Millie Coleman, C.F.C.S, is the niece of the last dietitian partner of the legendary Frances Virginia Tearoom in Atlanta. She inherited a full collection of the Tea Room's kitchen records which she used to create a masterpiece of Southern food history: The South's Legendary Frances Virginia Tea Room Cookbook. A noted herstorian, Millie also speaks to groups on such topics as southern food, women's history, and tea. Millie recommends Cloud 9 Tea.

Read Millie's article written for About.com, Americans and TEA: Beverage of Independence and Hospitality.

Radical Memories
Did you ever lunch at the Frances Virginia Tea Room, then sneak next door to the Paramount Theater dressing room and rip off Elvis's satin shirt? One group of diners did in the 1950s! Send YOUR memories and/or photos of you at tea in your hat and gloves, along with your modern tea room stories, places you especially liked (or didn't) to milliecolemancomcast.net. I will post them here on my website. You can also send them via regular mail using the address on my Contact Page.

Don't forget...
"Cookbooks are valuable literature," according to my colleague, Southern author, Damon Fowler.

Cooking don't last, but reading do. Take care of your gift needs by ordering autographed copies of The South's Legendary Frances Virginia Tea Room Cookbook from www.southernfoodmillie.com or phone 404-351-1313 Ext. 3. Discounts available for 4 or more copies: Hardback Anniversary Edition ($19.95 before discount) or original cone bound ($16.95 before discount) plus tax and shipping. Personalized message and sent directly to your honoree. More Information.

The Role of Tea Rooms In Women's History
Times have changed. Most tea rooms at the turn of the century reveal a hidden part of women's history. It was an era when women couldn't eat in a restaurant without an escort.

Atlanta, the heart of the South, held no exceptions to this rule. In 1928 the Frances Virginia Tea Room was founded as a place women could frequent without male accompaniment. It wasn't until the Civil Rights act that dining restrictions were lifted for women and minorities.

Indeed, the 20th century witnessed profound changes in womens' place in society. In the former half, women wore long restrictive clothing and were forbidden to vote. They couldn't travel freely or go many places alone.

By the century's end, women held public office and ventured anywhere their hearts led them. Of course, "The tea room did not cause all of these changes, but it did play a role in bringing women out into society and into the business world," notes Jan Whitaker, author of Tea at the Blue Latern In: A Social History of the Tea Room Craze In America. "In doing so it left a mark and changed many restaurant customs in ways little appreciated today." The Frances Virginia was noted in the text.

Our cultural memory of the tea room is mummified into a ridiculous stereotype of little old ladies and white gloves. It actually fostered a strong community among working women. We have forgotten the stylishness and modernity of the flappers and young women who first dined there. Within the pages of The Frances Virginia Tea Room Cookbook, readers will find glimpses back to the true style of the age.

Visitors to this site who are searching for information on Victorian style, afternoon tea, will find delightful tea sandwich recipes. They will also find a slice of womens' history. The historic recipes are "gourmet" southern food of the era.

Tea Rooms helped bring about social change in America. The Marshall Fields Walnut Room in Chicago changed the Midwest. The Frances Virginia Tea Room changed the South.