Savor the Season with Afternoon Holiday Tea Service

Photo courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Chicago
Wendy Altschuler 

Afternoon tea serves as one of the main attractions at the English-focused Langham Hotel in River North. It’s a nice midday break from hectic schedules, and it is an especially welcoming occasion during the winter season. Pops of pink will refresh your day and send you on your way a bit more energized.

Held in the hotel’s spectacular lobby lounge, the daily luxury tea service updates the traditional theme with new takes on miniature sweet and savory delights. During "Afternoon Tea With Wedgewood," guests get a pot of tea accompanied by a host of seasonal finger sandwiches, scones, and fancy pastries.

Tea selections range from more than 20 options, including the Langham’s signature tea collection and vintage blends from Chicago-based Rare Tea Cellar. For those wanting a more traditional beverage, The Langham Blend updates the classic English Breakfast tea. A contemporary alternative would be the PalmCourt Blend, a Chinese white tea with notes of hibiscus flowers, rose hips, and rose petals. It's accompanied by light live piano music.

Wendy Altschuler  

Additional High Tea Chicago Options

3 Arts Club Cafe. There's so much to appreciate about the newest tea offering on the Gold Coast, and we're especially grateful for the complimentary valet service. The 3 Arts Club Cafe is located in the flagship outpost of Restoration Hardware, which means that everything you see on premises is for sale. Treat yourself to one of the selections from the Rare Tea Cellars menu, ranging from Emperor's Jasmine Pearl to chamomile mint, and pair it with artisanal prosciutto, charred carrots or smoked salmon. Everything's a la carte. 1300 N. Dearborn Pkwy.

Allium. We already love the Four Seasons restaurant for its weekly brunch menu, so we have every reason to go gaga over the holiday high tea service. The modern take features a whimsical sharing tower stacked with finger sandwiches and sophisticated versions of childhood pastry faves. 120 E. Delaware St.

The Drake Hotel. One of the most significant and traditional hotels on the Magnificent Mile, The Drake is always popular, no matter the season, for its tea service. A live harpist sets the mood and you'll see families and couples dressed in their finest, while sipping some of the best tea in Chicago. 140 E. Walton Pl.

  Wendy Altschuler 

The Lobby at Peninsula Chicago. Kid-friendly restaurants are all over town, but this Peninsula-hosted tea is the only one in town just for them. They'll get kiddie-approved assorted sandwiches, sweets, and treats. There is also story-telling plus a visit from Peter Bear, the hotel’s lovable mascot. 108 E. Superior St.

Palmer House Hilton. Afternoon tea service is available at Palmer House Hilton's Lockwood Restaurant & Bar, Mondays—Sundays, from 2:00—4:00 p.m. Lockwood offers two dining menus, full of sweets and savories, one for adults and one for children. 17 E. Monroe St.

Wendy Altschuler  

Soho House Chicago. With this West Loop hot spot, plus Thompson Chicago, Virgin Hotels Chicago, and the aforementioned Langham, Chicago has been experiencing a British invasion for the past few years. And while the Langham's tea service offering a formal experience, Soho House showcases a hip, laid-back atmosphere with lots of fashionable-looking folks hanging about. Held in the first-floor Allis lounge, it can be experienced a la carte or as a package. 113-125 N. Green St.

Wendy Altschuler  

Waldorf Astoria Chicago. Guests may warm up to this Gold Coast gem's classic tea that's served in the lobby lounge. Every Saturday and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., they'll get to nosh on classic tea items like chocolate cherry scones, peppermint macarons, and savory finger sandwiches. Order an impressive Yule Log for the table, during the holiday season. The menu is offered alongside a selection of freshly brewed loose leaf teas from Rare Tea Cellars, with blends like Lemon Berry Meritage, Emperor’s Chocolate Mint and Samurai Rose Noir. Tea-goers may also toast to the season with a glass of champagne. 11 E. Walton St.