Where To Indulge In High Tea: The Ultimate Chicago Guide

While coffee is a daily necessity, tea can be a luxe indulgence. Spoil yourself with an outing centered around warm biscuits smothered in butter, fancy finger sandwiches, and of course afternoon tea. As the Chicago weather becomes increasingly worthy of its Windy City title, it’s time to seek refuge inside one (or all) of these posh hideouts.

Pavilion at The Langham

Pavilion The Langham ChicagoPhoto Credit: The Langham Chicago

The Insta-friendly, old-school, pink Taxi Cab outside of The Langham is a true survey of the glamour that awaits you inside. As you walk towards the Pavilion through light-colored furniture and under sparkling, metallic light fixtures, you already know you’re in for a treat. The delectable experience matches its surrounding eye-candy through a sweet and savory menu, which boasts a maple pecan cream puff topped with maple Chantilly as well as a butternut squash and brie tartlet covered in a cherry compote.

$68 per person, 330 N. Wabash Ave., 312-923-7705, langhamhotels.com/Chicago

Palm Court at The Drake

Palm Court The DrakePhoto Credit: The Drake

Fittingly located in the city’s Gold Coast, its neighborhood’s name is a preview of what’s to be expected. As the holidays approach, this iconic Chicago hotel becomes even busier than usual as crowds come in search of high-tea worthy of a royal. Known to have hosted the likes of Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth, The Drake stands equipped with an ornate fountain centerpiece and a live harpist. With 17 teas choose from, your scones are certain to find their rightful complement.

$65 per person, 140 E. Walton Pl., 312-787-2200, thedrakehotel.com

The Lobby at The Peninsula

The Lobby Peninsula ChicagoPhoto Credit: Peninsula Chicago

Enter The Lobby of this five-star property where opulence knows no bounds. If you want to feel truly doted upon, look no further than the upscale Peninsula hotel. The refined craft of luxury is hidden within the subtle details—but make no mistake, you’ll taste it when you bite into it. Take, for instance, the Smoked Salmon Sandwich; a harmonious combination of smoked salmon, pickled apple cream cheese, and a dash of pumpernickel. And while you came for the tea, don’t hold back on the Taittinger Champagne.

$65 per person, 108 E. Superior St., 312-337-2888, chicago.peninsula.com

The Allis at Soho House

The AllisPhoto Credit: The Allis

Deluxe meets fashionable under an aesthetically-pleasing environment of shimmering chandeliers. This British-bred establishment merges a timeless approach to afternoon tea with a trendy ambience—in other words, the best of both worlds. Though more low-key than others on this list, The Allis measures high in style. Spare nothing on design seems to be the tagline of the space, evident through its vintage china and charming decor. Nibble on your chocolate cake as you look out onto Green Street, all the while listening to an impeccably curated soundtrack.

$49 per person, 113-125 N. Green St., 312-521-8000, theallis.com

The Allium at The Four Seasons

Allium ChicagoPhoto Credit: Allium Chicago

In typical Four Seasons high-fashion, high-tea at The Allium will make you feel special. Exclusive to holiday time in Chicago and termed ‘Not Your Aunt Sally’s Holiday Afternoon Tea’, the experience reflects the room it’s hosted in through a fusion of traditional and modern. The deep brown wood adorning the walls mixes with the contemporary art that hangs off of it, while animal print pillows embellish the regal seating arrangement. The menu? Equally as impressive: lobster cannoli, BLT push-ups, and homemade pop tarts that’ll pair perfectly with the exemplary tea selection.

$39 per person, 120 E. Delaware Pl., 312-280-8800, fourseasons.com/Chicago