Every year KM and I do afternoon tea at Christmastime. We have been to all of the Chicago formal tea hotspots and the Drake is the best . We hadn’t been there in a few years and decided to revisit.
One of the best parts of tea at the Drake is the atmosphere. It is very traditional and fancy. It looks like they have redecorated since we were there last.
A harp player in a stunning silver dress played Christmas tunes. There were also carolers that roamed from table to table to sing to you. They looked like they had stepped out of a Dickens’ novel, one of the nicer parts.
The tea was delicious. I had the Orange Dulce which was very sweet and caramely (or that may have just been the lump of sugar and cream I added to each cup). KM had a very crisp White Jasmine.
The tea came with a three-tiered serving of treats. The top plate had scones and banana bread. The scones came with a yummy lemon curd and strawberry jam (sadly, no cream-maybe for the best…) There were roast beef , cucumber and tomato, egg salad, and asparagus and ham sandwiches on the second tier. Last but not least, two strawberry tarts, a mini-cinnamon cream puff, and a pastry of undetermined origin. As far as all of the afternoon teas we have sampled, this one is the most substantial.
The service is the best. They are attentive but not obtrusive; perfect for gossipy chats over tea.
The bathrooms at the Palm Court at the Drake are considered some of the nicest (in the city, in the country, in the world, I don’t know). I’m not sure what the people who decide these things are looking for, but in case you haven’t seen them and were interested…now you have.
I find the Christmas tree more appealing, but that’s just me.