My spouse and I had a rare day off together on Valentine's Day and decided tea would be a romantic way to celebrate. Indianapolis has few options for English style tea but the Propylaem does offer a serviceable version. You can arrange in advance if you want tea before the regular 3:00 time.
The Propylaem was bulit in the late 1800's and the decor reflect's it's era in the furnishings and antiques. The tea room has lace tablecloths, mismatched china cups, and there was a fresh pink vased tulip on each table when we were there. We heard one relunctant male accompany his wife into the "frilly" room with some trepidation. My spouse supplemented the dainty servings with a regular soup and sandwich order.
The servers were friendly but there were a few odd gaffes. Such as the server not removing the used plate from the charger before setting down my spouse's entree plate. This made an unweildy stack of three plates, not to mention the unused clotted cream from the second plate squished onto the bottom of the 3rd plate. Kind of strange from a place that offers etiquette lessons.
The tea comes with a non-alcholic cranberry spritzer (weak on the cranberry flavor), a small serving of greens with a raspberry vinegarette, tea sandwiches, scones, and bite size pastries. The sandwiches were cucumher with cream cheese on white bread, chicken salad on a mini pretzel-type roll, and what was supposed to be strawberry cream cheese on about an inch square of white bread. Neither we nor the party at the next table could detect any strawberry flavor and personally I think of cream cheese as more of a complement to a sandwich as opposed to a filler. I took the scones for chocolate cookie dough at first. The were so crumbly it was hard to spead the clotted cream on them but the flavor was fine.
Three teas come with the meal. The first was cherry which tasted like kid's cough syrup to me but I'm not a tea drinker. My spouse said the 2nd tea, "Snowflake", tasted of orange and cinnamon, while the last almond tea was his favorite.
My spouse also had the grilled cheese sandwich which he pronounced as good and the chicken velvet soup which both he and I found very flavorful, if a bit on the salty side. I think they may use the receipe from the old Ayres Tea room for this.
After the meal we roamed about the house on our own but could have taken a guided tour if we were so inclined. In all, not a bad way to celebrate a quiet Valentine's meal together.
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