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Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Mini Vacation by Margot Justes

I was lucky enough to play tourist both in my own neck of the woods-Chicago and New York.

My daughter received her MBA at Nary Pier last Saturday, so we spent the weekend in Chicago and had a delightful walking adventure. We had breakfast at the Marriott on Michigan Ave. and we were lucky enough to be seated in front of a huge window overlooking the magnificent mile.

We stopped at Bloomingdales and visited the Nespresso boutique and of course had coffee. It was a terrific family weekend that culminated with Solonge's graduation.

Monday I flew to NY for an altogether different adventure. The Marriott Marquis located in Times Square fits the area well, loud and boisterous and doesn't seem to sleep, just like the famed spot.

I tried to see as much as I could and still manage to attend a few functions at the RWA conference.

What I thought would be a wonderful treat turned out to be a very expensive and great disappointment. The high tea at the Plaza hotel fell far short of expectation. The recommended bold tea was anything but, served in a pouch, it was weak and pretty much lacking in flavor. The bread of the finger sandwiches had been cut and allowed to sit, because when served it had that cut and dried prepared hours ago feel to them.

The best part was the volcanic scone eruption. I picked up my scone and tried to gently pull it apart, a scone will easily divide in half if not desiccated with age. This cone erupted, crumbled and tiny specs scattered everywhere. Rather like a crumbly volcanic fall-out.

When I finally was able to get the waiter to ask him for more hot water, I told him this was literally the crumbiest scone I've ever had, his reply was, "believe it or not, it is very fresh." My reply, "Seriously?" He never even asked if I wanted another scone. The price of that delight was $50.00 plus tip. Visit the hotel, the building is gorgeous, but for tea head to the Waldorf Astoria.

If you're in Chicago and want high tea, there are 3 places I recommend, the Russian Tea Time restaurant, it's small and intimate but serves a delightful high tea, the Russian food is good too. The Drake Hotel for the ambiance and an excellent tea service, but the best is the Peninsula hotel because the food is exceptional but service can be inattentive.

Till next time.
Margot Justes
www.mjustes.com
A Hotel in Paris

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