Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tea at the Drake

The Scene
Opulence is a word that comes to mind when I think about afternoon tea at the Drake hotel. As my Chicago tea travelers and I approached the Drake, it gave us the sense of an old, grand hotel and we weren't disappointed.

The Drake has served tea to the Empress of Japan, the late Diana, Princess of Wales, Hillary Clinton and other dignitaries.

The lobby and Palm Court (where tea is served) is decorated with dark wood, gold leafing and giant urns of fresh flowers.

A harpist plays year-round. She serenaded us with old favorites, such as Moon River and Someone to Watch Over Me. I felt like the scene could have been stolen from a Humphrey Bogart film. While the setting was elegant, it also had a rich, dark, masculine feel to it. Several tables were filled with both men and women (tho the men were most often drinking martinis rather than tea).

Afternoon Tea

We enjoyed a glass of very nice champagne with our Afternoon Tea. In addition, we were each served our own pot of tea. A (left) chose a blackberry tea while K (center) and I (right) chose a pear-caramel. All of the teas were good. The tea was brewed British-style, with the leaves in the pot. We poured the tea through a pretty silver strainer which rests on the teacup.

Here is the menu (click to enlarge) and a close-up below of some of the treats.

Finger sandwiches

Scones with jam and cream


A funny little side-story...the ladies restroom is beautiful and worth a visit! I entered, looking for the faucets to wash my hands, and was a bit perplexed because I couldn't find the faucet anywhere. In fact, each private stall has its own sink, mirror, etc. One could almost take a nap in there!

To my family and friends (and anyone else) in Chicago - I really do recommend visiting the Drake for tea! We had a wonderful time and it's a lovely, calming setting. If you plan a shower or other type of "event" there, I recommend asking for an extra side table. Our table was pretty small and would not have accommodated gifts or other extraneous items.
A special, heartfelt thanks to A and K! I dragged them all over Chicago to tea places and they went along with great enthusiasm.
More Chicago tea trip writing to come....check back!


Anonymous said...

That looks like such a great time! I am glad to read about it and see pics!

Anonymous said...

Looks like a great time!
Love ya

sweetcakes said...

Tea at the Drake was wonderful! The setting was gorgeous! The food was delicious, although it would have been better if we didn't have to share all those incredible desserts. The glass of champagne was a nice antidote to the long drive up from IN.

mep said...

My friend and I busted out of work early last December and enjoyed tea at the Drake. Wonderful--especially with the holiday ambiance. I'm eager to hear where else you had tea as we are planning to play hooky at another place this holiday season!

Angela McRae said...

Tea at the Drake sounds wonderful, and this sounds like precisely the sort of trip I simply love! I visited Chicago once to see a taping of the Oprah show (alas, the guest was just some supermodel whose name I can't remember), but this sort of tea experience is something you will never forget. Thanks for sharing, because I'll put this on my "wish list" of places to visit if I go to Chicago again!

Shaun Rajah said...

Please come to the newly renovated Palm Court. The room is looking amazing.

May 09

Mothers Dine For Free!!!

This month is just for you. Mothers dine for FREE.

- Promotion only valid from Monday through Fridays

- Minimum of 3 paying adults)

Mothers Day 2009

Looking for a different kind of Mothers Day Celebration?

The Palm Court will help you celebrate in style with a unique, one of a kind Afternoon Tea that mom will never forget.

Mothers Day tea will include a gorgeous celebration of spring time and mothers. Even more exciting , mothers can receive a back and shoulder massage , courtesy of Elizabeth Arden as they wait prior to enter the Palm Court. Mothers will also receive a certificate for discount for future spa treatment.

Film & Fondue – Night Out With Mom- Thursday, May 21 2009

Hollywood comes to the Palm Court as we celebrate the beauty and excitement of film, fondue and Mothers. Tonight, you will be our guests of honor as we watch Chocolat, starring Juliette Binoche and Judi Dench. Adapted by Robert Nelson Jacobs from Joanne Harris's popular novel and lovingly directed by Lasse Hallström, the film covers familiar territory and deals in broad metaphors that even a child could comprehend, so it's no surprise that some critics panned it with killjoy fervor.

A cup of hot chocolate with a pinch of cayenne pepper awaits as the movie concludes.

Guests will arrive for a special fondue reception between 6pm and 7pm. Screening starts at 7p.m. $35 per person plus taxes and tips. For reservation, please email Shaun Rajah at Shaun.Rajah@hilton.com

June 09

A Tribute to Fathers – Real Men Drink Tea

You've heard of the metro sexual man, now meet the Heteropolitan man - He's the one that loves having afternoon tea. The Gentleman’s tea makes its debut this June. The Palm Court in Chicago is a offering “Tea for Men” to attract the heteropolitan man. This promises to be a relaxing and masculine affair. Offering a range of whiskies as well as champagne, tea with the boys is available effective June. Unwind over a round of cards and a feast of beef tenderloin and brie, Roast Beef and Asparagus and Ham, followed by hearty desserts, washed down with your Earl Grey and a selection of our finest whiskies.

Date : Sunday, June 21 2009

Price : $30 per person plus taxes and tips

Shaun J Rajah
Special Events Manager
Palm Court - The Drake Hotel