Everyone from royalty to commoners takes afternoon tea in England; but nowhere is this quintessential British tradition served with more reverence and ceremony than at the Ritz. Setting the standard for London’s most cherished of observances, Tea at the Ritz is a right of passage for every visitor to the Queen’s city.
The tradition began more than 150 years ago when Anna, Seventh Duchess of Bedford, suffered from fainting spells due to late-afternoon hunger pangs. The idea of a small, afternoon meal took hold and soon became a common observance across Britain and the crown colonies.
As you enter the doors of the rococo-styled Palm Court it’s as if you’re stepping back into Edwardian England. Glittering chandeliers and gilded mirrors make the whole room glisten in light and the sounds of the resident pianist and harpist add to the ambiance. It’s Old World glamour on full display.
As you make your way to your table, you are seated amongst fine linens and bone china, dainty tea cups and silver tiered trays stacked high with cakes. You’ll enjoy a selection of exquisite finger sandwiches and freshly-baked scones topped off with Cornish clotted cream and strawberry preserves before sampling bite-size tea cakes and a selection of pastries that the Queen herself would be tempted by.
The main attraction is, of course, the 18 varieties of loose-leaf tea that are sourced by the hotel’s own certified Tea Sommelier. Gathered from plantations throughout the world, the tea is as big a treat as the bubbly champagne which allows you to finish the meal with some added sparkle.
You can treat yourself to afternoon tea during your leisure time on YMT Vacations’ Best of England Tour. This 10-day journey takes you from the sites of London to Stonehenge, Windsor Castle to the English countryside. To make your plans to join this trip, call your travel consultant or YMT Vacations at 1-888-756-9072.