If there’s a place to be to have afternoon tea in its most classic form and have great people watching, you should head to Palm Court at The Drake Chicago. There’s a harpist performing on certain times of the hour.
Since its opening in the 1920’s, The Drake Hotel has maintained a British vibe becoming the home away from home for many of Britain’s royal family starting with the Prince of Wales who stayed there in 1924. Other royals — both British and non-British — have continued the tradition including Princess Diana and the Empress of Japan.
Drake’s afternoon tea features one of the best French tea brands, Palais Des Thes teas with a choice of 17 unique custom-made teas. The teas are served in individual tea pots accompanied by the traditional three-tiered tea tray filled with an arrangement of finger sandwiches; breads and scones; and seasonal desserts.
Finger Sandwich Selection:
Lobster and shrimp Tart
Smoked Salmon, arugula, herb cream on pumpernickel
Turkey, orange cranberry chutney on gougere
Cucumber and tomato on white bread
The savory elements to this afternoon tea were tasty. The smoked salmon on pumpernickel was my favorite. The gougere filled turkey and orange cranberry chutney tasted like Thanksgiving (in a good way). They paired very well with our tea choices of Montagne Bleue (black tea blend of honey, lavender, berries and rhubarb) and Vive le Thé! (a ginger-lemon blend green tea).
We had warm, buttery, flaky scones accompanied by preserves, lemon curd and English double Devonshire cream. The peppermint chocolate macaron was fine and had good minty flavor. The raspberry chocolate tart was very good, and apple walnut mini loaf had great flavors and the loaf was moist.
Overall, the tea was very enjoyable. The atmosphere was genteel but light with the various tables having a birthday celebration or young families there. The food and tea were good and I’ve learned that you may have refills on your food. The staff was friendly and courteous. Even after tea, just to stroll around this historic hotel is very cool.
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Palm Court at The Drake Chicago
140 E Walton Pl
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (312) 787-2200