Ah, the glitzy Ritz!
I booked afternoon tea for us girls at the Ritz. One of my friend is a vegan and the other is a vegetarian and I have to say that the Ritz accomodated their dietary requirements to perfection. Their menus were well thought of and they had a good variety of different things.
The Palm Room at the Ritz is a beautiful place. You can’t help but be impressed when you enter the Ritz and see the lovely flower arrangements, starched napkins and expensive tea pots. You feel a bit self-conscious about being under dressed, but as soon as the harp player begins to play, you just relax and take it all in.
Then the tea… I chose the Ritz Royal English and it was a perfect choice. An excellent tea with fantastic flavour and character. I drank two whole pots during our afternoon tea.
The finger sandwiches took my breath away. So many, so many good flavours and combinations!
I had egg mayonnaise with chopped shallots and watercress on white bread, chicken breast with parsley cream on malt bread and ham with grain mustard on mayonnaise on brioche bread.
The other sandwiches were cucumber with cream cheese, dill and chives on granary bread, Scottish smoked salmon with lemon butter on sourdough bread and cheddar cheese with chutney on tomato bread. They were all so good, but my absolute favourites were the cucumber with cream cheese, dill and chives on granary bread and the Scottish smoked salmon with lemon butter on sourdough bread.
I was a bit surprised that the scones were served later to the table. But what scones they were! So fluffy and lovely! Even the raisin scone was delicious and I don’t usually like them. It was so good to enjoy clotted cream with scones. Why can’t you get it outside the UK? I have read recipes how to make it, but it takes such a long time.
We had lemon macaron with lemon curd inside which meant that it actually tasted like something. We had a rasberry tart (that just tasted like alcohol), a puff pastry and a chocolate cherry cake, decorated with a cherry and edible gold leaf, that just melted in your mouth. Being on a full glutton mode, I even chose the chocolate orange cake from the trolley. As if I needed more to eat! But, it was really delicious.
The Ritz is obviously a popular place to be seen. They have several afternoon tea servings and they must have a lot of reservations. You are suppose to have the table for 1 h 45 minutes. I do understand that they have to charge the customers, clear the table and set the table for the next serving, but we felt a bit rushed. We ate at a normal pace, but the serving staff hovered a bit and we had to put our last sandwiches on our plates so they could bring the scones. When we had a bit over half an hour time left, the staff brought our check. We were trying to enjoy the last cup of tea, when we felt a bit pressured to leave. The staff was extremely friendly and polite and I do understand the time pressure to make and keep everything perfect, but the rushing was a bit annoying (even if it was done very subtly by friendly staff).
Thank you for a lovely afternoon tea the Ritz!