Ever wanted to know what true luxury feels like? Try having afternoon tea at the Ritz London! This traditional British experience offers you the chance to dine in the Palm Court as musicians play and chandeliers glisten above you. With elegant waiters offering 18 different types of loose-leaf tea, sparkling champagne, finely cut sandwiches and perfect pastries this is guaranteed to be an experience you’ll never forget!
I’ve wandered past the Ritz many times daydreaming about how wonderful it would be to be able to afford such indulgences. So when at Christmas my brother and I received a voucher for Afternoon Tea we couldn’t wait to try the experience. On arrival we passed other guests posing for photos with the doorman and were guided to the cloakroom. The dress code is strictly enforced with a jacket and tie being mandatory for men and jeans and sportswear forbidden for all – my brother was even asked not to remove his jacket during the meal! The atmosphere is very relaxed with most other guests seeming like ourselves; there to enjoy the experience and excitedly photographing everything the waiters presented.
Once you are seated the waiter appears before you, pouring champagne and inquiring about your chosen teas. Sandwiches and pastries are placed on the table as your tea arrives in finest silver teapots. The scent of the passion fruit and orange tea wafted through the air and quickly became my favorite. Waiters continue to cater to your every need; ensuring perfection is maintained and that an abundance of choice adorns your table.
Some of our favorites included:
- Cucumber with cream cheese sandwich – served with dill and chives on granary bread.
- Egg mayonnaise sandwich – with chopped shallots and watercress on white bread.
- Black forest petit gateaux – a cylindrical cherry chocolate mousse with tangy cherry puree inside covered in ganache and decorated with a cherry and gold leaf.
- Caramel tart – crispy tart shell with dulce du leche and spirals of buttercream on top.
- Hazelnut and chocolate loaf – containing gianduja chunks at the bottom and chocolate buttercream on top.
- Pear tart – bitter chocolate ganache at the bottom, pear puree above and vanilla piped on top.
- Freshly baked scones – served with cornish clotted cream and strawberry preserve.
Afternoon Tea at the Ritz is served daily at 11.30am, 1.30pm, 3.30pm, 5.30pm, and 7.30pm. If you book the evening slot, I would advise not eating your dinner beforehand – there is a lot of food to be savored! For those who are taking a trip to London, make sure you plan ahead as this needs to be booked in advance. To check out other options for Afternoon Tea in London try Groupon; it offers lots of deals for various hotels and cafes throughout the city.