The Palm Court
The uniqueness of the beauty of the room centers around a gorgeous limestone fountain with a giant urn as its center motif dating 275 years old, this French bronze by designer David Williams. Most importantly, the ambiance of this afternoon affair is greatly enhanced by the live harp music performed Wednesday through Sunday by our musicians dressed in classical evening gown attire.
We went for high tea and had a delightful experience.
Tea pot not refreshed with hot water. I drank my cold tea while staff collapsed tables and stacked chairs around me. Sandwich bread dry and quiches cold. Carpet in lobby frayed and dirty. Bathroom was freezing and dirty. Better places for tea in city for a few dollars more.
Wish the veggie finger sandwiches other than cucumber, scones and bread were not dry.
Teas and desserts, tomato sanwiches were excellent...
Was a wonderful experience! Overall I enjoyed the ambiance and scenery.
I had heard wonderful things about Palm Court for afternoon tea so we decided to try it to celebrate my moms upcoming move. The service was great and the dining area is beautiful, however we were very underwhelmed the afternoon tea. While the actual tea was great, I was expecting superb food and what we got was well below standard teas you can get in the UK or smaller places in the states for $15. The scones were actually terrible and I don't think most people would even have called them actual scones, they looked and tasted like a terrible biscuit. The "seasonal" turkey and cranberry sandwiches were also pretty awful. Two of the three of us didn't eat them. (And I feel that it is out of season in January as well as the pumpkin dessert!!). And lastly, the macaroons at Patisserie Coralie for $2 a piece were far better than the ones served at our tea. I hope not to sound too harsh, as it was still a lovely experience. However, knowing what I can get at an afternoon tea elsewhere, I would not come back for the quality we experienced here. I would strongly recommend trying some new recipes for scones and definitely get rid of the out of season foods. While the Drake and Palm Court are beautiful, it doesn't make up for the lack of quality. Please look into making it better.
Enjoyable and a great tradition. Tea sandwiches were not as good as usual. Perhaps just an off day.
Afternoon tea was very sweet. We had a great seat by the fountain. Our waiter was great but there were times that our water ran out for our tea and it took forever for someone to come and refill our tea pots. The food was not that good. The sandwiches were bland but the dessert pastries were just ok. Nothing super special. I could see myself coming back with my daughters when they get older just to have them experience the fancy.
This place is really good. I came here for high tea with my friend, and we are not disappointed. The food is pretty good compared to several other afternoon tea places in town. There's also a musician playing the harp. The only thing I didn't like is a bit too noisy. Maybe it's because I went on a weekend.
Brought back memories of going when I was a young girl. Nice to know some things don’t change. Love the harp playing in the background and Christine, our lovely server, was pleasant and timely.
Ambiance is perfect and the most of the little bites were tasty. Filling!
Amir was incredibly friendly, personable, and attentive!
A little disappointed in quality of food. It’s been better.
Completely rude and inattentive service. This is something I planned for out of town guests and everyone was very disappointed.
The food was disappointing- there was very little, the sandwiches seemed tired. Not freshly made, the pastries pretty but not delicious. The muffin was dry.
The tea, on the other hand, was superb!
We had a wonderful afternoon tea experience. Service, food, and ambiance were all excellent! Great afternoon.
I celebrated my daughters 13th birthday. It was a great place and they catered to her.
Our server was super nice, but the holiday menu was overpriced for very recreatable meals. All the sandwiches were made on white bread with very easy to find ingredients like deli ham and sliced smoked salmon. The desserts were nicely made and the tea was awesome but otherwise it wasn’t worth the value of $52 per person.
Amazing as always! We come at least once per year to celebrate my wife’s birthday. Azmir, our waiter, is always kind, courteous and goes beyond to meet our needs. Highly recommend!
The service by the busboy was excellent. He was more attentive then the waiter. Although it was nice, it was not worth the $52 per person. It did check-off a bucket list item for my wife but she was also stunned at the cost. We were just in London and she ordered the Afternoon Tea menu for $29.99.
Excellent to celebrate a special occasion
Always a good time! A good location for a special occasion.
Portions are small now, service very is not what it used to be. Probably will not go back.
Loudest afternoon tea I have ever been to. Could barely hear the person sitting across from me. It reminded me of a family restaurant type setting instead of the classy Christmas afternoon tea that it used to be. Harpist played very little during the time we were there, but did manage to play Happy Birthday twice. Again, the nostalgia of the classy Drake tea room appears to have been lost.
So disappointing. Hadn’t been there in a couple years for holiday. It’s always been a great experience. The food was unbelievably mediocre, way overpriced and service just ok and bathrooms that I always liked look like they haven’t had an upgrade in years- look dumpy.
For the first time ever (I’ve been there at least 10times previous) felt ripped off.
I've been coming to tea at the Palm Court since I was a young woman. It is always highly anticipated afternoon with girlfirends. I decided to treat some special young ladies to tea this holiday season, so start a new yearly tradition with them. They LOVED it. On a side note, our waiter smelled soooo good. None of us had the nerve to ask him what type of cologne he was wearing.
Wonderful Afternoon Tea to celebrate a special occasion!
Afternoon tea with my mother and my daughters was amazing! Memories that will never be forgotten!
