Tea – Ritz Style!
Well here it is! The post you have all been asking for! The one where I go to the Ritz for tea.
Well, it was very nice, very posh. Lots of solid silver and gilt and lots of MEN serving! They had different uniforms signalling a hierachy I think. The top chaps had beautiful roses in their lapels whilst the ‘those who serve’ have fine red waistcoats and gold buttons down the back of their tailed jackets.
You know as soon as you arrive at the front door that it is going to be grand. The footman has a smile but it is not cheesy and gives clear directions of where ‘the party’ (that’s us) had to go. The entrance is not on the main road but up a side street which surprised me but then it is all about sophistication not flashy. Unfortuantely the building across the road was full of scaffolding and building works so it took the shine off it somehow.
Once inside, I was surprised to be left to our own devices. We walked nervously down this very grand corridor and were only stopped when we reached the end. We were told that this was the dining room and tea is served in the Palm Court so we had to find our way back. I think the man who was supposed to stop us wandering was busy somewhere else.
Anyway, we were seated and the fun began. Really heavy Egyptian cotton serviettes were placed on our laps and off we went. I have explained about the ‘liquid’ tea HERE but I know you are keen to know about the food. Well…the sandwiches did have the crusts cut off and were very dainty. The descriptions of them made your mouth water and their taste did not disappoint. For me the sad thing was those in the picture were all you got (you’ll see there were 6 for each of us). The rest was all cake and how glorious it was. For some reason I don’t have any pics of it which indicates that I’m a savoury person at heart.
The picture shows an empty plate above. That was for the scones, which were warm when they were brought out later and the small plate on the top had four very small dainties on it. They were the richest tasting cakes I’ve ever had and although only a couple of small mouthfuls in size, you could not have eaten any more.
In between these ‘courses’ came a button-hole man with a trolley with a wonderful bakewell tart and lemon drizzle cake which he sliced to your required size. The dining room (opps sorry – Palm Court) was full, with many tables celebrating birthdays. In true tradition on these occasions, the pianist, who was seated away from the area, played a very gentle version of ‘Happy Birthday’ for those who had ordered a Ritz birthday cake. I noticed that most of these were taken away uncut to be returned to the table in very nice boxes for the journey home.
Don’t get me wrong – I had a lovely time and it was very special to be in such wonderful surroundings with the family and my men looking so elegant in their jackets. It was really interesting though to see the normal ‘melee’ when it came to getting coats and the same desire to take photos of the occasion (you could take snaps but were asked to do it discretely). We have the same behaviours whatever the venue it seems.
Do take a stroll through the slideshow where you’ll see an amazingly heavy tea strainer and rest ( we each had our own of course) and get some idea of the opulence!