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  • Writer's picturewinnykaygee

A Quintessentially Ritzy London Experience

Updated: Jan 8, 2022


150 Piccadilly, St. James's

London W1J 9BR, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 (0) 20 7493 8181

Average cost: $$$ (Starts at £53.50 per person, ~ $75.00 per person)

Dress code: Gentlemen are required to wear a jacket and tie. Jeans and sportswear are not permitted for either ladies or gentlemen for afternoon tea in the Palm Court.

Notes: posh and sumptuous afternoon tea in a spectacular setting with gorgeous, classic details, and an unforgettably amazing atmosphere

Recommended: for special occasions like anniversaries or birthdays, especially if you want to order the Ritz London's celebration cake

As quarantine continues, I'm taking advantage of time at home to catch up on making Mixbooks and documenting our past travels, so I wanted to share our afternoon tea experience at the spectacular and iconic Palm Court at the Ritz London, just in case anyone wants to add this to their list of travel destinations post-COVID!

The Ritz London is definitely a bucket list destination for us, and we were lucky enough to plan a trip back in 2018 to celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary. While it didn't end up being our favorite afternoon tea experience in the UK in terms of taste (I know - shocking!), the ambience, service, and overall experience were all exceptional. More to follow on the taste component when I'm able to post about our favorite afternoon tea experience, but essentially we felt that the flavors were a little on the more traditional and mellow side, as opposed to a more creative take with brighter flavors.

Setting foot inside the Ritz London feels like being transported to a luxurious and thoroughly decorated space that feels timeless and grand. The act of dressing up to go somewhere, and being able to admire how everyone else is dressed really adds to the overall atmosphere. Even the staff members were dressed to the nines, complete with tuxedo and bowtie:

Upon entering the Palm Court, your eyes will be captured by the opulent and glittering chandeliers, as well as the sheer level of detail in all the walls, paneling, mirrors, and decorative (insert-architectural-terms-I-don't-know) fixtures. Your ears will delight in the live music that gently spills into the court and fills the space with beautiful sounds (ranging from piano, to harp, to string quintet, to vocalist, depending on the day).

Then, prepare to be dazzled by the Ritz London's traditional afternoon tea offerings:

Ham with Grain Mustard Mayonnaise on Brioche Bread

Cheddar Cheese with Chutney on Tomato Bread

Cucumber with Cream Cheese, Dill and Chives on Granary Bread

Chicken Breast with Tarragon Creamed Mayonnaise

Scottish Smoked Salmon with Lemon Butter on Sourdough Bread

Egg Mayonnaise with Chopped Shallots and Watercress on Brioche Roll

Freshly Baked Raisin and Plain Scones served with Cornish Clotted Cream and Strawberry Preserve

Macarons and Assorted Pastries

Fun fact: The Ritz London is the only hotel in the UK to have a certified Tea Sommelier, Giandomenico Scanu, who travels around the world to various tea plantations to source its tea selection. I chose the "Dragon Pearls" silver needle tea from Fujian, which is rolled scented with jasmine flower, and I enjoyed how fragrant the tea was. Tim selected the Assam black tea, hoping for a strong black tea to complement the various sweets and afternoon tea items, but we were surprised because whatever we ended up with was not a strong tea. However, we weren't bothered enough to inquire, as we were too busy enjoying all of the delicious offerings:

Celebration cake with an additional tart, fresh off the beautiful cake trolley:

At this point we were very full, and unable to take advantage of the offer to replenish any of the delightful sandwiches and desserts we already enjoyed, but we definitely couldn't resist tasting at least one of the other delightful desserts that were exquisitely presented on a dessert trolley. Not to worry, the Ritz London staff expertly packaged our raspberry and vanilla flavored celebration cake so that we could enjoy it later:

I would be remiss in ending this post without mentioning the bathrooms at the Ritz London. Why? Because they were simply the most gorgeously decorated bathrooms I'd ever seen, complete with a plush sitting area:

May all your Ritz dreams come true!


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