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Fancy, Fanciful (and Boozy) Afternoon Teas to Try

Alice in Wonderland themed tea at The Langham Chicago   Photo: Galdones Photography

The Mad Hatter said it best: “It’s always tea time.”

But with spring weather on the way, along with Easter and Mother’s Day, now’s an especially good time to try Chicago’s unique offerings. From the booze-infused and Shakespeare-inspired, to the Mad Hatter-themed, check out these seven tea services.

Pavilion at The Langham

The Instagram-inclined won’t want to miss a visit to this ultra-luxe property, where an Alice in Wonderland-themed tea is on offer through May 1. As such, expect show-stopping sammies appropriately titled (i.e. the White Rabbit and the Cheshire Cat), followed by a legion of whimsy: confetti scones, pocket watch macarons, and playing card-disguised shortbread cookies. $65 per person, 330 N. Wabash Ave., 312-923-7705, langhamhotels.com/Chicago

Palm Court at The Drake

Afternoon tea at this Mag Mile hotel has been a tradition now for nearly a century (and hosted guests like Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth), so this historic destination has the service down pat. That means a fountain, a live harpist, and an attentive wait team that is quick to bring seconds (and thirds) of the bites you like best. $45 per person, 140 E. Walton Pl., 312-787-2200, thedrakehotel.com

Photo: Courtesy of the Peninsula Chicago

The Peninsula

It’s easy to feel like royalty in the lobby of this five-star property, where sky-high ceilings and elegant décor create an environment fit for an hours-long celebration. A three-tier platter of decadent fixings, from smoked salmon sandwiches to parsnip soup, only heighten that feeling—especially when they’re quick to be refilled. $65 per person, 108 E. Superior St., 312-337-2888, chicago.peninsula.com

The Allis at Soho House

This British-born property has the whole afternoon tea thing nailed—including the price. For just $43, West Loop denizens can sip on sparkling rosé while perusing plates of red velvet cupcakes, seasonal cream puffs, and finger sandwiches underneath a ceiling of chandeliers. $43 per person for sparkling tea, 113-125 N. Green St., 312-521-8000, theallis.com


The team at this River North restaurant only hosts tea service in the holiday season and on special occasions year-round—so when they do happen, it’s time to mark the calendar. Next up is May 12, when a Mother’s Day menu will feature everything from crumpets and tea sandwiches, to sweets and Veuve Clicquot Champagne La Grande Dame—in honor of the dames in the house. $65 per person, 534 N. Clark St., 312-595-1616, brindille-chicago.com

Photo: Courtesy of Virgin Hotels Chicago

The Commons Club at Virgin Hotels Chicago

Chicago-favorite Rare Tea Cellars provides the base for bartender Leah Sebastian’s Upside Down (read: boozy) tea inspired by Shakespeare stanzas. They may be served up pretty in a porcelain pot, but make no mistake—these dainty drams are sure to pack a punch. $25-$75 per person, 203 N. Wabash Ave., 312- 940-4747, virginhotels.com/chicago/the-commons-club

Lockwood at The Palmer House Hilton

When it comes to afternoon tea, there’s no better steal than the one offered at this Loop-situated property, where an array of sandwiches, scones, and sweets is on offer for just $40 per person. For $10 more, it’s only wise to throw in a glass of Champagne — or two. 17 E. Monroe St., 312-917-3404, lockwoodrestaurant.com


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