Having heard on the grapevine from several friends and family over the years that The Ritz's afternoon tea didn’t live up to the iconic status as it should do, we decided to mix things up a little and enjoy dinner instead. We turned it into a little ‘staycation’ weekend – beginning with movies on the Friday, Saturday was breakfast in bed and pottering around an exhibition in the morning before our glamorous dinner, with Sunday spent soaking in sunshine before our appetites led us to a delicious roast dinner. It couldn't have been more perfect.
Having panicked and consulted friends on the ladies dress code (gentlemen must wear jackets and ties) I threw on a classic LBD, picked one of my favourite silk scarves and loaded my handbag with the usual paraphenalia.
Greeted at the door we were shown through to our corner table, seated and handed glasses of champagne with beautiful ease.
Dipping into the delicious bread basket and salted butter, we nibbled and perused. Cooked beautifully and served at a perfect pace, the menu is classical French cuisine presented with British ingredients and no over-the-top gastronomic trickery.
His - Hen's Egg with Vichy carrots, wild herbs and flowers
Delectable Halibut served with white asparagus, wild garlic and a champagne foam.
Piquant and feather light blackcurrent souffle with oat crumble and perfectly matched yoghurt ice cream.
Hers - Terrine of goose liver, served intriguingly with spiced pineapple, gingerbread and feather light brioche.
Perfectly pink Gloucester Old Spot pork with broccoli, romanesco and turnip.
The most amazing chocolate (Amadei) mousse with cocoa nub and ice cream.
How good was it?
As the early evening drew later, the sun dipped and more glamorous gowns began to appear. Sitting in an inconspicuous corner, we people-watched as silk sheathes swished into the dining room and candles began to flicker.
Decorated throughout in various hues of soft pink, white and gold gilt with accents of marble and crystal, we popped our heads into the Palm Court briefly where afternoon tea was still being poured.
Even the Ladies powder room and foyer ceilings are beautiful.
We ordered coffee to round out our meal, and linger just a little longer, and a plate of petits fours were brought out for our delectation.
Unfortunately our time to put our coats back on came all too quickly, and we headed home.
Putting on The Ritz? I'll toast to that!
Would I go back? In a heartbeat.