For reasons still unclear to me, my family LOVES tea parties. Like we have a high tea for our 14th birthdays, we throw tea parties for Mother’s Day and bridal showers, and we bake scones on a very regular basis. Come to think of it, everyone should love tea parties! What’s not to like?? But anyway, whenever I catch wind of a new tea room, I must notify my mom ASAP because it has now become #1 life priority to visit.
I’ve followed Tilly’s Tea Room on social media for a while, but knew their Fishers location had closed. I was very excited to learn that they were re-opening on the 3rd floor of Saks Fifth Avenue at The Fashion Mall at Keystone. I contacted my mom at once and we scheduled a visit.
Let’s start with the atmosphere: instead of “warm” and “cozy”, the new Tilly’s is bright and wide open. It’s more “chic”, “modern”, and “colorful.” There is a mix of table sizes and a variety of chairs. Quiet pop music plays in the background.
Now, the logistics: Tilly’s closes on weekdays at 4pm, so the last seating for afternoon tea is at 3pm, which is a bit of a struggle because right around 4pm is prime tea time for me, because at 3pm, I’m still full from lunch, but we carried on anyway. Also, we stayed for over an hour and were the only people there the entire time, so this new location may be on the slow side to be discovered.
And the food: well, since we went there for tea, I was excited for tea. And the menu selections looked promising! But the tea is really just one boxed teabag in a plain mini white pot. No loose-leaf, no steeping instructions, no beautiful teapot, and no cream and sugar that one expects when frequenting tea rooms as much as I do. Our server added more hot water to our poor diluted tea bag after a while, but it was not intended to last for 4 cups of tea, so our second round was mostly hot water with a tiny lingering of flavor. Scones were good, but nothing much more than that. The remainder of menu items were pretty basic with nothing sticking out in a way that would cause me to return for more watery tea.
Saks is supposed to upscale. An escape. Full of things to be desired. The current version of Tilly’s seems to be an odd fit because it is not like that, but there is definitely room for improvement, so I’ll be interested to see if the restaurant elevates the guest experience or closes yet another location.
Anyone else have a recommendation for a good tea room?