This week Mum&I headed to The Ritz for her long overdue celebration afternoon tea! We hopped in a taxi from Waterloo and had a lovely ride through town in the sunshine over Westminster Bridge, through The Mall and finally turning into shiny, sparkling Piccadilly. As we stepped out of the taxi the Ritz doorman greeted us and showed us up the steps and through a revolving door and suddenly, we were really there! Standing in the reception area we were unsure where to look first, but we were greeted and ushered through a beautiful set of double doors (more doormen - felt like that staircase scene in Titanic!) to the stunning Palm Court tearoom, which sits at the very heart of The Ritz.
"Tea at The Ritz" has always been in the extravagant Louis XVI style cream, gold and pink setting of Palm Court. The marble and the tiles shine in the glow from the chandeliers, and each table is set with a cream tablecloth, silver cutlery and the iconic blue and white china. I think we got the best seats in the house, as we were sat at the back of the room looking out at the other guests and towards the reception - so it was the perfect people watching opportunity! At this point, we were very glad we'd dressed for the occasion, it all felt very special indeed!
I think us Brits can find it very awkward being properly waited on, and here they certainly keep the service traditional, as the waiter will pull out your chair and place a napkin on your lap before asking which of the 14 tea selections you would like (they are happy to offer coffee too but COME ON, don't mess with a classic!). I chose Earl Grey, Mum had The Ritz Royal Blend and we each had a beautiful silver teapot with the waiters pouring us a fresh cup if they spotted you were running low (I think I had 10 cups out of my pot, afterwards I was buzzing!)
If you can tear your eyes away from the amazing decor, the first choice of sandwiches and cakes arrive - by the way you can ask for everything to be refilled and they are more than happy to oblige - the sandwiches were lovely, really enjoyed the cucumber and dill and the chicken and horseradish. We saved our chocolate cakes and macaroons until last and had scones next....but polished them off before I took a photo, they were still warm and had generous pots of delicious jam&cream, is there anything better? Just when we were about to put down our cake fork a final piece of Bakewell tart was presented off the dessert trolley, complete with personalised white chocolate button!
I found all the staff very friendly and accommodating, they were all happy to take photographs of you as they know this is a very special occasion for many of the guests! There was also a pianist playing throughout, he started out with classical pieces but by the end of the afternoon switched to some instantly recognisable disney classics including 'Let it Go' and 'A Whole New World' which was utterly unexpected and hilarious, all things considered, I couldn't of been happier!
After our delicious tea we were in desperate need of a walk, so headed to Green Park to meander through the autumn leaves. I was feeling very smart and well presented for once, usually I'm rushing around London with a weekend bag full of stuff so it was lovely to just relax and enjoy it! Green Park was bustling with workers, joggers and tourists all taking in the afternoon sunshine, these are the parts of London I really do enjoy!
We proceeded to head back onto the bustling pavements to hit some chosen shopping destinations...but I'll save that for another blog post! If you have a special family occasion or just fancy treating someone you love, I can't recommend The Ritz highly enough, we will always remember our afternoon there!
Thanks for reading,