Saturday, January 02, 2010

Tea at the Drake Hotel

If you're my friend on Facebook, you may have noticed that my most recent status update was about having tea at the Drake Hotel. This is something Eugene and I have been meaning to do for a while, and he booked a reservation a couple of weeks ago on a whim.

Earlier this week, I was wondering what to wear. This hotel is a posh place, and I don't have any winter dresses. I did look around a bit earlier, but I didn't find anything. Even if I had, it's too cold for a dress today--unless it comes with a built-in space heater. My characters in Across Two Universes have smart clothes that can warm or cool them, but they're still not quite ready for the general market. I finally settled on something warm: my best jeans and a nice sweater. Although there were some older women in furs, there were also plenty of other people in jeans, so that worked out.

The hotel was still decorated for Christmas. There was a huge Christmas tree and a little village outside the Palm Court. Alex also liked looking at the big wooden soldiers posted by the stairs. We sat next to the fountain and had a good view of the harpist's back.

We each got to order our own pot of tea (we didn't get any for Alex, but I let him try some of mine). Unfortunately, they were out of my first choice, White Jasmine, so I ordered Gunpowder Green instead. I probably should have chosen a herbal tea, as Gunpowder Green becomes especially bitter if it steeps too long. The selection of scones, sandwiches, and pastries was pretty good. Alex particularly liked the bread (I can't remember what kind it was). He behaved pretty well throughout the tea, though he did get a bit antsy toward the end since he wanted something else to eat.

I normally don't blog about bathrooms, but the ladies' room was quite impressive. After going through the main door, there's a short flight of steps leading down to two long couches. Each stall has its own private sink, mirror, and vanity stool.

All in all, it was an enjoyable experience, though I have to admit I preferred the high tea we had in London. Of course, the Drake is a little easier to get to than London (sigh). One of Eugene's classmates wrote a book called All the Tea in Chicago; I'd like to visit some of the other places in the Chicago area that offer a tea service. Or even better, I'd also like to bake my own scones and host a tea party sometime.

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