Southern Charm Gift Shop & Tea Room
29 Railroad Square • Bell Buckle, TN 37020
931-389-0003 • bellbucklesoutherncharm.com
Bell Buckle, Tennessee, has the charisma and many of the hallmarks of a small town—friendly residents, a relaxed atmosphere, and a fine collection of antiques stores. Hidden in the lush, undulating countryside an hour outside of Nashville, a line of shops, each with an impressive collection of vintage wares—including some great finds for fine china collectors—awaits those who make the drive to the whimsically named hamlet. At the end of the strip, a green-and-white building with a red roof houses Southern Charm Gift Shop & Tea Room. And while it might seem like a typical boutique upon entering, taking tea at this shop isn’t just sipping a glass of sweetened iced tea.
For shoppers, the front half of Southern Charm offers a more modern selection of wares, such as women’s clothing, jewelry, home décor, and food; but the back half of the space is dedicated for the shop’s tearoom, where guests are invited to enjoy lunch or afternoon tea in a lovely, tranquil setting. Each table is decorated with a delightful mélange of floral linens, lace, cups and saucers, and fresh flowers. The clinking of cups returning to saucers and spoons stirring honey or sugar into freshly brewed tea, and even the sound of the occasional train passing by the building add to the ambiance of the restaurant.
According to Southern Charm’s owner, Beth Sulcer, who previously worked in the shop before acquiring it, the tearoom is one of the business’s most popular features. “The sheer excitement of the idea of a tearoom brings people to us,” she says. “Some say it’s a place to meet old friends and new… over an afternoon tea.”
While the tearoom offers an assortment of lunch combinations, its English Afternoon Tea service presents diners with a wonderfully traditional experience. Diners begin the meal with a pot of the tea of their choice, and a three-tiered stand brimming with food is delivered to the table. Afternoon tea, which costs $15 per person, includes a fresh scone, an assortment of savory canapés, and six succulent desserts, all of which are prepared fresh daily. Those who wish to enjoy a full lunch, which also includes a complimentary pot of tea, can choose from a menu full of sandwiches, soups, salads, and desserts. Gluten-free options are available for lunch and afternoon tea with reservations.
Southern Charm Gift Shop is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sunday. The tearoom is open from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.