It was 2:45 pm and I had arrived early for the Afternoon Tea Service at The Peninsula Hotel in Chicago. From the moment you walk in, you sense something different, elegant. You get the feeling that if you simply think of a request, someone would appear to fulfill it without any further effort on your part. Continue reading
My goal is to visit 50 Afternoon Teas/High Teas over the next two years.
If you’re looking for unbiased journalism or a critical review site, sadly, you won’t find it here. Why? Because there just aren’t too many things we don’t like about afternoon tea.
Let me also briefly clarify that High Tea and Afternoon Tea are, in fact, two very different things. Afternoon Tea has a 19th century English-aristocratic origin and evolved into a social gathering that included light food to tide one over between lunch and the evening meal. High Tea is generally served later in the day with “heavier” foods and is considered a replacement for the evening meal.
Outside, it was warm and humid – unusual for an early autumn afternoon in Chicago. As I arrived at the Drake Hotel and proceeded into the hotel lobby, I couldn’t help but relax after sensing the palpable calm inside. Leaving the noise of the city behind, the interior of the Drake was a welcome oasis.
As I walked up a short flight of stairs, I could already hear faint harp music drifting through the air. “Afternoon Tea, Sir?” “Yes,” I said, “Thank you.” I was shown to my table and immediately began to unwind.
The Drake Hotel is located on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile overlooking Lake Michigan and was built in 1920, designed in the Italian Renaissance style. Visitors to Chicago are often advised to take Afternoon Tea at the Drake as one of the not-to-be-missed things to do in the city. Past visitors to the hotel include Winston Churchill, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland, and Frank Sinatra. Continue reading