If you’re an afternoon tea lover, then afternoon tea at The Ritz London Hotel is one of the most iconic experiences in the world. Since the hotel’s opening in 1906, “Tea at the Ritz” has been elegantly served in the hotel’s Palm Court.
I’ve had the great pleasure to enjoy afternoon tea at The Ritz London on several occasions. To me, it’s one of the finest venues in the world for afternoon tea, and one that far too few of us will ever have an opportunity to experience.
So with this in mind, let’s pretend “you were there” by following along with this visual or pictorial tour of the Ritz’s afternoon tea experience, served in the beautiful Palm Court.
Ah, Claridge’s in London for afternoon tea – this is the epitome of “old school” British elegance, sophistication and style. Claridge’s has been in operation at this location since 1812, and I don’t think that I’d be going out on a limb in saying that afternoon tea at Claridge’s is an institution in and of itself.
The main entrance to the hotel is on Brook Street, in London’s Mayfair district …
You may or may not have an opportunity to visit the Amstel Hotel in The Netherlands for afternoon tea, but since I have, I will be more than happy to take you on a pictorial tour – just scroll down. You’ll feel like you were there! The Intercontinental Amstel hotel is located on the banks of the river Amstel in Amsterdam, and is probably the premier hotel in all of the Netherlands.
The Four Seasons Chicago is a luxury hotel located in the midst of Chicago’s upscale shopping district known as the Magnificent Mile at 900 North Michigan. Afternoon Tea is now offered only seasonally in November and December. So I would highly recommend contacting the hotel to confirm dates and times.
The images here are from my earlier visit to the Four Seasons. Since then, menu items have almost certainly changed, but I’m sure you’ll be able to get a feel for their afternoon tea experience nonetheless.
Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago (image courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel)
UPDATE: The Ritz Carlton Chicago no longer offers a daily afternoon tea. It is offered only during certain seasons of the year and is served in the Deca Restaurant on the 12th floor. Still, I would like to take you on an image tour of the afternoon tea experience when I was at The Ritz, but please note that what you see here may not, is probably not, the same afternoon tea that is offered today.
The Ritz Carlton Chicago Hotel is located in the high-rise building known as Water Tower Place situated in an uber-prime area of Chicago – the high-end shopping district of North Michigan Avenue. If you want to locate a hotel in Chicago, it just doesn’t get any better than this.
Entrance to Ritz Carlton Chicago Hotel on E. Pearson St
There’s just no other way to say it, Peninsula Hotels just do it better. I remember reading stories about the ultimate afternoon tea experience at The Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong. This is one of the most highly rated hotels in the world, if not the highest. And afternoon tea there was spoken about in hushed and reverent tones.
While I still haven’t made it to Hong Kong, I did manage to visit The Peninsula in Shanghai, which you can read about by clicking here.
The Peninsula Hotel in Chicago is, of course, no exception. Beyond the impressive hotel property itself, I believe it’s the staff that helps make this hotel distinctive. It’s old school, it’s gracious and it’s rare.
Read on for a picture tour of the Peninsula Chicago and the afternoon tea they serve in the 5th floor Lobby Lounge.
Let’s begin with the street level entrance to the hotel on East Superior Street, just steps away from Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, arguably the finest shopping neighborhood in the city.
There are many luxury hotels in Manhattan, but The Pierre stands out as a beacon of old-world charm and modern-day luxury. Opened in 1930 by Charles Pierre, it fell upon economic hard times during the Great Depression and was sold to J. Paul Getty in 1932. Four Seasons Hotels took over management in 1981, but – as of 2005 – it is now owned and operated by the Taj Hotels and Resorts Group.
If there ever was a luxury hotel that just speaks “New York,” this is it – the Waldorf Astoria. Naturally, it’s a landmark, but it’s also associated with so much history that it’s difficult to say anything about New York without mentioning the Waldorf Astoria. Named after the ancestral home of the Astor family in Germany, the Waldorf today boasts a staggering 1,400+ rooms. Decades ago, Guy Lombardo broadcast his annual New Year’s celebration from the Grand Ballroom here, and guests including heads of state and Hollywood royalty are too numerous to mention.
Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City – Entrance from Park Ave
The Plaza Hotel, one of only two New York City hotels to be awarded landmark status, is located in one of the most exclusive areas of Manhattan at 59th Street and Central Park. The hotel has hosted many well known celebrities including Cary Grant, Marilyn Monroe, Richard Burton & Elizabeth Taylor, the Beatles, Mark Twain and also appears in a scene from The Great Gatsby.
The Palm Court …
Palm Court at The Plaza Hotel in New York for Afternoon Tea
After a recently completed multi-million dollar renovation, afternoon tea is again served in the large and airy Palm Court with its mirrored walls, marble columns and dramatic leaded glass lay light overhead allowing natural light into the room. If you’re interested in an elegant venue for afternoon tea in New York City, you’d be hard pressed to find anything more classic or stylish than the Palm Court at the Plaza Hotel.