Best Afternoon Tea In Chicago

April 25, 2011 2:06 PM

William and Kate Tea Cups

(credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

William and Kate Tea Cups

(credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

The Royal Wedding is rapidly approaching and while we’re not British, we do have a sort of curiosity of the spectacle. If you want to pretend to be British, or you just like tea, maybe finding an afternoon tea is just for you. Dip your toe into a very British tradition going back to the early 1800s with Queen Victoria. It is a time to gather with friends, between lunch and dinner (usually between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.) and to enjoy a pot of tea, sandwiches, small cakes and sweets.

The Drake Hotel – Palm Court

Sip tea where the Queen herself dined in 1958. Every day afternoon tea is served between 1 p.m and 5 p.m. Each seating lasts approximately an hour and a half and they highly recommend having a reservation. Savor finger sandwiches, fruit breads, scones and French pastries with your tea. If you happen to be there on the weekends between 2 and 4 p.m. you can listen to a live harpist.

140 E. Walton Place
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: 312-787-2200

peninsula Best Afternoon Tea In Chicago


The Peninsula Hotel – The Lobby

Here’s another high class, high afternoon tea. Enjoy dining in a room with 20-foot windows overlooking Chicago. You can fancy yourself with peppermint chocolate tarts, scones, gingerbread macarons, and sandwiches. If you want to go one step fancier, you can have the champagne afternoon tea, which is the traditional afternoon tea, but with a glass of champagne.

108 E. Superior St.
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: 312-337-2888
Tea Hours:
Monday – Friday: 3 – 5:30 p.m.
Saturday: 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. seatings
Sunday: 4 – 6 p.m.

Four Seasons Hotel Chicago – Seasons Lounge

This is the perfect, cozy setting to have your afternoon tea. Seated by a fireplace, great on those rainy days, you’ll be overlooking North Michigan Avenue. The Seasons Lounge also features a fountain and on Friday and Saturday evenings they have live jazz. You’ll have a selection of finger sandwiches, French pastries, whipped double Devon cream and preserves to go along with your pot of brewed tea. If you’d like to have a private tea party with a few of your lady friends, the Astor and Bellevue Rooms are available.

120 E. Delaware Place
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: 312-280-8800
Hours: Monday – Saturday: 3 -5 p.m.

Russian Tea Time

Located in Chicago’s artistic district, the Russian Tea Time afternoon tea service is served daily from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. Seated in an elegant and intimate atmosphere, you’ll be served a pot of tea and start with raisin scones. This is followed by a salmon and cream cheese tea bite, a mini reuben and a mini quiche. To finish, savor their sweets of strawberry cake, tea cookies and tortes. You can have a full tea service for $24.95 per guest.

77 E. Adams St.
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: 312-360-0000

American Girl Place Chicago

For the little ladies, they can dine at the American Girl Café for afternoon tea with their dolls, who also have their own place settings. You’ll start your tea with cinnamon buns, then move on to sandwiches, scones and tea bread and finish with chocolate mousse, fruit tartlets and a chocolate teacup with vanilla pudding. At the end of the day, there is a special memento for the little lady to take home as a reminder of her special day.

835 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: 877-247-5223
Hours: Approximate seating time is 4 p.m. Call for reservations
Price: $18 per person, plus tax.

Rachel Azark is a writer, loves a good cup of tea and lives on Chicago’s northwest side. Read more of her work on her blog

106911309 81 Best Afternoon Tea In Chicago

Photo Gallery: Prince William And Kate Middleton Engaged

Royal Wedding In Chicago: View the CBS Local Chicago Royal Wedding Guide — updated all this week!

CBS News Royal Wedding Coverage: Watch all the action and get the latest news.

Watch & Listen LIVE