Thursday, 16 October 2014

Afternoon Tea at The Ritz

It was my boyfriend’s 21st birthday this summer, and as cake and sandwiches are two of his favourite things, I thought that Afternoon Tea at The Ritz would be the perfect way to celebrate.

I’d actually been before for a family occasion and loved having the chance to dress up and pretend I was posh for the afternoon. Plus what better way to spend a rainy day than to have someone on hand to refill you with tea, sandwiches and scones?

One thing I would recommend is booking the experience as early as you can if you want a good time slot. I booked this one in May and the only time slots they had left for September at this point were 11:30 and 5:30. It was a tough one, but I went for 11:30 as I figured that by the time we had sat down and been brought the food, it would be lunchtime. 

Rather than just booking the Afternoon Tea directly, I first ordered a gift voucher, because it comes in a really nice box with a fancy invitation, which I could then wrap up for his birthday. The booking process was extremely easy, I just used the code on the gift voucher and after a few (very poshly worded) emails from the team at The Ritz, the experience was all booked.

There are a range of Afternoon Tea options, from the most basic to a package that includes a birthday cake. I opted for the offer that includes two glasses of champagne, as Tom doesn’t actually like tea!

The sittings take place in the Palm Court, a really elegant room decorated in the neoclassical Louis XVI style (or so Google informs me). The space is filled with mirrors, gold-colouring, floral displays and chandeliers. A large window occupies the majority of the ceiling, resulting in the area being filled with natural light, which is a really nice touch.

The staff are great at keeping up the formality of the experience, from the moment they lead you to your table to way beyond your last mouthfuls of cake. As for the atmosphere, it feels busy and animated but without feeling too crowded or loud. There is also a live pianist playing well-known tunes with a jazzy vibe – the first time I went we were allowed to submit requests, but we weren’t given the form this visit.  The dress code is jacket and tie for men and no jeans, trainers sportswear across the board. You have to obey the dress code at all times – Tom was told off for attempting to remove his jacket, tut tut.

When you first sit down you are given a tea menu with sixteen types and flavours to choose from. I was fairly boring and went for the ‘Ritz Royal English’ – you just can’t go wrong with a classic cup of English tea! Tom decided to be adventurous and opted for a ‘Lemon Verbena’, but unfortunately it didn’t manage to sway his opinion of tea. Your tea is brought to you in a silver pot (complete with cup, saucer and strainer) and we were asked a few times if we would like fresh pots bringing.

The sandwiches and cakes are put on the table all at once, on a tiered cake stand, and the scones are brought separately once you’ve finished the sandwiches. The sandwiches are amazing - so amazing that we asked for another plate!

As if the sandwiches, macaroons, raspberry tarts, chocolate cakes, lemon mousses and scones aren’t enough, there is also someone wheeling a trolley round with two further cakes to try. It would have been rude to say no, right?!

I know from my previous visit that The Ritz is also really good with catering for any dietary requirements (or fussy children) that you might have, as long as you contact them in advance to arrange it.

I would highly recommend Afternoon Tea at The Ritz – it’s a really lovely way to celebrate a special occasion, and the price is genuinely worth it for the standard of service and food and the atmosphere of the whole experience. I’m already trying to think of an excuse to return!

Have you had a great Afternoon Tea experience anywhere? I'd love to try some other locations!


1 comment

  1. beautiful photos! following you on instagram!kisses!


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