Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Palmer House Hilton

Chicago, Illinois

Most Beautiful Lobby Ceiling

As we love every venue that appreciates afternoon tea as much as we do, we feel it is necessary to preface this review by saying that The Palmer House has immense afternoon tea potential. We happened to enjoy their afternoon tea the day after Thanksgiving when the hotel was bursting with guests and activity.

Entrance: The entrace to The Palmer House is very grand with a lovely stairway and chandelier.

Greeting: We were not exactly sure where the host for the afternoon tea was situated. We went to the desk at the Lockwood restaurant and were seated in the lobby area.

Service: Our waiter was very nice, but unfortunately he was very busy with the holiday crowd. He was unavailable to refill our teapots and did not offer us cream or sugar for our tea.

Presentation: The presentation was standard. The sandwiches, desserts and scones were served on a tiered platter and the teapots and cups were classic white.

Table decor: The table setting was nice. We liked the cute embroidered napkins.

Aesthetics: The lobby has the most beautiful, ornate ceiling - we loved all the historic architectural details. Unfortunately the lobby where the afternoon tea is served is also the walkway and seating area for all hotel guests - it was very busy and we were not able to enjoy a relaxing afternoon tea. We had to move our chairs close together in order to hear one another and it was still difficult to have a comfortable conversation.

Tea quality: The Jasmine Blossom white tea was very light and good.

Tea variety: There were not too many teas to select from - only 8 varieties.

Food quality: We liked all the sandwiches with the exception of the salmon - although our mother liked the salmon. The desserts were more visually appealing than tasty.

Food quantity: There were four sandwiches - salmon, cucumber, chicken salad and ham, 4 desserts, 2 scones, 2 breads and 2 cookies.

Food variety: The variety of food was good.

Music: The music was seasonal, Christmas music, but was played rather loud which didn't create a pleasant atmosphere for the afternoon tea.

Lighting: The lighting was nice. We particularly liked the wall sconces.

Bathroom: The bathroom was pretty with an ornate full length mirror. There were nice paper hand towels.

Take aways: We did our best to find a take away here - even went so far as to ask for a piece of paper and in return were given a blank strip of cash register paper :( Alas, we left empty handed.

Price: High - most expensive afternoon tea thus far - that is until we fullfill our life long dream of having tea at Harrods in London :)

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