High Tea at The Lounge in The Four Seasons, Chicago - image ©Four Seasons Hotels
An unusually warm December afternoon found me in Chicago at one of the city’s premier luxury hotels, The Four Seasons, just off the Magnificent Mile. The hotel is in a high rise building above an upscale retail mall called The 900 Shops.
The hotel’s entire lobby is richly decorated in fine-plush furnishings but, The Lounge – where tea is served – certainly stands out in its striking beauty and decor. Unlike several hotel venues that serve afternoon tea in a large airy room, this space is small and intimate. Ironically, the room was full but it was also very private and quiet. The acoustic engineers must have worked overtime on this space. The Lounge’s dark wood, plush carpeting, and fine tapestries all speak of the luxury you are about to experience taking afternoon tea at The Four Seasons Chicago. Continue reading
Lobby of The Ritz Carlton, Chicago (image courtesy of The Ritz Carlton)
Afternoon Tea at The Ritz Carlton, Chicago reminds me of spending a relaxing afternoon in someone’s luxurious parlor or living room. The mood is unhurried, the atmosphere is elegant, and the overstuffed sofas and chairs just make you want to stay and never leave. In some ways, it reminds me of The Gallery at The George V in Paris, one of my all time favorite places for afternoon tea.
Tea is served in The Ritz Carlton Hotel’s lobby located on the 12th floor of Water Tower Place in Chicago, a high rise building on The Magnificent Mile that includes retail stores on the lower floors, the Ritz Carlton Hotel on the mid floors and luxury condominiums with views of Lake Michigan on the upper floors. You’re close to the high energy of the city yet, at the same time, twelve floors above it in a soundproof oasis. (This is also where U.S. television personality Oprah Winfrey lives in Chicago.) Continue reading
The Lobby (image courtesy of Peninsula Hotels)
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
Palm Court Fountain (image courtesy of Drake Hotel)
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