It is not everyday that you get told that for your birthday you will be taken to The Ritz, London for afternoon tea. That is just what my wonderful friends did for me this year and I was incredibly excited to head to the luxurious hotel and get stuck in. On a very wet Wednesday afternoon, I headed to The Ritz and after dodging puddles and tourists, me and my friend arrived at the footsteps of the incredible landmark. The first thing the doorman spotted were my very-well-loved Converses on my feet and asked if I was carrying smart shoes. I definitely was and as soon as I entered the hotel, I headed to the ladies to freshen up and get my heels own to exude ladylike elegance. The great thing about The Ritz is the fact they have a cloakroom. I gratefully left my coat, shoes and bulky bags before being summoned to my afternoon tea.
The restaurant is in the centre of the lobby area and it is every bit as classic and stunning as you would expect it to be. I could not stop myself from taking photos as I walked around. I have always felt really intimidated by the idea of visiting The Ritz but everyone was so polite and welcoming, providing the first class service you would expect from them. The restaurant reminded me of a ballroom from Beauty and The Beast with every inch decorated in art dating back centuries. Once seated, we were offered a drink and given our menu. The piano played in the background to our conversation as we chatted away over our drinks, marvelling in our location.
The tea arrived on an oval tray and was set in the centre of our table. As a I am a vegetarian, they placed my sandwiches in the middle of the cake trays whilst all the meat and fish was relegated to the bottom layer. The waiter very attentively described all our sandwiches (too many to mention) as well as our desserts. The assigned time for tea is an hour and a half but at no point did we feel rushed. We ate through our sandwiches and they were immediately refilled by the waiters. The desserts on top were equally delicious, not too sweet and the dark chocolate tart was rich and comforting. The scones were warm and fresh on arrival and came complete with the necessary jam and clotted cream.
As it was my birthday treat, I was also treated to the pianist playing the infamous tune on the piano and then my cake was brought to me on the table complete with a candle. I was given the cake in a box to take home and I can report that it tasted amazing.
As we talked through countless cups of tea, we had more cake served to us via a mobile cake tray. I have never eaten so much cake in my life. I went for the chocolate and hazelnut cake, it was like eating a Fererro Rocher in cake form, so rich and the perfect accompaniment to the Jasmine tea that I had moved on to. I finished off my afternoon tea with some Morrocan Mint tea which was refreshing and cleansing for my palette.
Afternoon Tea at The Ritz has to be one of the best experiences I have taken part it. It is not just the luxury but the level of service and attentiveness you get from the staff as well that makes it all the more perfect. I had my time at The Ritz finished off with the pianist playing one of my favourite Bollywood songs which honestly made me feel like I left the hotel floating on a cloud. A magical place where you get to be a real life Disney princess in the centre of London.
For information about the afternoon tea at The Ritz, see here.
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