April 23, 2021

Tea Time at the Langham Hotel

If you want to feel like a sophisticate in a highly civilized setting, you may want to consider tea at the Langham Hotel. More than one person has asked where the hotel is located. The former riverside IBM building designed by the revered Mies an der Rohe, is situated to the west of the Trump International Hotel and to the east of Marina Towers. The luxury Langham Hotel is using the first 13 floors of this 52-story landmark building.

The decor is modern and serene with furniture that looks like Mies van der Rohe reproductions. Phaidon art books adorn the coffee tables on the second level where the dining and drinking take place. Travelle is their upscale bar and restaurant, but afternoon tea is served in the brighter area called Pavillion near the hotel reception with the color scheme being a nod to Mies van der Rohe’s German building for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona.

Service is impeccable with constant attention that never feels smothering. Our tiffin tea started  out with a server offering us chilled still or bubbly water followed by a description of the unique teas offered. I don’t drink caffeine and was pleasantly surprised to find three or four options for me, a fruity and delicious “children’s tea” being my selection. We proceeded to little tea sandwiches that must be described as “darling” with ingredients like thinly shaved cucumber, wild field flowers, shrimp and brioche. My favorite course came next with two kinds of warm scones (one version had raisins soaked in tea) to be slathered with Devon clotted cream and raspberry jam. I was in carb heaven.  Little desserts ended the afternoon tea experience and while pretty to look at, they were a bit disappointing in taste, a miniature lavender eclair being the exception.

Pleasant recorded piano music was piped into the area. The view of the river and Chicago skyline was an added benefit to the feeling of luxury and relaxation.

Seatings are at 3 PM and 4 PM. Reservations are recommended; a credit card number is required with a 24-hour cancellation policy. The basic menu is $40 per person; adding prosecco is a little more.

330 N. Wabash Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611

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