The Cambridge Tea House offers a taste of European flair in the heart of the Tri-Village area.

The Cambridge Tea House offers a taste of European flair in the heart of the Tri-Village area.

Upper Arlington resident Mary Boesch opened the establishment at 1885 W. Fifth Ave. (at the corner of Cambridge Boulevard), in mid-September. The intimate setting with pristine white tablecloths, hardwood floors and exposed brick walls brings to mind a neighborhood gathering place that could be found in London or Paris.

"I love the neighborhood and wanted to create a warm and welcoming place where people can sit and relax with a pot of tea and warm scones with clotted cream," Boesch said.

The Cambridge Tea House is open Tuesday through Sunday for breakfast, lunch and daily afternoon "high tea."

"It's a throwback to a time when people were a little more relaxed and could linger and eat," Boesch said. "We wanted to bring that environment here."

Opening a neighborhood tea house has long been a dream of Boesch's. She visited tea houses in England, France and other parts of Europe and spent an additional six months in New York City researching the concept.

"There's an increase in tea drinking," Boesch said. "There's a resurgence. Everybody knows that green tea has antioxidants."

A baker, Boesch makes pastries from scratch with locally-grown ingredients. Beyond scones, breads and cakes traditionally consumed with tea, menu items include desserts such as chocolate torte, cream puffs and raspberry Pavlova (meringue shell baked until crispy and filled with cream and raspberries).

With a French Culinary Institute-trained chef on staff, the Cambridge Tea House also offers made-to-order finger sandwiches and daily soup and salad specials.

"Food has always been important to me," Boesch said. "My undergraduate degree is in home economics, and then I spent 25 years in the banking industry. I was always hoping to come back to food."

Last spring, the Akron native relocated to Upper Arlington to be closer to her daughter and her family. Boesch's husband, Mark, now teaches at Upper Arlington High School.

Boesch took great care in designing the kitchen while renovating the space that became the Cambridge Tea House.

"We loved the historic nature of the building," she said.

Boesch has found the community to be receptive to the tea house concept.

"The community has been so warm," she said. "Upper Arlington, Grandview, Marble Cliff are all very welcoming."

Boesch has made the restaurant available for evening events, including receptions, showers and holiday parties.

"We're going to have two Christmas trees," she said. "They're going to be decorated with teacups."

For more information about the Cambridge Tea House, call (614) 486-6464 or visit www.cambridgeteahouse.com.

cbournea@thisweeknews.com