June 02, 2006

Tea at the Four Seasons

If you've been reading this blog long enough, you'll know that my all time favourite pastime is to have afternoon tea. And no, it is not something reserved for the Emily Gilmores' of the world (although I've seen plenty of them too). It is a fabulous opportunity for one to just sit, eat and chat with friends for hours on end with a constant refill of tea in a nice environment. Everytime I go to a different country, I try to find the perfect place for tea. My favourite in Hong Kong is the Mandarin Oriental (but its under renovations right now) and the Peninsula. In San Francisco, its the Ritz Carlton hands down. But in Chicago. . . I am still trying.

Although I think I've found the one that might be "it": The Four Season's Chicago. Conveniently located above Bloomingdales on Michigan Avenue, the setting is traditional quaint victorian style- just the way I like it!


They have pretty good scones too- I had 4 (I am scone deprived)! You can really tell a place by its scones. The Ritz Carlton in Chicago for example had a great atmosphere but terrible scones (although I might be because we were late for tea, but who stops serving tea after 4 anyway?).

Plus, they have this really cute teapot. When it first arrives, you are supposed to let it sit like this- upside down- for a while before tilting it back upright again.

This is because, inside the tea is seperated from the water by a little tray thing as seen above. How cool is that?

Although the scones there are still no competition to the ones at Ritz Carlton SF (or am I just putting them on a pedestal because I haven't had them in so long?). So I'm going to keep trying. Maybe the Drake? But I heard it was very Americanized tea and is not actually very good at all. . .

40 Comments:

Anonymous shirin said...

random question, do u know of a nice place for afternoon tea in london? iv never looked to be honest but uv put me in the mood!

6/03/2006 6:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you that the teapot is really cute! I should try to have tea sometime. I'm planning to go to London this summer as well, so like Shirin, I have the same question. :-P Thanks!

- 20-year-old Torontonian

6/03/2006 6:34 AM  
Anonymous cathy said...

that teapot is hella cool. and those strawberries look delish. yumm

6/03/2006 7:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Four Seasons is a Canadian hotel chain, and since Canada still maintains some of its British heritage, it's not surprising to me that this spot would have the better afternoon tea.

6/03/2006 7:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if ever in LA, go to the huntington library. absolutely delightful.

6/03/2006 8:59 AM  
Blogger In Spades said...

I love tea! Unfortunately, in Philadelphia, I have yet to find the perfect tea place. I know ritzier hotels offer afternoon teas but they're either too expensive or just plain bad! I love Manhattan for quaint casual teas. Places like Tea & Sympathy and Sympathy for a Tea Kettle are fabulously laid back with excellent tea selections.

6/03/2006 9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When in Washington, DC go to the Hay Adams or the Renaissance Mayflower (or the Four Seasons, for that matter, and yes, Canada, particularly Victoria, BC, has great tea).

6/03/2006 9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Canada: North America's little Britain.

6/03/2006 11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually liked tea at the Drake; maybe it was the ambiance and the harp playing that sold me. The scones were pretty good!

6/03/2006 11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is the coolest teapot ever.

6/03/2006 11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a teapot like that at home. now i understand how to use it. yay.

6/03/2006 12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the fairmont empress hotel in victoria bc is the best place for british style afternoon tea in canada! it's pricey by oh so classy... also good in toronto is the park hyatt hotel and the windsor arms hotel

6/03/2006 1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am hongkonger, it really agreed that having a tea in hk is really good! i go for a tea every weeks with my mum~ also, have u tried any dimsum?

6/03/2006 1:19 PM  
Blogger Huckle Cat said...

How is tea at the Peninsula in Chicago?

6/03/2006 3:19 PM  
Blogger Barneys Girl said...

Shirin + anon 1: THE place to go to for afternoon tea in London is the Ritz Carlton. However, they have a huge reservation line, so personally I've never tried it yet (although I plan to- go online and make reservations early!). I have tried tea at Lauderee's at Harrods, but its french style tea and not very my thing.

huckle cat: check out http://iamfashion.blogspot.com/2005/10/weekend-planstea-at-peninsula.html for a review on tea at the Peninsula Chicago.

anon 10: yes I eat dim sum all the time. But its not quite the same as the british high tea.

everyone else: thanks for the tips! I'll be sure to try those places when I visit those places!

6/03/2006 4:42 PM  
Anonymous patri said...

I love the teapot! I like to get one...in spain?? could be???

