Afternoon Tea at The Ritz London (in Pictures)

Ritz Hotel London Palm Court Christmas decorations afternoon tea high tea

Ritz London Palm Court

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.

Let’s begin with the outside entrance to the hotel.

(Below) The arcades along Piccadilly were inspired by the Rue de Rivoli in Paris.

Exterior Facade of The London Ritz Hotel from Piccadilly

The London Ritz Hotel from Piccadilly

 

The elegant lobby of this famed hotel …

The Ritz London Lobby Decorated for Christmas

The Ritz London Lobby Decorated for Christmas

 

Here is a view of The Ritz London’s main lobby –> looking up …

The Ritz London Hotel Lobby Dome

The Ritz London Hotel Lobby Dome

 

After passing through the hotel lobby doors, you enter The Long Gallery …

The Long Gallery of The Ritz London Hotel

The Long Gallery of the Ritz London Hotel

Then, to your left, is the Palm Court… “It had a special atmosphere about it and the Palm Court was always filled before luncheon with “society beauties”, debutantes and their boyfriends, and famous actors and actresses—though the latter seldom seemed to actually lunch there. Bejewelled American ladies used to parade up and down the corridor awaiting their guests, The Ritz was more like a club than a hotel; you were bound to see your friends there. To “meet at the Ritz” was the obvious choice. It had the combination of elegance and cosiness. The Ritz had an essentially happy atmosphere which radiated from the staff. All the waiters knew everybody and became personal friends. The Ritz in those days had a courtesy and elegance unlike any other hotels; it was thought of as “home” in a sense that never applied to anywhere else”.— Sir Michael Duff, 3rd Baronet on life at the Ritz as a young man in the 1930s.

The Palm Court at The Ritz London Hotel

The Palm Court at The Ritz London Hotel

And, of course, The Palm Court has to have the requisite palm tree, does it not?

Palm Tree at The Palm Court of The Ritz London Hotel

Palm Tree at The Palm Court of The Ritz London Hotel

An interior view of the afternoon tea venue at The Ritz London Hotel …

The Palm Court at The Ritz London Hotel for Afternoon Tea

The Palm Court at The Ritz London Hotel for Afternoon Tea

A closer view of an individual table …

Table Setting for Afternoon Tea at The Ritz London

Table Setting for Afternoon Tea at The Ritz London

The ceiling of The Palm Court which appears unchanged since the opening of the hotel in 1906 Edwardian London…

Ceiling of The Palm Court at The Ritz London Hotel

Ceiling of The Palm Court at The Ritz London Hotel

Now onto our personal afternoon tea experience at the Ritz London …

Table Setting for Afternoon Tea in the Palm Court of The Ritz London

Table Setting for Afternoon Tea in the Palm Court of The Ritz London

Notice in the above picture that the plate in the middle tier, reserved for scones, is empty.  The reason for this is that you are first allowed to enjoy the tea sandwiches.  Only later are scones brought out, so that you can enjoy them warm out of the oven – a practice that is quite rare today.

The Ritz’s fine silver tea service …

Silver teapot at The Ritz London Afternoon Tea

Silver tea service at The Ritz London Afternoon Tea

First course – classic tea sandwiches …

Tea sandwiches at The London Ritz Afternoon Tea in the Palm Court

Tea Sandwiches at The London Ritz Afternoon Tea in the Palm Court

Raisin and plain scones – served warm  …

Raisin Scones at The London Ritz Afternoon Tea in the Palm Court

Raisin Scones at The London Ritz Afternoon Tea in the Palm Court

Condiments served in fine china and sterling silver …

Clotted Cream and Strawberry Preserve for Afternoon Tea at The Ritz London

Clotted Cream and Strawberry Preserve for Afternoon Tea at The Ritz London

The top tier – is this a work of art, or are these actually edible?

Sweets, Pastries and Cakes for Afternoon Tea at The Ritz London Hotel

Sweets, Pastries and Cakes for Afternoon Tea at The Ritz London Hotel

 

The tea selection is wide and varied and includes, of course, the classics Earl Grey and Darjeeling.  Other selections include exotic varieties from Asia, Ceylon, Africa and other far corners of the globe.

Afternoon Tea Cup in The Palm Court of The Ritz London

Ritz London Afternoon Tea Cup in The Palm Court

 

Silver tea strainer …

Silver Tea Strainer for Afternoon Tea the Ritz London's Palm Court

Silver Tea Strainer for Afternoon Tea the Ritz London’s Palm Court

A closer view of the architecturally interesting ceiling in The Palm Court (circa 1906) …

The Ceiling of The Palm Court at The Ritz London Hotel

The Ceiling of The Palm Court at The Ritz London Hotel

Finally, as evening approaches, the Palm Court takes on a distinctively romantic feel …

 

The Palm Court at The Ritz London in Evening Light

The Palm Court at The Ritz London in Evening Light

It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but in this case, a thousand words is not nearly enough. I hope that one day, you may be able to enjoy a personal visit to The Palm Court for afternoon tea as well!

 

 

 

 

 

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