High Tea in London, how ritzy!
BRON IN THE DON | Whether you are a fan of tea and cucumber sandwiches or not, there is one quintessentially British thing that you must do in London and that is – #20 High Tea. Our resident adventurer ticks another one off her London Top 100 list.
OVER my time in London I have been lucky enough to go to a few high teas at venues all across the city but my most recent (and let’s face it probably the best) was at The Ritz – in its stunning Palm Court.
We had booked the tea for two of my friends’ birthdays so a couple of others and I decided to tag along to partake in the on-going birthday celebrations. I say ‘on-going’ because we naively booked the tickets in October intending to use them in November not knowing that for a weekend booking there is a six month waiting list and for an evening booking (from 7.30pm) there can be up to six weeks. We ended up celebrating in January! But then again no one minds an excuse to celebrate their birthday twice.
High Tea at the Ritz is quite a formal affair with no denim or sneakers allowed and men are required to wear suits. Us girls used this as an excuse to get our dresses and heels out and pretend to be super posh. When we arrived we were shown to our table and were given our pots of tea in gorgeous silver teapots and a glass of champagne. Once we were settled in we couldn’t stop taking photos because everything was so pretty and kept giggling because we knew we just seemed very out of place in such a posh, gorgeous place.
After the drinks were served it was down to the food and we were given three tiered cake stands with sandwiches, scones and cakes. With ‘Tea’, it is customary to eat from the bottom up so we got stuck into the sandwiches. Once we had finished that stack and refused a second helping we were given hot fresh scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream. By the end of the second tier we were getting rather full but on top are all the sweet things like macaroons, slices, tarts and cakes in mini sizes. If that isn’t enough food you can even chose a cake off the trolley. By the end of the evening I had more than enough delicious food and endless amounts of tea in a gorgeous setting while spending time with some really good friends.
High Teas are a great way to celebrate birthdays or a special occasion but with the waiting list at the Ritz and a ‘champagne tea’ at £54 a pop, it may be better to have tea at one of the many other places in town. There are often deals on coupon websites and I’ve had some lovely afternoons at other hotels such as the Rubens or the Hilton. If you are after something a bit more manly a few places even offer a ‘whisky high tea’ with some stiffer drinks and sturdier food. Whichever one you choose make sure you check out this English tradition – one of my favourite of the Top 100 so far!