Many Fishers residents pass by Rita’s Backyard Tea Room and Garden Center every day on 116th, and those who stop are treated to lush gardens, unique gifts and so much more. I’ve passed the garden shop for years, but only visited this weekend when my daughter’s Girl Scout troop scheduled an event in the tea room.
Rita’s Backyard features flowers, planters, vegetables, gifts, and cafe options. It’s easy to forget about your troubles as you walk through the assortment of well-tended plants of all colors, sizes, and varieties. Garden planters, bird baths, trellises and other ornaments are all on display as well.
Our troop used a little wooden bridge next to a decorative pond for the Brownie fly-up ceremony, and then we retired to the tea room for a mother/daughter tea. The tea room seats about thirty people in a very private setting. There teapots, tea cups, and other whimsical decorations to give the room a very feminine and fancy (though not formal) feel. Our group selected lemonade rather than tea for our beverage, and it was served in a variety of teapots. The girls giggled as they poured their lemonade and experimented with drinking out of such dainty cups.
Our finger sandwiches were served and they were definitely young lady friendly. My daughter discovered a new favorite flavor combination- graham cracker topped with nutella and a mandarin orange. The cracker and fruit assortment was served on tiered serving trays to add to the fancy atmosphere.
After the crackers were finished, our server appeared with dessert. There was a loud, “Whoa!” from the troop when they saw the chocolate mousse creation they were being served. The mousse, served with cookie crumbs, and whipped cream, definitely had everyone talking. As our group was departing, a group of ladies wearing Sunday hats arrived, and they were entering the other space (behind the gift shop) for another event. The Tea Room is perfect for small private events. Rita’s Backyard offers tea menus as well as full luncheon meals for special events such as bridal or baby showers. They even do birthday parties for children. Rita’s also serves lunch to the public several days a week. A sample menu can be found on their website. If the mousse is any indication, I’d definitely recommend trying the available desserts.
Rita’s Backyard is open seasonally, and garden center inventory varies throughout the year. Their website lists what’s available, as well special tea room events, and details on booking special events.