My Return Home to The Adolphus, Part 1


Friday, May 24, 2019


The big day was here: my return home to The Adolphus.

Anything and everything that had occupied my mind up to this point in time vanished. When you walk through the doors of The Adolphus, the outside world remains outside. I don’t know how they do it. But it’s true.

My friend Tore and I checked in. I noticed my friend, Mr. Milke, wasn’t at his concierge desk. I asked about him and they mentioned he would be in tomorrow.

Tore and I went to see our upgraded rooms.  Each of our rooms was enormous. I determined none of the rooms in my home are as large. It was perfect!

We got our luggage settled (I don’t travel light), then we wandered the hotel for a bit. We scoped out the rooftop pool. We planned on returning for the nighttime pool party.

I returned to my room and caught a glimpse of something unexpected on the table. A note and a birthday cake.

I grabbed my key and ran next door to Tore’s room. “Come quick. There’s something you need to see.”

I showed him the cake.

He returned to his room and noticed something he had missed earlier. There was a bottle of sparkling wine.

We were touched by the hotel’s thoughtfulness.  What a day!


In preparation for dinner, we took a walk toward The Statler hotel.   There’s a park across from The Statler. There were children on a new playground and music playing from some hidden speakers throughout the park.

“Tore, let’s dance!”

We weren’t wearing the right shoes for dancing and certainly the pavement wasn’t the best for dancing. But we nevertheless enjoyed a cha-cha.

The song ended and we continued our walk in the park.  A man who was a considerable distance from where we danced complimented Tore on his dance skills.

I admired an old sign that was salvaged from a parking garage.

 

It was 5:50 pm. Time to race back to the hotel to freshen up for dinner at The French Room. I severely underestimated how long it would take to get ready. This was the dinner I’ve been looking forward to for a couple months. So much effort had gone in to finding the perfect dress (I somehow ended up with 3). Then the perfect shoes. Accessories.  I was out of control.

Now here I am, wearing my 1960s mod dress with glossy white boots. I didn’t think I had it in me to wear the complete look when I bought the items. (Hence backup dresses). I wasn’t even sure if I’d be able to walk in the boots. But once I had the complete outfit on and saw myself in the full-length mirror —I was transformed. I didn’t know who was in the mirror. But she looked very, very happy.

Off we went to The French Room.

Tore and I walked out of the elevator and the unexpected happened. There was Mr. Milke! He was there to escort us to dinner. I’m glad I found the words—they were as sincere as ever and I didn’t hold back. “Thank you for being here. Your presence is my gift.”

Mr. Milke came in on his day off. Let that sink in a moment.  Wow.

Mr. Milke escorted us to The French Room where we were warmly welcomed back. The funny thing— we’ve only been at this hotel once before. Yet it seems everyone remembers us and we certainly remember them.

We were led to our table. I had long imagined and wondered where we would be seated. And my hope was secured— we sat in one of the special alcoves. It’s a more private dining experience. Picture a private balcony at a symphony. The symphony is the performance of the French Room team as they deliver a dining experience like no other.  (There will be photos to give you the visual)

Just like the last time, we had the warm lavender towels to wipe our hands. Then we were greeted by a familiar face—who also remembered us from our last visit. Connie would be taking care of us this evening. We received our menus. My first look at the menu I grinned. Look! My name is on the menu! I explained to Connie I wanted to take the menu during our last visit but thought it would be in poor taste. But this menu has my name. It’s mine!

We long admired the menu with the French Room logo… and my name beside it.

Let’s take a moment to enjoy the symphony.

A quail egg!  I’m still not certain about the proper way to eat the egg but I certainly do my best.

 

Delicious bread.

I happily ate kale. We discussed how I could probably eat every vegetable (and seafood) I don’t like if it’s prepared at The French Room. This isn’t the same as tricking people to eat their vegetables. You’ve seen mashed potatoes made of cauliflower. Meatless burgers made of black beans. No. This is an opportunity for foods to be celebrated and prepared as they should be. It’s an art and science. And it’s an incredible gift to experience.

Connie persuaded me to have this dish.  Artichokes, celery and kale!
You are looking at what dreams are made of.

 

Tore and I laughed at the poor meal that would follow in the coming days.

I ate slowly, trying to enjoy the moment. Connie took our photo so we’d have the memory.  In fact, she took multiple versions so we’d have plenty of memories!

For dessert I had my favorite— a delicious chocolate soufflé with raspberries.

My dear friend, the chocolate souffle.  I’ve daydreamed about this dessert since the last time I had it…

Tore ventured with something different. I don’t remember the name but it looks just like one of my favorite hats. It was meringue with quince. Tore will be guest blogging about his dessert experience soon.

Tore’s dessert, which will be an upcoming guest blog.

Two hours at dinner go by very quickly while at The French Room.  Quite possibly the only place where that happens.

Before leaving, Connie returned with my menus. One was folded with a wax seal. How delightfully proper and charming!  Connie also gave us another reason to return.  I’d tell you but that will ruin the surprise.  🙂

A sincere thank you to the entire team at The French Room.  It is an unparalleled dining experience.


The next set of photos were after dinner and will be a little gratuitous but they are also informative as they help paint the entire picture.

The photo below shows another perspective of the alcove/balcony where we were seated in The French Room.  This is the view outside of The French Room.

 

Another angle, this time with proof we were there.

I’ve long admired the staircase in vintage postcards.  I like to take every opportunity to get my own photos to capture a moment in time… especially with my new acquisition in the foreground (my menus!)

Speaking of the staircase, here’s another shot along with my crazy white boots.

The experience would not be complete without getting Tore standing dramatically at the staircase.

A couple more gratuitous photos but really they show history.

This is not just any piano.  This piano had a twin that went down with the Titanic.  I meant to get a photo during our February visit but there was so much to take in.


Thank you for reading.  Hopefully by now you have a sense of the beauty of this hotel and also feel comfortable enough to visit and call it home.

I will have at least 3 more blog posts about my stay at the hotel.

 

Thank you again, to the entire team at The Adolphus.

9 thoughts on “My Return Home to The Adolphus, Part 1

  1. Denise
    I’m so sorry I missed an opportunity to meet you and Tore however I wanted to wish you a belated happy birthday!
    I’m so pleased you were able to see Andrew and that your return visit to the Adolphus was again memorable.
    Best regards
    Lisa Milke

    1. Dear Lisa,
      Oh my goodness – thank you! I was really happy to see Andrew – that was above the call of duty.

      And I would have loved to have met you! I do hope next time we may be able to meet. I know a delightful little coffee shop… Otto’s! 🙂

      Thank you for reading my blog.

      Denise

    1. Thank you, Debbie! I’ve never been one to celebrate my birthday but I think The Adolphus will become my new tradition. They make it so special that I forget I’m getting OLD! 🙂

      Denise

  2. The kale, like everything from the French Room, was delicious. I still can’t believe I can say I enjoyed kale. Amazing.

  3. Happy birthday! Wonderful post! I am completely charmed, and your dress and whole outfit is just beautiful. Subscribed, and looking forward to reading more. 🙂

    1. Wow! I am really touched and grateful you not only stopped by, but you commented AND subscribed. (No pressure there for me! haha!)

      If you saw me on a normal day, I’m in pretty plain clothes. But it sure is fun to get dressed up!

      Thank you again, Mia Su Valdez. 🙂

      Denise

  4. It sounds luscious! What a wonderful place to celebrate special occasions. I’m telling my friends about this beautiful hotel, and look forward to staying there myself!

    1. I am very happy to hear you will spread the good word about “my” hotel. This hotel would suit your taste very much– and I think dad would be a fan as well. 🙂

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