To catch my flight to California from O’Hare airport this morning I had to come up to Chicago yesterday afternoon and stay the night. Before my dinner engagement, I went through the rabbit warren underground passageways then up to my favourite old watering hole on the seventh floor of the old Marshall Fields Department Store for a glass of wine. 

Marshall Fields which is now Macys is one of the locations that breathe America to me and for me the big department store is an important Chicago Icon. A beacon from the past. Plus, at this time of year, it is heaving with sales.


But really I was here for the Walnut Room.


And it’s views.


And now I must away, find some decent coffee and catch my plane to California via Phoenix (I think).


I hope you have a lovely day.

Love celi


Wednesday 02/14 10% / 0 in
Cloudy skies during the morning with areas of fog developing late. High 43F. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph.

Wednesday Night 02/14 20% / 0 in
Areas of fog. Low 39F. Winds SW at 10 to 15 mph.

6:48 am 5:26 pm

Waning Crescent, 2% visible 6:08 am 4:27 pm


Wednesday 02/14 0% / 0 in
A mix of clouds and sun. High near 65F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph.

Wednesday Night 02/14 10% / 0 in
Clear skies. Low 37F. Winds light and variable.

6:45 am 5:37 pm

Waning Crescent, 2% visible 6:06 am 4:45 pm



33 Comments on “THE WALNUT ROOM

  1. And off you go!!! So wonderful to be able to go along with you!!! xoxoxo

  2. The Walnut Room looks lovely – it looks older than the concrete buildings from the window, though it’s probably the same age.

  3. I remember the Walnut Room from the 50s & 60s when we rode the Northwestern Train or the “el” down from the North Shore to the Loop for lunch & a matinee, museum going or shopping. We could get off the el right onto Field’s escalator. It was very exciting & glam & lunch there was delicious. Thanks for the sights. It’s not bustling (at your hour there) as in the old days when we waited with the hostess behind the velvet rope for seating. And now California, here we come! Safe travels, Celi.

  4. My husband and I have a joke–“Macy’s is having a sale!” Because they just about always are. I guess that’s the state of retail today. I love the Walnut Room, though. Love the elegance of the old department store dining rooms. Our Macy’s was previously Meier and Frank, and it was the Georgian Room, up on the 12th floor. Seeing as how Macy’s closed that downtown store last year, it is, alas, no longer in existence.

  5. I wish you a wonderfilled trip with no hitches and pure pleasure. I love the architecture of that dining room. They don’t have that kind of craftsmanship anymore.

  6. The walnut room looks just my cup of tea. I also love old department stores. My favourite is Libertys, they have some beautiful things in there. Safe flight.

  7. I loved the Walnut Room. I went there with my maternal great aunt one day when she had me accompany her furniture shopping. We looked at a lot of the special things Marshall Field used to have and then to the Walnut Room for lunch. I ended up eating a whole tureen of their cream of chicken soup – it was heavenly. My great aunt bet me I couldn’t eat the whole thing, I can still eat a lot of soup at a sitting. We talked about family and some of the beautiful things we’d seen and that her older sister had sold some crochet doilies and such to Field’s years before. It’s nice to know it’s still there.

    • Just the fact that the soup came in a tureen is special! It was not very busy when I was there but I had a feeling the staff were just recovering from the Christmas and holiday rush.

      • The listing on the menu was by the bowl or by the tureen. The tureen was ordered after we each had had a bowl. It was an interesting day.

  8. Today you took me back fifty years, to when I had to go shopping with my Mom in Johannesburg. The department store was Stuttafords and very swank. The lift was the cage type operated by a gentleman dressed in red tail coat and grey top hat. He reeled off the contents as we approached each floor. I cant remember the name of the dining room on the 5th floor but it looked very similar to todays photos. I remember thick plush carpets, starched white table cloths with rows of polished silverware, white bone china plates with gold rim and sparkly cut glass glasses even for little girls drinking orange juice. Stuttafords all closed now, thanks for finding those memories 🙂 Laura

    • Sounds like just the place. So sad that no one goes to these stores anymore and they are doomed to close. And where did all that gorgeous heavy cutlery and crockery go – that’s what I want to know/ probably massive auctions that I never hear about.

  9. The Walnut Room has that special aura & aesthetic of another time. I remember visiting similar with my grandparents, and later finding moments of peace & refuge in like places. Even when busy, the noise was muted, unlike the terrible acoustics of so many modern places, and the tables spaced at decent distances. Happy travels ♡

  10. It looks like a peaceful and civilised antidote to rushing crowds and traffic, and the perfect place for a leisurely glass of wine and a chance for the shopping feet to recover…

  11. WOW, totally love The Walnut Room, C; talk about atmosphere (and history too, I’ll bet: ) All of the (totally recyclable and no one would miss it) metal and glass out the windows? Mmm, not so much; ) Thanks for sharing the elegance

    • Just had another thought about why this room is so splendid… One of a kind and irreplaceable, if it’s constructed with Walnut panelling; as the American Walnut may be wiped out by yet another native hardwood killer: the “Thousand Cankers Disease”. While I was initially thinking of the previous extinction of American Chestnut trees when I went looking for information, this is the first I’ve heard of it but, as this article’s from 2010, apparently it was discovered in 2008 been around for (at least): ten years already… *sigh*

  12. Yup – they don’t ‘make ’em like that anymore’.. meaning lovely places to eat in a dept. store. I remember my mom taking me to the restaurant in a -now-defunct’ department store. it was a BIG treat. And the store also featured a lunchonette on a lower floor. And, you know, I’m sure we wore gloves to go ‘downtown’!!
    Have a fabulous trip my friend!

  13. Oh my goodness – what an awesome trip. Mom/dad are going back to Chicago at the end of May. How far are you from Chicago? XOXO – Bacon

  14. A Sunday champagne brunch at the Walnut Room was not something you missed. At Christmas, there was a massive Christmas tree and the restaurant was filled with children with their parents and grandparents. Many had visited Santa moments earlier, the rest would do so after they ate. Imagine the atmosphere. 🙂

  15. I will have to check out the Walnut room. I remember waaaayyy back when we would get our holiday presents (always PJs) from Marshall Fields. My grandmother finally took me to the place when I was older and visited. Now as a Macy’s, hubby and I visited once and I reveled in the high stained glass, or mosaic ceilings. Beautiful store. BTW, I grew up in California, so Marshall Fields was not known to us except for Christmas Pj’s, or nighties as we girls received. Enjoy your trip!

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