The Afternoon Tea at The Ritz is considered to be one of the best and most traditional afternoon teas in London.
Hotel Ritz started the afternoon tea tradition since its opening in 1906, and that sense of heritage is, probably, why it is still so popular today.
The interior of the hotel Ritz is undoubtedly stunning and contributes significantly to the atmosphere of the afternoon tea experience.
The whole experience of the afternoon tea at The Ritz is very glamorous, and you will be treated like royalty with an extremely attentive and friendly staff.
Although, The Ritz Afternoon Tea became quite a touristic attraction and I always feel a little bit rushed to leave, do they can get another round of customers, I still consider the Ritz Afternoon Tea to be one of the best. And it would be my first choice if I never experienced Afternoon Tea before.
The hotel and Palm Court have a stunning interior. This, with the very professional and well-dressed staff, makes for one of the most glamorous/royal Afternoon Tea experience in London.
The first dinning time starts at 11:30 a.m, and the last afternoon tea is at 7:30 p.m.
The atmosphere changes dramatically during the day, so pick the time which suits you the best. For more romantic (with candles) and relaxing experience, I would recommend the last possible booking at 19:30.
The Afternoon Tea room (Palm Court) is small, and there are many tables fitted in. With the full room of people, it can get pretty loud and keep a more private conversation become a problem.
Tea - After you get seated, you can choose from the selection of 18 different types of loose-leaf tea. If you are not sure which tea will suit you the best, don’t be afraid to ask the staff who are very acknowledgeable about the teas they are serving.
I went for the Afternoon Tea bestseller, the Ritz Royal English. I am not an expert on tea yet, but this tea undoubtedly sets the bar very high.
The lovely little touch is that the waiter will change the teapots with fresh tea after some time. You can also ask to try a different tea if you want.
Sandwiches - The food, according to the tradition, consists of fresh, crustless, finger-sized sandwiches with different fillings. At The Ritz, you will get six different fillings, and all sandwiches are delicious. You don’t need to be a food critique to taste high-quality ingredients and professional preparation.
My personal favorites were excellent chicken and egg salad sandwiches. I felt almost depressed after I finished them, but luckily, if you want, you can get another plate.
Cakes - At the top of your three-tiered stand, you can usually find some macaroons, chocolate cake, and fruit tarts. All of them are great. You probably already know that I am an enormous dessert enthusiast, and I was pleased.
Scones - When you are finished with sandwiches, the waiter will bring warm plain and raisin scones, accompanied by strawberry jam and lashings of Devonshire clotted cream. All three ingredients are excellent. I found the consistency of the scones in The Ritz one of the best so far.
You can read more about how to Eat Scone in the scone section of the Afternoon Tea Menu article.
More cakes - Close to the end of the two-hour experience waiter goes around with two extra cakes, and you can get a slice. There is usually one chocolate cake and one fruitcake. They are both delicious and worth the try.
The staff is very professional and well organized. They are knowledgable about the teas they are offering and can help you to pick the best tea for you.
They will automatically change the teapot when it gets lukewarm. You might need to ask if you want more sandwiches, scones or cakes.
From what I know, they don’t offer to pack leftovers for you at the end. Apparently, from the hygienic reasons. Other hotels do, so I am not sure if that’s the real reason.
The price of the Afternoon Tea at The Ritz starts from £60 per person.
The service charge is not included, and if you want to tip the waiters, it’s better to do it with cash because, apparently, the card charge will go to the hotel instead of directly to the staff of the Afternoon Tea.
The Ritz has the strictest dress code from all Afternoon Teas I’ve experienced so far. A jacket and tie for men are a must! Jeans and sportswear are not permitted for either ladies or gentlemen.
I am giving it a big thumbs up as nicely dressed people provide significantly to the atmosphere. However, it might not be as easy for tourists traveling around Europe. Carrying a jacket and a nice pair of shoes, just for two hours' experience, can be tricky.
In the worst-case scenario, they will lend you a jacket and tie in the Ritz dress room, but I wouldn’t count on it!
Afternoon Tea is served daily at 11.30am, 1.30pm, 3.30pm, 5.30pm, and 7.30pm.
As you can see, there are 2-hour Afternoon Tea slots. The slot starting at 7:30 pm is the most relaxed as waiters don't begin preparing tables for another group of people.
You can book Afternoon Tea at The Ritz here.
For the weekend booking, you may have to book 8-10 weeks ahead. For weekdays booking, you only need to book a few days ahead.