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Where to Have Afternoon Tea: The Drake in Chicago

Submitted by on April 5, 2017 – 8:53 amNo Comment

Afternoon Tea at The Drake By Susan McKee
The Road Trips Foodie

Sometimes a traveler needs a bit of elegance — a quiet interlude between shopping and sightseeing to sit back and contemplate a visit to a new destination. One such respite is afternoon tea. This British stand-by has leapt the pond and taken hold in all sorts of New World locales.

Afternoon Tea at The DrakeOn a recent trip to Chicago, Illinois, I stopped into The Drake in search of a bit of refreshment. Following harp music up the stairs, I discovered Afternoon Tea in progress in the Palm Court. There aren’t actually any palms in the court, but in the middle is a fountain centered with magnificent arrangement of (faux) apple blossoms. Tea is served there from 1 to 5 p.m. most afternoons, although the harpist plays only Thursday through Sunday.

It took me a while to contemplate my selection — of tea, that is. There are 17 different varieties on offer from Palais des Thés. Craving comfort, I defaulted to my favorite: jasmine. The munchies? A three-plate tier of finger sandwiches, petit fours, English scones, a mini lemon poppy seed loaf, and the surprise of a very-not-English macaron. Accompaniments were strawberry preserves, lemon curd and (of course) Devon cream. I confess that I also opted for a flute of prosecco.

An hour or so later, I was refreshed and ready to tackle more of the Windy City’s Magnificent Mile.

Road Trips Foodies looking for a more “immersive” experience might reserve spots on the “History and Tea” tour. The Drake is, after all, part of Historic Hotels of America®, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the tour guide recounts all sorts of stories and legends associated with the almost century old hostelry that’s hosted royalty, celebrities and other visitors since 1920. The Drake became a Hilton hotel in 1980.Afternoon Tea at The Drake

(Photos by Susan McKee)

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