Afternoon Tea at the Ritz

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Trailblazers Campaigns Officer Lauren West smiling and holding a fork near a slice of cake at the Ritz

This week I celebrated my 25th Birthday. As part of my week long party, my parents decided to take me for Afternoon Tea at the Ritz – definitely one of those bucket list things!

So yesterday I headed there straight from work which involved a very easy ride on the Jubilee Line from Southwark to Green Park.

We were a little early so we went for a wander around the area which involved a brief (and expensive) trip into Abercrombie and Fitch which has taken me 3 years to stumble across.

We then made our way to the Ritz. My dad had been told when booking we’d have to use the back door with a portable ramp. This didn’t sound very inclusive and not something you’d expect from such a prestigious hotel. We headed to the front entrance where a very jolly doorman said he’d escort us to the accessible door. It wasn’t far and just involved us going through the car park. It is also didn’t involve a portable ramp, it was a permanently built one next to a couple of stairs.

The doorman walked us to the main hotel area and pointed out the main areas. It was definitely breath-taking in its grandeur. We were still early so had some pre-tea drinks in the Rivoli Bar and I finally got to open some presents!

From the bar we could see the tea area and worryingly it was up 3 marble steps with no clear alternative. I feared we’d be sat somewhere separate. My dad decided to ask and they told us they had a portable ramp. Looking at the steps I thoughts “that is going to need to be a pretty long ramp!!”… And it was. The ramp came in two halves and a man in a rather fancy get-up put it together with ease. I whizzed up it with no trouble and it would be no issue for anyone as the gradient was pretty mild given the height of the steps.

One negative was the tables were pretty close together and so were a little difficult to navigate. Some of the tablecloths were also draping on the floor and I could see if I ran them over, the entire tea service would be pulled onto the floor. So top tip, always look at the floor while getting to your table!

Once seated, I took a look at the immense tea list. Now as someone who doesn’t actually like tea (how un-British of me), I spotted one fruit tea that didn’t actually involve tea and went for that one. My parents as typical Brits took rather longer to decide.

The staff came round to take our order and asked about any allergies. Whilst I’m not allergic I am a total mayo-hater and the staff had no issue in bringing me ‘plain’ sandwiches which turned out to be perfect with not a condiment in sight!

 At first, we were a bit sceptical as sitting on top on the cake  rack was only 5 mini-cakes. Given the price, we weren’t  impressed! However by the time we munched through all the  sandwiches, 6 (yes 6 albeit petit scones) and then a loaf cake  staff bought around, we definitely didn’t want any more than 5  cakes. In fact, we ended up leaving one as we thought we  were all about to pop!

Near the end and staff bought all the birthday tables an entire cake complete with candle and the pianist played a rather tasteful version of ‘happy birthday’ and the entire room burst into applause. Thank goodness they offered to box the cake for me!

And that was it… Afternoon tea was complete. The ramp was put make down and we were allowed to make our way unsupervised out to the carpark.

It was definitely an amazing experience and the staff couldn’t have been more helpful! It’s never going to be a regular occurrence but I’d highly recommend everyone doing it at least once!

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