Once upon a time I went to a tea at The Langham, Chicago. It was a very nice place. Mies van der Rohe designed the building. And that day I found out why he is so famous: because he is an amazing architect! I don't know who designed the inside but I think he should be famous too. The decor was very modern, but it didn't feel too modern to feel comfortable having tea. When you think of tea you think of two British ladies in big poofy dresses from 1872 sipping tiny cups of tea with a little dog at their feet. This was not like that. It was modern enough that it was cool. It was not so old fashioned that you would be like, why is there a stone cherub on my table spitting water? There was nothing like that. It was so much nicer. It felt very open when I was in the space because you could look out the windows. It was just very welcoming. It looked like there were shiny gold, silver, and blue M&Ms on the ceiling. It was elegant, fun, and awesome at the same time.
The people at the front desk were very nice to us. They talked to all of us and introduced themselves. They were not just talking in a robotic voice and acting deadpan. They were very cheerful and they were also very friendly. The lady who took our coats made conversation with us and complimented me on my hat and coat. Our waiter was also very cheerful and he recommended the teas very well and explained what the different kinds of scones and sandwiches and desserts were very nicely.
The tea in the pretty glinting white pots was amazing. I got the Children's Tea, which was not too childish. It was not like strawberry and that's it. It tasted like hibiscus, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and rhubarb. It wasn't so sweet that you couldn't put a cube of sugar in it. I was excited about that because I like hearing the "plunk." When I was at The Langham I drank 2 full pots of tea. (The bathroom was also very nice.)
The sandwiches are adorable tiny little sandwiches. You can pop them in your mouth in a few bites. I didn't really like the shrimp rillette, but that is because I don't like shrimp. The other people I was with loved it, so I think you would love it too if you like shrimp. There was also a little asparagus roll wrapped in brown bread. I loved the prosciutto wrapped around it. It tied everything together. The English pea mousseline was delicious. It is the best version of a cucumber tea sandwich I have ever had. When I was finished with it my mouth was watering for more. My favorite one I liked to call "the advanced chicken sandwich." It was actually called coronation chicken salad. I did feel like it was fit for a new queen! It was so good. The curry with the chicken made a nice unexpected taste.
The scones were also very good. I had both of mine. The jasmine tea raisin scone was very good. There were so many raisins in it. And all the raisins were dipped in jasmine tea which I thought was kind of the best thing ever. The jam was also very good. I am dreaming of that berry jam on that raisin scone; it was just so good. I usually don't like jam, but in this case I did. The scone was soft and it was warm, and when you bit into you just felt like this is the best thing ever.
People who would like this tea are people who like amazing violet eclairs, advanced chicken sandwiches, and the plunk of sugar cubes when you put it in amazing tea. This would be good to go out for your birthday and do because it is kind of expensive, but you will have the time of your life!
Photos: Eric Ziegenhagen