The host who seated us was exceptional and welcoming. Our reservation was for 4:30 on January 2nd. The description for high tea said to expect a 1 1/2 hour experience. The harpist stopped playing at 5pm and the staff, although attentive, we’re hurrying us out. We felt the experience was quite rushed. Our waitress asked how many more seatings when we came in and she left as soon as we paid. We were in a cab by 5:30. Perhaps pay a few staff a premium through 6 and allow customers to linger. I have had High Tea at the Palm Court before and never felt rushed but our seatings were much earlier in the afternoon. It’s such a lovely setting. The space could stay open and serve a cocktail hour simply by dimming the lights.
My expectations were not exceeded by any means, but the service was lovely and the sandwiches were fine. I might recommend this to a friend, but not all of my friends.
Beautiful location and harp music. Fun place to come during the holidays.
A beautiful setting, amazing food and service. The Holiday tea is a family tradition!!
The Drake Tea is my personal favorite, despite friends’ preference for the Langham, they allow me to do our annual holiday tea here thus far. I’ve been coming regularly for 17 years. So strange, this year we were told we couldn’t request our server whom we have known forever. Unfortunate. You would expect customer service to match the level of loyalty & patronage.
This was our second annual Holiday tea at the Drake and it was not enjoyable. The room is very pretty and it ends there. The tea sandwiches were flavorless, the bread was dry as if it had been sitting out for hours uncovered. The puff pastry swans were mushy and inedible. The tea was very good. Our server was horrible, she was difficult to understand and when I asked questions she treated me like I was child...such a condescending attitude! i would have made a complaint but i did not want to upset my granddaughter's and my special holiday treat. The server cold tell I was annoyed and she brought extra sandwiches but they were more of the same dried items. I had to ask for water and sugar cubes for the tea...which turned out to be my granddaughter's favorite part of the service. I had a glass of wine and there were 2 adults and 2 children. the bill with tip was over $200!!! NOT WORTH IT! Next holiday the Peninsula. Sorry Drake, we will never come back for tea again. Save yourself some $$ check out the decorations and then go somewhere else!
Took my pre-school granddaughter and my grown daughters here for the holiday tea. It was as magical for the grown ups as the little one. I highly recommend!
Excellent afternoon tea service - this has been my daughter's favorite since she was 6 and remains a special treat
The holiday tea was very crowded and the sandwiches/pastry seemed prepared in advance to manage crowds. But great service, tea was very good and great atmosphere
Always wanted to have tea at The Drake for several years now and was waiting for a good opportunity. I took my boyfriend’s aunt for a ladies’ afternoon out between Christmas and New Year’s.
The hotel is just beautifully decorated for the season, and Palm Court itself is no exception. The stunning feather-like piece in the center makes you feel like you’re really someplace regal.
The selection of tea was varied enough without being overwhelming. We both took the waiter’s suggestion in a green tea and tropical tea and were very pleased. My only problem was the leaves kept clogging the spout and causing a mess, so I needed to keep de-clogging using a straw.
Scones and accompanying creams and curds were excellent. Mini sandwiches were cucumber, salmon, tuna, and ham & asparagus. I would say these were above average in terms of taste and overall quality. The desserts at the top of the tier were macarons, swans made out of pastry puff and cream, bite size pumpkin pie, and my favorite — a chocolate shell in the shape of a mug, with chocolate mousse, and marshmallow on top. Just like hot cocoa!
The ambiance was great. We were seated right next to the fountain. It was packed when we went but the service did not suffer. Noise level is moderate, maybe more because we were next to the fountain. There was also a harpist playing, and I really enjoyed this.
Overall, $52 pp is rather steep for afternoon tea. There was only one of each sandwich, scone, etc, per person. This was ok, but would have liked to have a bit extra in case there was something I really liked. The other odd thing was that the plates on the tier were oversized for the quantity of food, making it look like the tier arrived with some food missing.
I really enjoyed the experience, but due to cost and small quantity of food, I probably would not go again. It’s entirely too cost prohibitive for more than 2 people.
My friend and I took our grown daughters for tea. Everything was lovely except the quality of food and value. It was much too expensive. The sandwiches had little flavor while, though a couple of the desserts were delicious, most were only fair. I would not go again.
Beautiful venue, wonderful holiday experience. Will make this an annual event
Excellent ambience because you are in one of the grandest hotels in Chicago. As far as value for your buck.....forget it. For us, the food was good but NOT outstanding. Table was extremely crowded. They had to take our water off the table once the tea pot was brought out. Grant it, it was during the Christmas Holiday but come on. When we were leaving, we saw two women sitting at the very entrance of the Palm Court so they had absolutely NO privacy and people were brushing past them as they went in and out. I would have been furious. The food: Well, the scones were really tiny buns....not scones. The cranberry bread was good as were most of the sandwiches. Again, we paid $104.00 PLUS 18% gratuity PLUS 12% tax and entertainment fee (City of Chicago gets you coming and going.) If you want a TRULY authentic high tea experience, try the Pinecone Cottage in Downers Grove. All their food is made fresh daily and the chef is outstanding. Will we go back to The Drake's Palm Court for High Tea.....not on your life.
It was a lovely. It’s our tradition to have a ladies’ tea during the holidays. My mom, sister, niece and my daughter, we had a great time. Can’t wait for next year again!