Though tea has been popular since its introduction to Europe in the 17th century, it wasn’t until the 19th century that afternoon tea became a high society tradition. A common misconception is that The Drake Hotel has maintained “high tea” since it opened its doors nearly a century ago. In fact, The Drake has served “afternoon tea” since opening. “High tea”, coined in the Industrial Revolution, referred to working class families consuming their bread, butter, and tea at their high tables in their less affluent communities. Low tea, or the afternoon tea that is served at The Drake, consists of low tea tables, sweets and sandwiches—exactly the atmosphere the creator of afternoon tea time, Anna Maria Stanhope, the Duchess of Bedford, would have adored in the 1800’s.
The Drake's Palm Court has always hosted curious patrons from around the world who wanted to know more about the history of the famed tea room. Last year Palm Court, named one of the best locations for afternoon tea in the nation by Good Morning America, began "Historic Afternoon Tea" in an effort to inform loyal guests of its profound past.
This year the Palm Court will once again introduce "Historic Afternoon Tea". First, guests are invited to enjoy a leisurely lunch with traditional tea then they will be invited on a brief excursion through the hotel with one of The Drake's expert historians. The tea and tour starts at $35, tours are given at 2:30 PM, 3:30 PM, and 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday. Reservations are highly recommended, call 312.932.4619 or email Lalla.ElAlaoui@hilton.com.
A Historic Afternoon Tea
The Drake Hotel introduces its very own "History Tea" in the famous Palm Court where guests will not only enjoy an assortment of tea sandwiches, pastries and scones with traditional accompaniments, but also a tour through 91 years of Drake history. Tea Sommelier, Shaun Rajah, will be available to enlighten guests with the history of afternoon tea, a tradition at The Drake Hotel for many years.
The History Tea is available Monday through Friday, February 1 to March 31, 2013 with seatings from noon to 4 p.m. Three guided tours will take place during this time, revealing to guests secrets of The Drake such as the story of the Lady in Red or to tell the tale of when Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe carved their initials in the Cape Cod bar. The anecdotes enable The Drake to come alive in the imaginations of the guests and they begin to realize how The Drake has come to solidify its reputation as a unique Chicago original, becoming the icon it is today.
Relax, Refresh, Rejuvenate at Afternoon Tea
The Drake Hotel also offers an exclusive "Relax, Refresh, Rejuvenate" tea, available January 2013, Monday through Friday. This weekday special gives guests a chance to take a break from the hustle and bustle, and enjoy a cup of tea in the company of friends. This exclusive afternoon tea provides guests with the customary afternoon tea service in the serene Palm Court atmosphere.
Relax, Refresh, Rejuvenate Afternoon Tea Information
The History Tea and the Relaxation tea are both $30 per person, a special only offered for these teas. For reservations or further information, please contact Shaun Rajah at +1 312 932 4619 or Shaun.Rajah@hilton.com.