I recently went for afternoon tea with my girlfriends at the Palm at The Drake in Chicago. It had been a number of years since I had last been at The Drake so it was like experiencing it all over again. The hotel lobby is wonderfully lavish with rich woods and dark blues. We went on a Saturday about 2pm. We had a little bit of a hard time making reservations, but it all worked out in the end.
We arrived, checked our coats and checked in. We were seated almost immediately. There is a lot of mixed seating. From tables to coffee tables and chairs to sofas. We were seated at a coffee table with a love seat sofa and two chairs. The restaurant was just getting over the holidays so there were still some touches that remained. We selected our teas, each one a different type and awaited our trays of snacks. Half of our group of 4 had had formal tea, the other half was experiencing it for the first time.
Our 3 tiered tray of goodies arrived. We had scones, breads, finger sandwiches and an arrangement of desserts. Everything was fabulous. At first sight the afternoon tea virgins thought it wouldn't be enough food, we assured them it would be plenty. We slowly sipped and ate the afternoon away.
Our server was wonderful. He was very friendly and prompt with refilling our tea pots. He also offered us extra sandwiches since most of the table could not partake in the salmon sandwiches due to food allergies.
The atmosphere was very luxurious and fancy. This might be a turn off to some people, but tea is suppose to be formal. The whole event took around an hour and a half. We ended up spending $50 per person including tip. Overall this experience was great and rivaled high tea in London!
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