making bite size seasonal savory & sweet items for people to enjoy with a delicious cup of tea. I love talking to people, locals and travelers, who want to tell me their story. It’s just a wonderful niche for us!