6/03/2006 5:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

barney's girl, i am curious to know what life in chicago is like? is it really as cold as they say it is? i am asking because i am looking into the university of chicago. do you know anything about that school? your opinion would really be appreciated. thanks

6/03/2006 8:59 PM  
Blogger K said...

like everyone else, love the teapot!! And the choc-covered strawberries...mmmm
anyway, I just went to the Lindt Cafe today- in Sydney.

If you're ever down here, it's a must go!! The atmosphere is wonderful and the cakes and macaroons....food heaven!!

6/03/2006 10:30 PM  
Anonymous Yulia said...

Hello there .. i have been a fan of your blog, it's soo c=different and very cool!
By the way .. I am a tea lover as well! I am from Indonesia but living in Seattle for over three years now .... Indonesia has many good tea as well - I can give you some of my fave brands:
They are "Bandul" - "Teh cap Naga"
I don't know if you like loose tea .. but those brand comes into different packages.
New tiem when yogo to Indonesia you'll know what to find :)

cheers
Yulia

6/04/2006 12:14 AM  
Anonymous cammie said...

ummm isn't this i am fashion, not i am tea?

6/04/2006 1:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cammie: the tea post was fabulous and it's their blog, they can post abt whatever they want, so stuff it!

6/04/2006 4:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love tea, too! In London, I feel like a princess when I have tea at the Orangerie at Kensington Palace. It can be stuffy there--lots of little old ladies--but the room is so lovely that I don't care. It's also half as much to go there as to the Ritz or the Savoy. Also on the upside: the Orangerie is just round the corner from all that Kensington High Street shopping.

6/04/2006 5:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm actually going to the Ritz Carlton in London at the end of the month... Any suggestions on what I *should* wear?

Thanks!

6/04/2006 6:04 AM  
Anonymous Superqueen said...

Very original teapot. It would be perfect for my collection ^__^

6/05/2006 12:14 AM  
Anonymous Your B-day Present is Amazing said...

hate to admit it but i always thought tea was for snobby old ladies who had nothing better to do but gossip- however, on the bright side ur blog made me think of it more as a classy pastime
Thanks again keep up the interesting post!

6/05/2006 6:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tea at the Four Seasons in Chicago is a MUST. You're right: the scones are delicious.

6/05/2006 11:31 AM  
Anonymous Sandy said...

Barney's Girl--
in your Chicago search for a great tea, might I suggest Unique So Chique? An off-the-beaten path location but they do a wonderful tea--plus outstanding homemade chocolates!

http://centerstage.net/restaurants/unique_so_chique.html

6/05/2006 9:10 PM  
Anonymous Erin said...

The best place in Chicago for afternoon tea is the Peninsula hands down. I have gone there with my Mom and now with my friends every year. PLUS on Friday's they have a FASHION TEA! Which mean you not only get your scones and tea you also get a free fashion show as well!

6/06/2006 3:28 AM  
Anonymous Jeremy said...

I agree with the comment by Sandy above, you should try Unique So Chique Tea Room when in Chicago...in 2005 Chicago Magazine named it as "best formal tea service" in their annual best of Chicago issue and that's how I discovered it. I have been back a few times...the tea service is great, and I have yet to find better scones in Chicago. They make their own unique flavors of chocolate truffles as well.

http://metromix.chicagotribune.com/localguide/neighborhoods/lincolnsquareuptown/44384,0,7434777.venue

6/10/2006 2:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best formal tea I've experienced was in London, not surprisingly....and it was at Brown's. It was the coldest afternoon in January; I thought my face and hands were frozen when I entered the place. But we were given our own little table for two beside our own little working fireplace and it was just heaven for the next two and a half hours. Everything was absolutely delicious. I don't know where they've been hiding the clotted cream here in the US but I've got to find some! I must add that I've been to a few other less formal teas in the London area and they would only allow you one tea bag per pot of water, if you can believe that!
Maureen

7/23/2006 3:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like that teapot! It's really beautiful!

11/27/2007 3:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been going to the Four Seasons High Tea since I was a little girl. It is fantastic, and the room is very beautiful. As a matter of fact I am going there today. My advice is don't go done to late, because then the scones arnen't as fresh. My other favorite place is the Pennisula. The hotel itself is gorgous.

3/27/2008 1:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there,
Any ideas of where one can go for fantastic afternoon tea (late around 4pm)at a hotel? Any suggestions which hotel offers the best afternoon tea?

Would love to hear from anyone of you!

my email is tengteng.sia@taypartners.com.my

Cheers!

5/05/2009 5:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oops, sorry i forgot to mention the location. it's seattle!

5/05/2009 5:56 PM  
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