21 December 2014

Christmas Afternoon Tea at The Ritz


The Ritz. A quintessentially British national treasure. An icon of luxury and grandiosity often described as one of the world's greatest hotels. You can sleep, drink, dine or even get married there (if you have a few hundred thousand pounds to spend on a wedding). Somehow, despite living in London for twelve years now, I'd never been. I'd walked past it loads of times - usually on the way to Mahiki round the corner - but never once had my feet passed the threshold of this magnificent site.

Until last Friday! Jen and I had an afternoon tea reservation!

Talking of Mahiki, where could be better to catch a cocktail or two before the sandwiches and cakes?


They do a mean margarita.

As you might expect, The Ritz gets an 'A' for effort at the Christmas festivities. Two beautiful trees adorn the entrance, red and gold garland and sparkling lights are everywhere as well as the most impressive tree I've seen thus far this season. The ribbons on it were bigger than my head! We could hear a jazz band playing Christmas tunes as we walked through the glamorous lobby. If you can't get into the festive spirit here, I'm pretty sure you've got no chance.


Afternoon tea is held in the exceedingly elegant Palm Court. Everyone was dressed in their best but the atmosphere was relaxed and unintimidating. I'd arrived prepared to have to take some sneaky photographs as I'd heard pictures weren't allowed inside the building. To my delight, this turned out not to be true!


The carol singing by The Ritz Choir was one of the key reasons I wanted to visit the Ritz this Christmas time. I actually made my reservation back in the summer as I'd remembered how quickly it had got booked up the year prior.  They sounded wonderful and added so much to the uplifting atmosphere.


Our sandwiches and cakes arrived not long after our glasses of champagne had been poured. The dainty finger sandwiches came with the traditional fillings; smoked salmon, chicken & horseradish, Cheddar cheese & pickle, egg mayonnaise, ham & mustard and cucumber & cream cheese.

Up at the top of the stand there were layered chocolate cakes, a mini fruit tart, a chocolate mocha dome and ginger macarons. A plate of scones and mince pies turned up soon afterwards. Finally, from a waiter wheeling a trolley you could choose between a slice of Christmas cake or a raspberry tart topped with creme fraiche. We certainly weren't going to go hungry!


Although the sandwiches were very nice, it was the sweets that stole the show. That chocolate cake was incredible and the slice of tart from the trolley was superb. 

The sugar-topped shortcrust pastry mince pies were marvelous and my very first of the year!


Having said all that, if you've read any of my past afternoon tea posts you won't be surprised to know that it was the scones that topped the leaderboard for me. I bloody love the things and The Ritz have got their scone baking down to a tee.

Clotted cream on first, people!


I ate so much sugar. Just so many cakes. I must have had at least three scones and two mince pies on top of the sandwiches and cakes on the stand. It's almost impossible to stop when they're just sat there in front of you and they taste so damn good! But hey, it's Christmas and the post-afternoon tea bloat was definitely worth it!

I've just realised; I got so caught up in the excitement of the cakes that I forgot to mention the crucial tea! I had the Ritz Christmas Spice - a china black tea infused with orange peel, apple, Christmas spices and a touch of cinnamon. It had a lovely festive aroma and a light, refreshing accompaniment to the food.

I asked the friendly waiter (the service was amazing throughout) if we could take away our remaining scones. "Of course!" he replied and soon returned with a doggy bag full of so many more scones than we'd been expecting as well as a few mince pies! Now that's Christmas spirit! How generous!


Look how happy I am with my big box of goodies!


A shame I left it in the cab on the way home.

7 comments:

  1. I've always wanted to know what afternoon tea was like at the Ritz and it looks as good as I thought! Those scones looks so good and i put the cream on first too! Love your tights, you look gorgeous. Merry Christmas!
    Lx

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    1. Thank you! Merry Christmas Lauren! x

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  2. This looks fabulous! I particularly love the little pots the clotted cream is in - so cute!

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  3. I bet your cabbie was thrilled with the unexpected treat you left him!

    I'm so glad you were allowed to take photos cos I've often wondered what afternoon tea at the Ritz was like. When I heard you can't take photos it did put me off going .. so now I can think about it again - YAY :)

    This is definitely going back on my bucket list

    x

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  4. A friend took me to The Ritz for my 40th birthday, like you I found the service incredible, and not at all intimidating, My friend hadn't booked the proper 'birthday afternoon tea' but the nice man who showed us in told us that we should make it known it was my birthday, I came away with a box with a birthday cake in it! So chuffed! How sad you left it in the cab! Gutted!

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    1. Ah it's good to hear they're always so nice! I know, I was gutted about leaving my goodies in the taxi :( x

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  5. Wow! Looks like a very classy place! You looked gorgeous. I love everything about your outfit! Beautiful pictures by the way! :)

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