Afternoon Tea Restaurants

AFTERNOON TEA AT THE RITZ HOTEL

23/10/2018
tea at the Ritz

Afternoon Tea at the Ritz Hotel is revered throughout many of the world’s deluxe hotels and it’s something they surely must all look up to because Tea at the Ritz is an institution. In my opinion, everyone should experience Tea at the Ritz several times in their life time and every visitor to London must have it high on their list of things to do but I am a bit biased because I absolutely love this legend of a hotel. Afternoon Tea at the Ritz is served in the elegance of the Palm Court which epitomises the glamour of a bygone age, very regal and formal yet an oasis of serenity with the soothing melodies of live piano by the Ritz resident pianist Ian Gomes.  Did you know that the Ritz serve up to 350 Afternoon Teas per day? It’s a lavish affair where men are required to dress formally in jacket/suit and tie and ladies are always dressed glamorously, this is the Ritz Hotel after all.

tea at the Ritz

The beautiful lobby and gallery hallway of the Ritz, it’s a simply stunning hotel.

tea at the Ritz

I was so happy to be back at the Ritz so soon after my last visit in May where my husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary. Ok, I wasn’t staying overnight this time, but I felt the luckiest girl in the world to be back especially as it was my birthday. I was a little bit nervous too as my mum couldn’t join me as she had injured her leg, I was on my own! I had no reason to feel anxious though, did I tell you about the Ritz Magic? Everyone is made to feel special and whether you are a Celebrity or Royalty or more importantly plain old Joe Bloggs, you are just as valued and important to the Ritz. Not long after I was seated, and the waiters worked their magic, I relaxed, and my nerves vanished, no need to have been anxious at all.

tea at the Ritz

The elegant Palm Court where Afternoon Tea is served.

My waiter welcomed me with a glass of complimentary champagne the moment I sat down which I welcomed and soon after, I was able to take in the ambience of my opulent but graceful surroundings. Glamour is understated at the Ritz Hotel, but the event of Afternoon Tea is one of exuberance and unashamed decadence which only The Ritz Hotel can get away with. The Palm Court’s detailing is so intricate from the sparkling chandeliers, the cornices and the stunning glass roof which floods the Palm Court with natural light. As I sip my deliciously chilled champagne, Moon River in the background, it was the perfect start to my birthday Afternoon Tea at The Ritz.

tea at the Ritz

A glass of chilled champagne is always welcome, the flutes at the Ritz are embossed with the Ritz logo.

tea at the Ritz

The detailing of the Palm Court is truly astonishing.

tea at the Ritz

The chandeliers are simply stunning.

Tea at The Ritz

tea at the Ritz

 It begins with champagne if you like and it’s something I always choose, here at the Ritz, it’s £19 for a glass of Brut or £23 for a glass of Rose. There are 18 teas to choose from, the classics such as the Ritz Royal English and Earl Grey Imperial and an array of other black teas to more unusual blends such as Russian Caravan, Oriental blends and fruit teas like Passion Fruit & Orange. Then there are three fine teas specially selected by the Ritz Tea Master, White Peony, Anji Bai Cha (Chinese green tea with apple & elderflower) and Pu-erh Wild Tree (Aged ripe raw Pu Erh from Meng mountains) all available at a £5 supplement.

My Tea

I begin with the Ritz Royal English which arrives in beautiful cream and gold china. The Ritz have gone all contemporary since the last time I had Afternoon Tea here, gone is the chintz, the china is now elegant and simple but still so unmistakably “Ritzy”. The tiered Afternoon Tea stand has been replaced by something quite quirky I thought – a heavy square silver stand with little lions on each corner and two trays in the same beautiful cream edged-in-gold china plates with perfectly cut sandwiches and the top plate adorned with the prettiest of cakes. The piano was now playing my favourite, La Vie en Rose and I couldn’t help but think how lucky I was to be sitting here in this beautiful space at of one of my favourite hotels even if I was on my own.

tea at the Ritz

Chintzy china has now been replaced with something more refined yet still as beautiful as ever.

The waiters never once let me pour my own tea, a testament to the pristine service that the Ritz pride themselves in, fresh tea was offered and replaced when the waiters deemed it suitable, I love this touch as tea can so often become over-brewed.

tea at the Ritz

The Sandwiches

Ham with Grain Mustard Mayonnaise on Brioche Bread

Cheddar Cheese with Chutney on Tomato Bread

Cucumber with Cream Cheese, Dill and Chives on Granary Bread

Roast Beef with Horseradish on Malt Bread

Scottish Smoked Salmon with Lemon Butter on Sourdough Bread

Egg Mayonnaise with Chopped Shallots and Watercress on Brioche Roll

tea at the Ritz

Sandwich choice at The Ritz rarely changes, they’re staunch traditionalists and guests expect nothing less including me. If you line up the sandwiches you’ll see just how perfectly cut they always are, it’s as if the Ritz use guillotines to cut them! They are without doubt divine, spongy soft using a variety of  the freshest breads, they are nothing short of perfect. My favourites were the egg mayonnaise and I also really loved the cheddar cheese on tomato bread and the smoked salmon, obviously I had extra but tried to resist having too many because there were yet more treats in store.

tea at the Ritztea at the Ritz

tea at the Ritz

I love the egg mayonnaise brioche roll.

