Happy Sweetest Day & High Tea at The Drake

Happy Sweetest Day! Although it’s not popular with everyone, Sweetest Day is a holiday I enjoy (but then, you know I enjoy most holidays…). Even the origin is *sweet*: 92 years ago, 12 confectioners in Cleveland decided to give out “over 20,000 boxes of candy to ‘newsboys, orphans, old folks, and the poor,'” according to WikipediaSince then, it’s caught on in the Midwest, especially the Great Lakes region. The most common tradition I’ve seen is exchanging candy or small gifts with loved ones, or, in the original spirit, to those who are less fortunate/lonely. Some people gripe that it’s a “Hallmark holiday,” but I say any holiday about charity and love is a good one. 🙂 

Today, I had the most wonderful celebration: my sister and I got to meet two of our friends for high tea!

The anticipation beforehand was intense.

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On the way. The traffic was as horrendous as the day was wonderful. 😉 (Thanks to my dad for chauffeuring!)

Jennifer and I thoroughly discussed the best hair, dress, shoes, and jewelry options. My mom was kind enough to style my hair; she is the best I have EVER seen, including runway pictures!

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A gorgeous braided style my mom did for me. This was many hours later, so the original was less messy.

And then, the moment of truth!

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The Palm Court at The Drake Hotel. (Photo from the Palm Court website.)

Left to right: me, Kate, Susan, and Jennifer for high tea at the Palm Court in the Drake Hotel. It was a dressy affair! Jennifer and Susan were actually wearing the exact same dress (in a different color, though both owned both), the exact same earrings, and the same replica of Duchess Catherine’s ring–none of that planned beforehand!

 

Jennifer and I met these ladies online over a year ago–maybe two years, now?–through our mutual love of all things Kate Middleton (Duchess Catherine of Cambridge now, of course!). And though we’ve bonded over Duchess Catherine, we’ve bonded most over life, from major life events to advice on hair, remodeling, etc. One of the blessings of the Internet Age is being able to connect with people with common interests whom you never would have met before. Though I knew it before, today’s gathering confirmed my suspicion that Jennifer and I have found lifelong friends in these women. 🙂

Another love we share is tea, and, unsurprisingly, the British tradition of high tea. The Palm Court at the Drake Hotel is famous for its elegant high tea service, and it’s a favorite of Queen Elizabeth II when she visits Chicago, as well as a favorite of the late Princess Diana. Jennifer and I have been wanting to try this location for awhile, and with Kate and Susan visiting Chicago, it seemed destined for us four to go!

The food was absolutely delicious. I couldn’t believe they offered us seconds on anything we wanted. We asked for more of each of the sandwiches. 🙂

Top level: cream puffs, eclairs, and macarons. Second level: cucumber & tomato sandwiches, egg salad sandwiches, and salmon & asparagus sandwiches. Bottom level: scones and lemon biscuits.

The tea service was pretty, too. I’d love to collect some strainers like that!

A harpist played while we had tea. It was beautiful!

Time really flew for us; we were having such a great time! We chatted and sipped for three hours, not even realizing how late it was getting, until the servers started cleaning the room for the next event. We “shut the place down,” to quote Susan. 😉

I can’t describe how great it was to meet these women. I feel like we’ve already been friends forever, and I’m sure we will be forevermore. 🙂

Post-tea! Left to right: me, Susan, Kate, and Jennifer.

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8 thoughts on “Happy Sweetest Day & High Tea at The Drake

  1. What a lovely post and gathering for tea Amanda! Your friends certainly are nice and the tea looked beautiful as did all of you. What a wonderful way to celebrate the day!

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  4. Reblogged this on Jelly-Side Up and commented:

    Happy Sweetest Day! I hope you’re enjoying it with people you love. Read on for a very *sweet* history of this lesser-known holiday–trust me, it’s not as commercial as most people think! Also, one of my favorite Sweetest Day memories is in this post.

    Today, I’m celebrating the birthday of two dear friends. Love to all my readers! ❤️

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