The world famous Palm Court in Cesar Ritz’s gracious Edwardian hotel, located in the heart of St James’s, is the epitome of sophistication and elegance and the afternoon tea the height of decadence and luxury. You know that you are about to enjoy a very special experience as you take the few steps up to the Palm Court from the ground floor’s central gallery area, passing between a pair of grand Ionic marbled columns. Pretty Louis XVI chairs, marble-topped tables beautifully set with crisp linen and delicate china await the guests eager to share in what is a quintessentially Ritz experience.
If you are an aspiring tea guest, you must book your table several weeks in advance. I can promise you that the wait will be well worth it, for the afternoon tea is quite superb, the service very attentive and although you will be limited to how long you can stay by the next sitting, there is no real sense of pressure on you to eat up. Alongside the selection of dainty sandwiches made on different breads are freshly-baked apple and raisin scones, clotted cream and organic strawberry preserve, afternoon tea pastries and fruits-of-the-forest compote with English cream. It’s impossible to leave feeling hungry, as the Ritz feast is regularly replenished by the staff. A choice from thirteen varieties of leaf tea completes the occasion, for an ‘occasion is exactly what tea in the Palm Court is. When you start to suffer from Ritz withdrawal symptoms, you’ll find the recipe for their wonderful marble cake and other delicious treats in The Ritz London Book of Afternoon Tea.