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Best High Tea in City for Holidays?

ljero Dec 12, 2006 04:44 PM

I would like to take my husband for a romantic, high end high tea for the holidays. Does anyone have any preferences as to which is best? thanks!

  1. m
    mailsf Dec 14, 2006 04:22 PM

    I have been with both my mother and with friends to tea at NoMi (Park Hyatt) and the Peninsula.

    I would not recommend NoMi, but would go to tea at the Peninsula every day of the week if I could.

    1. k
      keli Dec 14, 2006 12:20 AM

      Go to the Drake for tea. They are open 7 days a week for tea, but make a reservation especially during the holidays. it's a hcicago traiditon to visit the Drake for tea. you must go.

      1. a
        aliselara Dec 13, 2006 02:45 PM

        Last year, I went to both the teas at the Drake and the Pennisula. I was very disappointed with the Drake. They were rushing people in and out. The edibles were a bit dry and uninspired. So I would pass on it this year.

        The Pennisula on the other hand was more low key. The food was lovely and we were able to take our time and enjoy ourselves.

        The Ritz Carlton was also lovely. The atrium on snowy days is quite a sight!

        1. q
          Querencia Dec 12, 2006 09:16 PM

          Thank you, jbw. I was wondering whether to say anything but now that you have started the ball rolling: Americans think that "high tea" means "tea with a high degree of formality" or something like that. It's just the opposite. High tea is an early supper; it originated when miners and factory workers came dragging home hungry after their shift. High tea is defined as "a tea that includes meat or egg". I once saw a sign outside a department store in England: "Late Opening Day Special---High Tea. Fried egg, fried bread, fried fish, fried sausage, and beans, L2". High tea is not an elegant occasion, but it's a convenient meal if you're going out, say, to the theater. Just add a quiche to an afternoon tea of sandwiches and cakes.

          1. j
            jbw Dec 12, 2006 08:35 PM

            Just a point of clarification: Neither the Four Seasons nor the Drake serve a "High Tea." They serve an "Afternoon Tea," a different thing altogether. See the following:


            1. s
              SanSamo Dec 12, 2006 06:18 PM

              I live in Chicago and I highly recommend the Drake for High Tea. It is grand, open, and purely Christmas! They have a harpest and thousands of Christmas decorations. Don't forget the Four Seasons for the best Sunday brunch in the City. (reserve early though - they fill up fast.)

              1. s
                SuzMiCo Dec 12, 2006 05:02 PM

                My mom LOVES high tea, so I have been to high tea at the Four Seasons and the Drake. Both are lovely, but the Four Seasons is a cozier, more romantic environment.

                2 Replies
                1. re: SuzMiCo
                  ljero Dec 12, 2006 07:30 PM

                  thanks! does she like it better than the Peninsula? I love it, but recently did it for work, too so wanted soemwhere jsut as pretty. Do they have carolers? any live music?

                  1. re: ljero
                    SuzMiCo Dec 12, 2006 11:44 PM

                    We haven't been to the Peninsula, although I've heard it's very good too.

                    The Four Seasons has live piano, but no carolers (which is a plus in my book).

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