My Secret Love Affair

I dream. I long. I count the days until we are together again. The attention, the gifts, the catering to my every need. The romantic dinners with exquisite wines and desserts. I miss you and hope to be reunited soon.

The love I speak of is not for a person, but for my favorite place to stay when I am in Chicago. Away from the hustle and bustle of the touristy areas , nestled in the exclusive Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago, you will find The Waldorf Astoria.

I discovered this little gem when I was living in Chicago a few years ago. It was a beautiful fall day in Chicago and I was out wandering around, in search of a new place for coffee. A place that I could sit undisturbed while I worked or wrote. Enter, Petit Margeaux.

As you enter into the courtyard of the Waldorf, you are immediately transported to a quaint boutique hotel off Boulevard Saint-Germain in Paris. Through the main lobby you can enter into the cafe. The options are plentiful and delectable – croissants, macarons, madeleines, and palmiers. A simple choice of cappuccino and au pain chocolat is my indulgence and I settle into a table in the corner. I can sit undisturbed yet have a perfect view to watch early morning unfold for guests, residents, and the locals that stop in each morning.

My relationship with the hotel grew as I then dined in Margeaux, the French Brasserie by Michael Mina ,located inside the Waldorf. I love to sit at the bar. The conversations are lively, the bartenders are attentive, and it is the same great food that you would receive in the dining room. The Sommelier , Nicole stops by to see what wine I would like. We chat about one of my favorite topics, France. She begins to share her knowledge of wine from the Bordeaux region and I learn the difference between left and right bank wine. The night transitions into a fabulous meal that includes a filet finished with herb butter and béarnaise and a side of haricot verts almondine. At this point, a dessert is needed to top off a perfect evening. They bring me my favorite- Affogato- the perfect pairing of a scoop of vanilla gelato and a shot of expresso poured over.

I reached a pinnacle in the relationship when I traveled back a year later. I had moved back to Michigan and I was in Chicago for a long weekend. I finally was going to stay and be a guest at the luxurious Waldorf Astoria.

I was not disappointed. Every moment in the hotel was perfect. The room with a view of Lake Michigan that also had a cozy fireplace. A bottle of wine with a cheese plate was waiting for me, sent from a dear friend that made all the arrangements. The marble bath was perfectly appointed and I was definitely geeked about the TV that was in projected onto the bathroom mirror. The bed was covered in white linens and engulfs you in comfort and luxury the moment lay down. I promise you; you will never want to leave.

The Waldorf Astoria in Chicago will always hold a special spot in my heart as it was there I decided to write my travel blog. I sat in Petit Margeaux and wrote my first post. It took several cappuccinos to build up the nerve to hit the publish button but I am so glad I did.

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