Monday, 20 August 2012

Afternoon Tea at The Ritz? Why Thank you!

I’m going to tell you about it, as I just know you are on the edge of your seat waiting. I’m just not sure I’ll ever be able to do justice the the Fabulousness that is Afternoon Tea in the Palm Court at The Ritz London.
We arrived a full ten minutes before our seating which was 11.30 am. The lovely smiley doorman didn’t bat an eye when we asked if he would snap us on the steps.
When I told people we were going to the first sitting of 11.30 (each sitting lasts an hour and a half) they looked as though we were mad. How can it be Afternoon Tea at that time? Well, on booking this months ago, this was the only time available. (What recession?) Having been to the first sitting, I would say do it. When we arrived the foyer was lovely and calm, not many people getting in our way so we could take photos. We also got a pretty good prime spot for people watching.
The seating arrangements in the Palm Court seamed to be just for people like us. (people watchers.)
Where as normally a table for two would have the chairs facing each other, our table for two was set so that we were facing out into the foyer, we had a fantastic view of all the comings and goings, and could see the harpist.
On entering The Ritz (after nearly damaging my friend in the revolving doors) we were greeted by a laughing staff member who asked if I was trying to leave my friend behind as I had whizzed in without her (keen? moi?) This friendly man told us to drop a ‘not so subtle hint’ to our waiter that it was a special occasion and we may get a nice surprise. He even told us to make sure we said it was my Birthday That Day and not the week before!
Subtle not being Lisa’s middle name….she made sure the waiter knew that it was a Birthday celebration in no uncertain terms, which meant that halfway through our sitting I was presented with a little Birthday cake.
Check out the kissing couple behind me! Cute!! I did my good deed for them and took a photo with their camera.
I had been told (Lisa has been to The Ritz about 3 years ago) that photos were not permitted which I was having a panic attack about. How can you go to The Ritz and not take photos? Don’t they realise I have bloggy friends waiting for evidence!?
So how pleased was I to be told that yes. Photos are permitted, but discretion was a must. Which is why the big girls camera only came out of the bag now and again. Thank goodness for camera phones Smile 
I thought this was a great touch, as although everyone was taking pictures, there was no scraping of furniture and posing to disrupt the lovely calm atmosphere.
028 (2)
The menu (which came home with me of course! consisted of your choice from a huge list of teas. (We both had The Ritz English Blend) The tea was replenished at regular intervals in the very heavy and very silver tea pot, by the nice waiters who would come up and open the tea pot to peer in asking ‘would we like a fresh pot?’ Um yes please! (don’t they know who I am!?)  And fresh cups?! Why thank you!!
Dainty rectangular sandwiches were on the bottom tier of the cake stand, and these were replenished once we had scoffed. The middle tier was empty while they ‘kept the scones warm until we were ready for them’  and the top tier was full of yummie cakes.
As well as this we were served with a choice of Lemon Drizzle (the best I have ever tasted) or strawberry tart from a trolley.
Our sitting lasted from 11.30am till 1pm and although I did wonder if they would be hurrying us along for the next bunch of hungry morsels, it was the complete opposite. The bill was only brought when we asked, and Lisa went up to pay. The card terminal was having a slow moment and there was a split second of her looking over at me in a panic of  ‘are we going to have to wash up?’ The head waiter even went over to them at one point which made Lisa turn a slight shade of pink, but it was all fine in the end, and he assured her he just went over as she looked worried! haha!
you can see the waiter having a little giggle as Lisa walks away Smile (just ignore the stern one in the dark dress…..she probably never got a Birthday cake)
As you would expect, I have a million and ten photos of our time there, which I will show you in another post, as you have just got to check out the ladies' powder room, and the other rooms we subtly wandered around in.
Isn’t this waiter just everything you would expect a Ritz waiter to be?!
If you look just to the left of the right hand plant pot at the top of the steps you will just make out one happy blogger.
Although the place is obviously the poshest place I will ever set foot in, there was no feeling of being out of place (Lisa kept telling me ‘of course we can do posh!’) The staff were so friendly and helpful, and apart from the gay couple in their pastel pink &  cream linen suits we spotted who looked like they probably go there every other day, all the other diners were as enthralled as we were, discreetly snapping away!
As you can tell, I would thoroughly recommend the experience!


  1. All so lovely Claire.
    Funny, I was just working on your b'day pressie, thought I'd take a little break, hopped on the computer and this popped up. Perfect timing and looks like the perfect arvo tea.

    p.s. love your frock x

  2. Oh it all looks fabulous, as do you in that dress! Yes shows us the rest of your photos. ALL of them!!!

  3. Hi Claire,
    It looks wonderful and what a great way to celebrate your 40th birthday.I'm so glad you were able to take photos that you could share with us.
    Sarah x

  4. Oh that looks like a lovely tea party! And you look faboo! :)

  5. Oh wow, I have to say that I am a little jealous! I hope I will be able to do this one time in my life! Thank you for all the wonderful pictures! And happy belated birthday! The Cake is sooo cute!
    What a wonderful experience!

  6. Yay! I'm so glad it was everything you'd been hoping for. It looks absolutely divine...

    You got some great photos! I laughed at the bit about the "stern one in the dark dress" :)

    Happy Birthday Month, Claire!

  7. Im so happy that its everything that you wanted it to be :-)

  8. OMG! This is so fancy, so nice, so elegant!

  9. So pleased I popped over from your other blog to read about the full experience - I've never had the tea at the Ritz although I have been sorely tempted but I'd wondered whether I would feel too out of place - you ladies looked fabulous and how lovely to hear that the service was so impeccable! :-) The photos look great!

    Jem xXx

  10. That looks lovely and I absolutely LOVE your dress!!

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  12. Lucky girls - I would so love to join you! Or you could just send me one of those tea pots!

  13. The Ritz looks gorgeous! I'm so glad you got to spend your 40th at such a fabulous place!

    x Jasmine

    PS. Do they have a gf menu?

  14. HI Claire

    That looks so yummy. I had afternoon tea there for a friend's 50th birthday three years ago and had forgotten how delish it is. I'm sitting here musing about taking my boys for tea there - early next there's an idea. I think they'd love it.