This was the main event of the weekend – Afternoon Tea at The Ritz. Afternoon Tea that we had had to reserve a whole six months in advance for, all the way back in February! We have been looking forward to this for all that time.
Afternoon Tea was served at 15:30, and as we arrived we were greeted attentively by a bell boy who directed us to the Palm Court, the room where they serve the Afternoon Tea. We were quite surprised by how small the room was but that just added to the exclusivity of the affair. After a small wait, a waiter with an iPad with the reservation details ushered us to our table, which was positioned in the center of the room! Great location for people watching and admiring the beautiful golden decor.
The staff really treat you well and make small talk as they serve the menus and drinks. Despite it being ‘The Ritz’, we remarked at how we didn’t feel like the whole thing was ‘snobby’. During Afternoon Tea at Fortnum and Mason’s earlier this year, it just felt rather stiff and a bit awkward and the waiters were not so busy, so would be standing around watching us which felt uncomfortable. However, the selection of teas was much more impressive (they are a Tea Merchants after all!), whereas The Ritz only had about twelve teas, of which, I opted for the Red Tea which I drank but wasn’t near as good as the Green Tea with Fresh Apple I had at F&M. F&M even have the option of hot food instead of sandwiches which I prefer personally, as I’m not the biggest fan of finger sandwiches.
Most tables at The Ritz were asking the waiters for a photo, so of course we did too. It’s good to know that it is a done thing, as at Afternoon Tea at F&M, I didn’t feel at all comfortable to ask such a thing! But when at the Ritz, one msut take a photo!
Afternoon Tea is for about an hour and a half, yet we did feel slightly rushed unfortunately, but only in the most polite way. There is so much food and tea, I only got through 3/4 of my tea, but ran out of time to drink the rest! For example, they served the scones before we had even half-finished the sandwiches and the cake trolley came very early for us, “just for later.” and when we had just one cake left, several waiters came round saying ‘Aahhh, so, just one more?! Go on, you can do it,’ for us to take the cake so that they could then remove the cake stand. It’s completely understandable, as there is a second sitting at 5pm and they need us gone so that they can set the tables again for the following reservation. The staff are very efficient and attentive, but still, I kept having to look at my watch and think, ‘oh no, we only have half an hour left to enjoy this!’
All good things must come to come to an end…
Now, we need to decide where we go next in London for Afternoon Tea! Unfortunately (perhaps), we have started at the top, so I doubt anywhere else is going to live up to my extremely high expectations now, but I am willing to give them a try.
It was the most fantastic 21st birthday weekend, and to end it with Afternoon Tea at The Ritz is a memory I will always cherish.