Holiday Tea at the Palm Court

This season I got to mark something off my list. I love high tea. I love sipping tea out of pretty teacups on a pretty set table with pretty linen. I love having little sandwiches and scones. I love choosing from pretty macaroons and sweets to finish. I love having it presented on a three-tiered tower. I've had some wonderful tea room experiences, but all in the suburbs. I hadn't had high tea in the city and I really wanted to. I also wanted to do it at Christmas time. So it was on my bucket list and I was so happy to check it off.

Last year when I won an overnight in the Princess Diana suite at The Drake Hotel, I visited with my nieces and hoped to do tea in The Palm Court while we were there. Unfortunately they were completely booked, so this year I checked early and made a reservation my sister and I to get together for tea on a weekday afternoon. Her friend, Char, joined us and it was such a fun experience.

The hotel lobby is decked out with a beautiful tree, a train and lots of other holiday decor. The Palm Court was looking beautiful, too.

We started out with mimosas and champagne and each selected our tea. Each of our selections was brought out in a teapot, so it was easy to share and sample a little of each. I opted for a citrus tea. I believe Becky had a jasmine tea. But we all agreed that Char's pic was the best - a delicious seasonal blend called "Nutcracker" with vanilla and hazelnut.

Our first level included a plain scone, cranberry orange scone and chocolate egg nog bread pudding that was phenomenal. Next were our sandwiches - my favorite part. I just love a good cucumber sandwich. They just don't taste the same when I try to make them at home. Anyway, we had cucumber sandwiches, roasted turkey on pumpernickel (LOVED this one), bourbon smoked salmon and roast beef on brioche baguette. I prefer the savory and skipped dessert (except for a little bit of a red velvet cake). The top tier had assorted macarons, spiced maple cookies, an apple parfait and red velvet and raspberry hazelnut/white chocolate mouse cake. 

We also were fortunate to have some carolers make their way around the dining room during our visit and there was also a harpist playing while we were there. It made for such a festive time.

I had so much fun and think that this should be made into a yearly tradition, but there's also several other places where I want to try out afternoon tea - LondonHouse Chicago, The Langham, Russian Tea Time, The Peninsula, Vanilla Patisserie).

There's still time to enjoy holiday tea and this coming week may be a great time to do so as they crowds will have slowed, but you'll still be able to visit while The Palm Court and The Drake are decorated for the holidays.


Adults are $74 (it was increased on caroler dates)
Children are $35

You can make online reservations here. And view the full menu here.

Afternoon holiday tea is served daily through January 8 with seating times of noon to 4:30 p.m.