FOOD: Inspirations Tea Room

Written by Laura Beam in the September 2013 Issue

Larry and Tamara RhoadsForget the stuffy tea rooms of the past with an overdose of forced “charm”and one-too-many dusty antiques. Modern tea rooms, like coffeehouses and wine bars, have evolved into upbeat, sophisticated gathering spots, attracting a whole new breed of beverage and food enthusiasts.

Even if you don’t know a good Oolong from a proper Chai (or even how to spell them), you’ll love discovering the superb lunch fare that complements these wonderful teas at Inspirations. But don’t be surprised if that refreshing sip of vanilla iced tea or hot French Caramel Crème Brulee tea becomes a delicious repeat indulgence, with or without the lunch.

In name and in mission, Inspirations strives to celebrate the time-honored tradition of bringing family and friends together in a relaxed and stylish setting. Opened in 2005 by Larry and Tamara Rhoads in tribute to Tamara’s kind and cheerful sister April who passed away in a tragic accident in 1995, Inspirations is dedicated to encouraging togetherness. One look at the packed parking lot and busy event rooms and restaurant tells all: mission accomplished.

Graciously tucked in a lush enclave, the chic venue welcomes you with an irresistible gift shop of candles and goodies galore. Beautifully appointed dining areas throughout the shop offer tasty ambiance at every turn. The main dining room is set like a regal English manor and two private dining rooms are fancifully dressed in fine linens and china with the detail of a storybook setting. A favorite of many guests is the glass garden room and patio with a backdrop of greenery that transports you to a countryside getaway.

The menu is equally grand—far beyond the dainty snack you might expect at a tea room. Generous portions featuring fresh, creative ingredients make each entrée a stand-alone showpiece. The popular chicken salad, roast beef or turkey croissants or the Queen’s Quiche are accompanied by soup, house salad, scone with lemon curd, dessert and tea. The soft, biscuit-like scones with lemon curd are absolutely dreamy. And that’s not even the dessert! You also get to choose one of their divine desserts like cobbler, coconut cake or chocolate cake. Sweets-lovers know, it doesn’t get any better than this!

StoreThe homemade dressings blended with Inspirations’ signature Teaoli olive oils and vinegars are another menu highlight. Exciting flavors like the Teaoli Creamy Garlic or Red Apple Teaoli Vinaigrette will make that bottled dressing in your fridge forever obsolete. Not to worry—you can take home the perfectly flavored oils to whip up your own gourmet concoction.

The masterpiece of this exceptional destination—the Teaoli collection of fine tea, olive oil and balsamic vinegars—is the only store of its kind in Oklahoma and an attraction all its own. Plan extra time to shop the vast assortment of teas and global selection of extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars imported to the shop and bottled on the spot. Here, and at the Teaoli store at Spring Creek Village in Edmond, sample all the fruity, spicy and sweet varieties of this healthy indulgence captivating the world. These intensely flavorful oils are renowned for their numerous preven-tative and curative properties. What fun, a place where you can have your cake and eat healthy, too.

Visit Inspirations at 2118 W. Edmond Edmond for lunch Mon.-Fri. 11am-3pm and Sat. 11am-4pm. Call 405-715-2525 for large parties or event rooms and planning. See for details.

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