A new tradition is underway between my sister and I. Every time we visit one another, we check out a new spot where we can have afternoon tea. When I visited her in DC we went to have tea at a Chinese tea house. The last time she was in Chicago we went to have afternoon tea at The Langham. For this Holiday season, we decided to go to The Four Season’s Allium for the “Not Your Aunt Sally’s” High Tea special. It’s not offered year round, so the only opportunity we had for tea was during the Holidays.

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For our tea service, we sat by the fireplace and sipped on Moet & Chandon Rose with raspberries and blueberries before our tea tower arrived. Champagne is a great compliment to tea, so I highly recommend ordering a glass with your tea service to really set the atmosphere. I selected the Sicilian Blood Orange as my tea for the evening. I love blood orange anything, so I knew it would be a safe bet. However, my sister ordered a gingerbread tea which was perfect for the holidays.

What makes this high tea different from other offerings throughout the city, is the mix between traditional and modern flair. On one side you had traditional tea offerings such as mini sandwiches and scones, and on the other there were Allium selections such as a pimento cheese pop and a lobster cornet.

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Typically with afternoon tea, there is a process in which one eats the selections. The Allium had the menu divided into sweet and savory. Our server suggested that we go back and forth between sweet and savory to provide the proper balance of flavors. I typically think of what do I want to be the last taste in my mouth with any meal that I eat. I eat items such as the sandwiches and the scones first and save what I perceive to be the best for last which is usually dessert.

In the case for The Allium, the savory selections I saved for last was the pimento cheese pop as well as the lobster cornet. The pimento cheese pop was by far the most interesting of the selections. It was literally a push-pop of cheese. As a cheese lover, I was quite enthused about this dish. I’m not sure if I ate it properly because I pushed all of the cheese into my mouth all at once, which made me feel kind of awkward with a mouth full of cheese. Maybe I should have pushed it into small sections, but nevertheless I enjoyed it.

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For the sweet selections, I saved the mini mix berry tartlet and the traditional petit fours for last. The mini-mix berry tartlet was a great way to end the meal. The tart was filled to the brim with fruit so there was no shortage there. You can’t go wrong with a tart, so this was a perfect way to conclude the evening.

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I highly enjoyed my experience at The Allium and I would love if they offered more tea services. On the day that we went it was packed, so I’m sure there is a demand for more tea. Even though tea isn’t year round, dining at The Allium is always a good time so it’s worth checking out. For more information on The Allium and how you can make reservations go to AlliumChicago.com

P.S-Ask to sit by the fireplace in the wintertime when you visit The Allium. It gets a little toasty, but you won’t regret your decision.