the Ritz in London

Afternoon Tea at the Ritz London is an affair not-to-be-missed in you're visiting that city. (Photo courtesy)

It’s an event so typically British, you feel as if you’re either in a classic British movie circa the 1930s or you’re in a picture book fantasy that’s come to life.

If there’s one tourist attraction that defines what some might call “upper class London,” it’s the classic Afternoon Tea at the Ritz London.

This tasty and elegant “happening” is so special, there are no less than five different seatings and you have to make a reservation at least one month in advance.

The location for this world famous daily event—and it is an event—is in the luxurious and spectacular Palm Court, with gold being the color of choice.

Gentlemen (as the Ritz refers to them) are required to wear a jacket and tie. And, training shoes (or sneakers) and jeans are absolutely not permitted.

Even though I was born in Kensington, in London, and know about upscale afternoon teas, I found the Ritz Afternoon Tea to be, well sumptuous.

The delicious sandwiches are all served on a beautiful silver sort of cradle, and include smoked salmon, egg mayonnaise with water cress, ham, cucumber and cream cheese, freshly baked raisin and apple scones, and best of all, Devonshire Clotted cream, and strawberry jam—and they’re all delicious.

And the tea part?

Well, the Ritz offers nearly two dozen different types of teas. Just listen to how they describe what I had, Lapsang Souchong Imperiate:

“This is a large black leaf tea from the Fujien province of China, and it’s smoked over pine fires, a distinct smoky tea with a silky tarriness, and a wonderful depth of flavour” (note the English spelling of that word!)

When I last checked, the investment for this magic and classic British High Tea is 58 pounds, that’s about $72 U.S. dollars. It is worth every penny!

If you’re interested in being part of London high society (even if only for a short period of time), you deserve the pleasure, elegance and one-of-a-kind event that is Afternoon Tea at Ritz London.

Book online at

John Clayton can be reached at 

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