To have tea at the Drake Hotel is to have a bit of welcome down-tempo time with friends, family members, or associates in a setting that is rather rarified and genteel. Who knows, you might even put away your smart phone for a few moments? Yes, the Palm Court offers that type of quietude even as the rush-rush-rush shopping spirit of Michigan Avenue beckons but a few yards away from these tranquil surroundings.
As you walk up the steps from the lobby, you'll find the pleasant babbling of the Palm Court's signature fountain. As a rather rare and fine treat, on Wednesday through Sunday, you'll also find Lisa Marie Kahn playing her fine Lyon & Healy harp, made right here in Chicago. Lisa doesn't mind requests, so if there's something you'd like to hear, why not ask?
After sitting down at your table, you can peruse the extensive tea menu and choose from several dozen teas on offer. As part of the tea service, you'll also have the opportunity to partake of different finger sandwiches, including turkey salad with cranberry sauce on brioche and their signature smoked salmon and asparagus mini quiche. On the sweet side of things, they have petit fours, English scones, and a mini-lemon poppy seed load, accompanied by lemon curd, clotted cream, and preserves.
You might also want to partake of a glass of sparkling wine, a bellini, or perhaps a bit of prosecco. It's a rather nice way to ease on into a leisurely afternoon. It's also worth noting that there is a little prince and princess tea offering for younger guests. Additionally, there's a gluten-free menu available upon request.
Make sure and call ahead for a reservation and the tea service is offered every day of the week from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. You might even find yourself so attached to the surroundings that your afternoon tea might stretch into the violet hour downstairs at the Coq d'Or.
Photos: Max Grinnell; The Drake Hotel