Cheerio Over Tea

I might sometimes mockingly refer to "ladies who lunch" but today it was me and three girlfriends who were seated at the Palm Court in Chicago's Drake Hotel for Sunday tea. With a sigh and a frown we were raising our cups of tea (and champagne, mimosa, and bellini) to bid friend Delicia farewell as she leaves for Atlanta tomorrow.Delicia was one of my very first Chicago friends. Being a native of the city, she taught me colloquialisms like referring to the bitter winter wind as "the hawk" and could always be relied upon for quick water cooler talking points on Chicago sports. (I still tease her since "the hawk" was so local that other natives hadn't even heard of it.) With the Drake being a signature Chicago hotel, nestled into the corner of Lake Shore Drive on Michigan Avenue, it was an apt choice for her going away. The classic and luxe Palm Court could be a scene from Mad Men, with Don and Betty having cocktails in the evening. Although there is a dress code -- which we honored with glee -- I was a little grumpy to see others who thought t-shirts and shorts were appropriate. The host's choice was to seat the casually dressed on the peripheries. A harpist provided the musical backdrop, and friend and classical musical lover Allison was able to name the composer for each selection. When "happy birthday" played we saw that it was for a cute little girl dining with her mother and a friend.
Tea was delicious, mine being a choice of White Jasmine. We found the tray of scones, tea sandwiches, and desserts surprisingly filling.Afterwards, we snooped around the hotel's hallways to peek into the banquet halls with the crystal chandeliers and arched windows looking out to the lake. Lovely.

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