Monday, January 28, 2013
It took months to get a reservation. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised given that it is one of the best places for afternoon tea in London. And one of the most famous. But would afternoon tea at The Ritz be worth the painfully long wait?
I arrived at the iconic hotel on Piccadilly to meet a friend that had generously offered to take me to tea to celebrate the 5 year anniversary of the A Lady in London blog. Never mind that by the time our reservation came around we were nearly celebrating the 5.5 year anniversary. Tea at The Ritz would have put us in a celebratory mood no matter what.
Not least because the tea room itself was beautiful. From floor to ceiling, the space was all gilded glory. Adding to the visual delights was the music of a live harpist, and just to make sure our mouths didn’t get jealous of our eyes and ears, the Champagne arrived in perfect time.
Soon a server came to take our tea order, which was Darjeeling First Flush, and to bring out a classic tiered tray with sandwiches and sweets.
We worked our way through a plate of savories that consisted of one of the most extensive collections of sandwiches I have seen at an afternoon tea in London. And with offerings like cucumber, cream cheese, dill, and chives on caraway seed bread, there were some creative twists on the classics.
As we enjoyed the sandwiches, a plate of fresh scones arrived. Slathered with strawberry jam and Cornish clotted cream, they were a light, fluffy interlude between the savories and the sweets.
The latter was a small plate consisting of five pastries ranging from decadent chocolate cake to a delicate raspberry tart. They were all as rich and delicious as they looked, and we worked our way through as many as we could before we were too full for another bite.
By the time we finished, we were reminded that our table was needed for the next seating. And that may have been the only thing I didn’t like about afternoon tea at The Ritz. I could have stayed for another two hours, surrounded by beautiful decor, lovely music, good food, and above all, great company.