2 May 2016

tea at the ritz darling

F O O D || afternoon tea @ The Ritz

A couple of weekends ago, I got the chance to tick off a little something special on my To Eat list: afternoon tea at The Ritz London. I'm not going to lie, it was a pretty fancy affair [read on to temporarily step inside with me and see more snaps of the actual tea]. Even days before, I was contemplating what to wear [I didn't want to stand out like a sore thumb or look like I was trying too hard] and wondering whether everything inside The Ritz would be covered in gold [I wasn't far off… minus the marble and palm trees]. The atmosphere and service definitely didn't disappoint with the afternoon tea itself being delightful but [controversially] amongst but not the best in LDN. [8 / 10]

My first thought as I walked into The Ritz was "wow, they actually let me in." [HA] After getting over such amazement, I walked into the main hallway and was greeted by some friendly gentlemen who directed me forwards to the room where afternoon tea is taken. I must have looked so random because I could feel my eyes just wondering, trying to take in everything around me, and my body moving forwards on autopilot. I was quickly told that I had walked past the cloakroom, so retraced my steps and got rid of all of my unnecessary THINGS.

The area where afternoon tea is served was gorgeous - a high ceilinged conservatory, gold and marble clad room decorated with palm trees [because why not] and beautiful bouquets of flowers. It's a very romantic yet homely setting. It also smelt pretty good [like all expensive things I tend to find… anyone else get that?!]. The five of us had a round table on the edge of the room under a palm tree and it was lovely. The first thing I noticed was the china tea set which genuinely made my little heart so happy. Everything else was a crisp silver - the teapots, milk jugs, tea stand, sugar bowls, tea strainers and cutlery. It was pretty darned sophisticated and exactly what I'd imagined.

Tea itself is held during specific slots throughout the afternoon [we had 3-4.30pm]. There were a lot of staff [subtle but attentive] and everything around us seemed to move like clockwork. I opted for the Ritz Royal English, as it's a tea only served here - it was like a classic breakfast tea but tastier and slightly more floral. In terms of sandwiches, we got the lot: ham with grain mustard mayo, chicken with parsley cream, smoked salmon with lemon butter, cucumber with cream cheese, cheddar cheese with chutney and egg mayo with chopped shallots & watercress. The chicken and the egg [HA] were my favourites; the cucumber and the salmon my least favourite [bit soggy and relatively less flavoursome]. I didn't catch the names of all the miniature cakes but the lemon macarron was particularly delicious. We were also offered a slice of cake [out of two options] from a little dolly trolley - I went for the rhubarb which was yummy, quite tart. Finally, the scones [plain and with raisins] which were tasty but I wish had been kept warm in the kitchen until we were ready for them [just prefer them warm!]. You may have also noticed a glass of bubbly, which is Ritz-own champagne. Queue awkward story: mid-way through delicately eating my finger sandwiches, I noticed a piece of hair on a salmon sandwich. It was that classic before-I-say-anything-check-it's-not-mine moment. It definitely wasn't, so I told a passing waiter. All of a sudden we were surrounded by a bunch of super apologetic waiters, asking whether we'd like to swap all of our sandwiches and that a glass of champagne was on the house. I was impressed by how quickly they dealt with it [something I don't imagine happens often and is a tad embarrassing for The Ritz team], but it seemed like a massive waste to throw away a whole bunch of sandwiches so I just gracefully accepted the apology glass of champagne. It was delicious.

And what did I finally decide on to wear for such a fancy occasion? I saw this beautiful long summer dress by Oasis and last minute purchased [you only get to go to The Ritz once after all #anyjustification]. I paired it with black heeled sandals from Cos - toes were out in April people, it must be spring!


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