Around Indy: Tina’s Tea Room

Rooibos Tea

A colleague at work mentioned Tina’s Tea Room as a good place for a quiet lunch, which led me here a little after noon on a Friday. As many times as I’ve driven by the tea house on Main Street in Carmel, I hadn’t paid enough attention to realize it was a restaurant and not someone’s home.

I parked down the street at 1st & Rangeline where I knew there was a public parking lot, but there is also a small parking lot in the back of the shop. I walked past some cute outdoor tables on the way to the entrance to Tina’s Tea Room, but as it was nearly 90 degrees outside at the time, opted to head indoors.
Tea house entrance
Tea house entrance

At the entrance, there is a ‘Please Wait to Be Seated’ sign, but there was no help in sight, so I headed back to the cash register where there was an employee making tea who cleared a table for me and asked for my tea order. I ordered a pot of rooibos tea while I perused the menu.

Menu
Menu
Teapot
Teapot

When my little teapot was brought out, my server turned over the tea timer, which I thought was the cutest little thing! It had 3 different sand clocks for brewing the different tea varieties. I thought it was a nice touch and the tea itself was delicious.

The tea timer
The tea timer

For lunch, I ordered the sausage rolls and salad with apple vinegarette, recommended by my server. I was initially worried about the sausage rolls being too “bready” but it was absolutely delicious! There was a generous serving of sausage filling inside and a thin croissant-like pastry on the outside. The salad was fresh and the vinegarette was tasty. It was the perfect serving for lunch, but I only ate half of it, knowing I’d be devouring some kind of dessert as well.

Sausage rolls for lunch!
Sausage rolls for lunch!
Dessert consisted of a generous slice of Victoria Sandwich Cake — a spongy, buttery cake with raspberry filling and a dusting of powdered sugar on top. It was amazing! I’m not really a fan of raspberry-flavored anything, but this cake was delicious! I can see coming here for just a pot of tea and this cake alone.
Victoria Sandwich Cake

While I was at the restaurant, a group of mothers and daughters that had obviously been there for a party were leaving as I walked in and there was a bridal shower of about 15-20 ladies being seated a large table by the pastry counter. I also heard a couple of employees discussing logistics of another 20-person group coming in later that day. It seems like this is a hot spot for girly group events, and with all of the cute finger foods and cakes, that makes a lot of sense.

I came in expecting a quiet, coffee shop-like experience, so in that aspect, this place was not at all what I was looking for. I had vividly pictured in my head coming in, finding a comfy spot by a window to do some research and writing, and enjoying a pot of tea in peace, but this place was noisier and much busier than expected. As long as you’re aware that the atmosphere is that of a normal restaurant you won’t be disappointed. As a place for a light meal or a girly get-together, it’s an ideal spot!

Stuff you can buy
Stuff you can buy — lots of Downton Abbey going on here
Tina's Tea House exterior
Tina’s Tea Room exterior

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