Drake Hotel

The Drake Hotel has been welcoming visitors from its perch at the beginning of the Magnificent Mile for more than 90 years. Designed with the Italian palaces of High Renaissance Rome and Florence in mind, with a price to match, the grand hotel was inaugurated on New Year's Eve 1920. The hotel's lovely Palm Court stands as perhaps the most beautiful - and certainly the most historic - place to have afternoon tea in Chicago. And a new club - the Loyal-Tea club - promises perks throughout the year for anyone who loves the classic afternoon tea tradition.

Located just off bustling Michigan Avenue, it makes for a grand excuse to step away from shopping for a moment to indulge in a few sweet and savory treats in a classic setting. The quiet, central fountain with its cherubs and swans, crowned with an enormous floral centerpiece, the comfortable seating and the soothing melodies of live harp music offer relaxation beyond compare, with friends or family - even little ones will enjoy one of the finer things in life! (below)

The Drake Hotel Afternoon Tea

The tea here is served the way its supposed to be served, poured from individual pots packed with Harney & Sons loose leaf tea into fine china cups. A three-tiered platter features tasty finger sandwiches - perfect for a light lunch or an afternoon pick-me-up - and sweets. The scones are a favorite here, and are accompanied by the classic scone-spreading trio of Devon cream, lemon curd, and strawberry preserves.

For anyone who wants to make afternoon tea at the Palm Court a habit, consider joining the new tea Loyal-Tea Club: You'll receive an elegantly prepared welcome gift set, complete with the Palm Court's custom tea blend, you'll be the the first to know about what's going on in the Palm Court, and you'll receive access to preferred seating times for Holiday Tea. For your birthday, you'll receive one complimentary afternoon tea. After your eighth visit, you'll enjoy complimentary tea for two.

But perhaps the best club perk is access to member events, from exclusive tea tastings with the onsite tea sommelier to special themed teas. Upcoming themed teas include a spooky, Halloween tea, and a Mad Hatter tea party.

The cost of the Drake's new Loyal-Tea club is $100, and you can join by filling out the info card at your next visit to The Palm Court. For more information, visit TheDrakeHotel.com.