Friday, August 13, 2010

Four Seasons Hotel

Chicago, Illinois

Most Unique Teapot

Entrance: The entrance to the Four Seasons in Chicago is beautiful and spacious. We loved the chandeliers and the fountain on the partial wall separating the tea room from the entrance.

Greeting: We were greeted by Vern (whose name delighted us as our late-grandfather's name was Vern). He was polite, took our coats, and was friendly and professional.

Service: Our waitress was friendly, explained the tea, and gave us an overview of the afternoon tea service.

Presentation: The most interesting part of the tea presentation was our sideways teapots brought to our table on silver platters. We noticed these sideways teapots on the tables around us and were puzzling over why they were sitting on their sides. Our waitress explained that the teapot sits upright while the tea is brewing and is turned on its side after the tea is brewed to keep the tea leaves separate from the tea in the pot - how clever! The first course of sandwiches was served to us by our waitress and the dessert and scone courses were served on tiered platters at our table.

Table decor: The table decor was very nice. We especially liked the cute, small fork with lemon that accompanied our tea, the tea strainer on the doily, the darling scone condiments' server, and we always love a little dish of sugar cubes.

Aesthetics: The overall aesthetic was very relaxing. The teapot was pleasing. The setting was intimate and cozy. We were seated by the fireplace, which we very much enjoyed. We were not seated too close to other tables so we could comfortably converse and enjoy a leisurely tea.

Tea quality: The tea was good quality. We had Ginger Twist and Wild Blackberries tea - both were very good.

Tea variety: There was a nice selection of teas - 8 black teas, 1 oolong tea, 2 green teas, 5 herbal and fruit infusion teas and 1 white tea.

Food quality: The food was delicious! Our favorite sandwich was the gorgonzola and watercress, and the pumpkin dessert was the perfect, festive seasonal touch.

Food quantity: The afternoon tea included 5 sandwiches, 2 scones, 2 cookies, 5 bread slices and 3 desserts.

Food variety: We enjoyed the great variety of sandwiches; we liked all of them except the chicken curry - although other tables around us had seconds of that sandwich. The dessert selection was very good as well.

Music: There was soft background music playing, but no live music.

Lighting: We were seated by the fireplace and enjoyed the warm glow of the fire while we sipped our tea. The room was decorated with beautiful chandeliers and the overhead lighting was dimmed after sunset.

Bathroom: The bathroom had a lovely seating area. There were individual stalls with fancy doors. The paper hand towels were nice as well.

Take aways: We can nearly always find a cute take away :) The doily under the tea strainer was an adorable find and there was Four Seasons hotel stationery paper located by the telephone in the hall leading to the bathrooms.

Extras: Some tables were offered additional sandwiches.

Price: Average to High

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