My European Staycation: Tea at the Drake Hotel

My European Staycation: Tea at the Drake Hotel

In keeping with my new goal of having a European staycation in August, I made my way to “England” this weekend via afternoon tea at the Drake Hotel in downtown Chicago. As many of you know in reading my posts, I love to take afternoon tea, whether it is in my own house or in another country. In fact, I was once quite a connoisseur of afternoon tea – having experienced it on several occasions in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland.

This is my second time having tea at the Drake and I must admit, I remember the first time being slightly better. Although the service was exceptional and the presentation was fantastic, the food – particularly the very small sandwiches – was underwhelming. However, here’s what I did like about the Drake’s version of afternoon tea:

5 Things I Liked about Afternoon Tea at the Drake

  1. The Harpist – a beautiful addition to the stunning lobby
  2. The Tea – they serve Harney and Sons tea – one of my favorites, particularly English Breakfast
  3. The Scone – this is not your typical scone from Starbucks or Panera, but rather a very close resemblence to the biscuit-like scones in the UK
  4. The Bathroom – one of the most beautiful bathrooms I’ve seen in a hotel – and I’ve seen my fair share!
  5. The Devonshire Cream – Probably only the second time I’ve had it outside of England! It was quite good, although, tea and its accompaniments never seem quite as good outside of the UK.
Next stop on my European Staycation? France! Want to take your own European staycation? Here are a few European staycation ideas to get you started.


  1. I love the bathrooms at the Drake! I don’t live in Chicago, but my aunt lives across Michigan Avenue from the hotel. Next time I’m there, I think I’ll try tea at the Peninsula. Have you ever done that? My seven-year-old and I had tea at The Brown Palace this weekend while on a trip to Denver. It was lovely–highly reccomend.

    For a French experience, I love Mon Ami Gabi at the Belden-Stratford in Lincoln Park.

    • I meant “recommend”.

    • Hi Melinda – I’ve stayed at the Brown Palace!! Such a lovely hotel. Too bad it was only for one night and I was not able to indulge in the spa 🙁 My husband and I absolutely adore Mon Ami Gai (and Brassiere Joe before it closed). Love the spinach salad with poached egg – very French indeed!

  2. I haven’t left a comment before but I must tell you, I love your website! I visit at least once a day. I believe we are kindred spirits – how I long for Europe! I’ve been to Paris and London but yearn to get back there. Your idea for a European Staycation has inspired me. Thank you for encouraging me to live Paris wherever I am! 🙂

  3. Where did you get that phone cover? Love it and your blog!

    • Hi Laurie – it’s a Kate Spade iPhone 4 cover from the Apple store. My husband bought it for me in June last year. Sad to say that it cracked very soon after buying it; however it is still holding up nicely. I have yet to see it again in ANY store or online although I’d love to get the same one again!

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