Scones and Pastries

Freshly Baked Raisin and Plain Scones with Cornish Clotted Cream and Organic Strawberry Conserve.

An Assortment of Seasonal Afternoon Tea Pastries and Cakes

The Ritz take their time before serving scones, they’re never on the stand as they are delivered to you fresh and warm just as they should be. Like clouds, they are airy light and so soft and even though you think a plain old scone must be and easy thing to make, I know as a keen baker they’re not, The Ritz scones I find are always delicious and pillowy soft.

tea at the Ritz

They’re served with organic strawberry jam made at the hotel, I resist having more than one, I always have half a plain and half a raisin scone with of course plenty of indulgent clotted cream which I always spread on first followed by the jam.

tea at the Ritz

As I take in the beautiful calm ambience, I note how full the Ritz is at the first sitting which is 11:30am, this is the time I arrived. Just to let you know, there is a 15% discount applied at the 11:30am and 7:30pm Afternoon Tea sittings which is why I assume the Palm Court was so full when I arrived at 11:30am.

tea at the Ritztea at the Ritz

Pastries at The Ritz Hotel are a sumptuous affair, on the cake stand itself, there are three pretty cakes but not known to do things by half, the Ritz have an amazing sweet trolley laden with all sorts of magnificent cakes and you are able to choose another couple if you have room.  From the sweet trolley, the apple tart appealed to me, layers of rich, buttery, crispy flaky pastry filled with an apple compote with a hint of cinnamon and topped with a piping of sweet light and rich Chantilly cream.

tea at the Ritz

Everything is very traditional at The Ritz Hotel including the dessert/cake trolley.

tea at the Ritz

The Apple Tart with Chantilly Cream was simply divine.

During the sweet course, I changed teas and I opted to have the Dragon Pearls – Silver Needle tea from the Fujian Province, gently rolled and scented with Jasmine flowers. This light and fragrant tea perfectly compliments the sweet course and it’s usually something I always go for or perhaps a rose scented tea.  The delicate very Parisian looking patisserie on top of my cake stand consist of a sphere of apple and blueberry mousse which was sublime, a marriage-made-in-heaven that is the lemon and raspberry tart, this one topped with plump juicy raspberries and finally a vibrant orange macaron which was perfectly chewy just as it should be.

tea at the Ritz

The prettiest of cakes, Orange Macaron, Lemon and Raspberry Tart and Apple Blueberry Mousse – Did you spot the white chocolate “R” denoting The Ritz, it’s simple things like this that set this hotel apart from all the others.

tea at the Ritz

I honestly couldn’t choose a favourite as they were all not only beautiful to look at but ate just as beautifully too however, the apple compote tart from the sweet trolley was exceptional so I would probably have to say that that was my favourite sweet of all.

Final Thoughts

Tea at The Ritz is so quintessentially British, an experience everyone should enjoy and partake in and several times too, save up for it but come you must.   The pianist tinkling the ivories while you are whisked away to the romance that is Afternoon Tea at the Ritz with sometimes the harp playing too just adds to the fairytale magic.

I don’t need to say yet again what I think of this magnificent hotel, The Ritz is simply the most graceful and refined hotel and it’s right up there as one of my all-time favourtie hotels in London and so is their Afternoon Tea. It kick started a day of birthday celebrations in the most perfect way and I left feeling just so very happy and grateful to be back at The Ritz, as I leave I promise myself that next birthday I must come again but this time to stay the night and enjoy their Dining & Dancing extravaganza once again as I did in May.

 

My champagne was complimentary but as always opinions are my own as are the photos. I was entitled to a 15% discount offered Monday to Thursday at the 11:30am and 7:30pm sitting and cost £48.45, usual price is £57, please note this will increase to £58 per person from 31st January 2018.

www.theritzlondon.com/dine-with-us/afternoon-tea

 

The Ritz Hotel

150 Piccadilly

St James’s

London W1J 9BR

dining@theritzlondon.com

020 7300 2345

 

 

 

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6 Comments

  • Reply Bejal 23/10/2018 at 11:30 am

    What a classic, beautiful afternoon tea is this. So great you still went, even though your mum couldn’t make it. I do enjoy a bit of solo dining every now and then. the venue looks so decadent. I think we should go together when we finally meet up. Lovely review Helen xx

    • Reply Helen London meets Paris 23/10/2018 at 11:59 am

      Aww thanks Bejal 🙂 I was quite nervous of going on my own simply because I knew everyone would be in a groups or couples but I needn’t have been, it was truly wonderful and yes of course, I would absolutely love to meet up and a fabulous venue for us both 🙂 xx

  • Reply The Travels Of Mrs B 24/10/2018 at 12:37 pm

    This brings back lots of lovely memories! Afternoon tear at the Ritz was on my bucket list and when we went it didn’t disappoint.

    • Reply Helen London meets Paris 24/10/2018 at 3:09 pm

      I’m so happy you got to go!! I think if anyone is disappointed with Tea at the Ritz they’re beyond help lol but definitely a fantastic Afternoon Tea with impeccable service and even better to say the night 🙂 xx

  • Reply SudsEats 24/10/2018 at 5:44 pm

    Gorgeous. I would leave the sandwiches and jump on the sweet trolley.

    • Reply Helen 25/10/2018 at 8:45 am

      That’s a very good idea!!!

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