Afternoon Tea at The Ritz

Afternoon tea·
Gold Award

SquareMeal Review of Afternoon Tea at The Ritz

Gold Award

Afternoon tea at The Ritz: there’s something indulgent about even uttering those five wondrous words. Proceedings are hosted within the hotel’s opulent gold-tinted Palm Court, beneath gilded ceilings and ornate birdcage chandeliers. Flanked by two vast marble columns and surrounded on all sides by paned mirrors and leafy palms, it’s a thing of eyewatering beauty.

Feeling like we’ve wandered into a fairytale ballroom, suited and booted staff procure for us a three-tiered cake stand laden with crustless sandwiches and dinky patisseries. Savoury fillings feature classic combinations, from smoked salmon with lemon butter to egg mayonnaise on brioche, while the bread is fresh and feather-light. Just as we polish off a tarragon chicken number, a waiter swoops in with a replenished layer of sandwiches, a welcome addition in our eyes for a meal that often places too much emphasis on the sweets.

Delicate patisseries are perfectly sized and reimagine nostalgic flavours, from a twist on lemon meringue pie featuring butter-rich biscuit, lemon curd and fluffy, Italian meringue, to inordinately good choux buns filled and topped with pistachio cream. Freshly-baked scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam arrive somewhere between the sweet and savoury course, so that guests don't feel obliged to fill up on the least exciting but just as necessary part of the meal.

Stellar service seals the deal. A brigade of impeccably-trained staff swan around the room pouring loose leaf tea from heavy silverware and replenishing cakes and savouries when required, all the while seeming genuinely warm and relaxed. There’s also a cake trolley that does the rounds while you dine, lest you run out of dessert at any given moment.

A glittering affair from start to finish, this royal British tradition is elevated to the highest degree at London’s most iconic hotel. It's as magical an affair as one would expect.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Over £80
Afternoon tea
Fine dining, Glamorous, Luxury, Traditional
Food Occasions
All day dining
Special Features
Gluten-free options, Vegan options, Vegetarian options
Perfect for
Birthdays, Celebrations, Child friendly, Dates, Romantic, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating


There isn't a more iconic British activity than partaking in afternoon tea at The Ritz. With five sittings served daily in the grand surroundings of the hotel's Palm Court, guests will leave the Mayfair dining room having indulged in the finest of afternoon teas. 

Located on the ground floor of the hotel, the Palm Court stuns with its grand chandeliers, ornate designs and high ceilings. Decorated in tones of gold and cream, this stunning room looks like something straight out of a fairytale, and features leafy palms, huge paned mirrors and vast marble columns as you enter. Depending on your sitting, guests are also serenaded with live music while they dine, as expert musicians play the piano, cello, harp or violin at intervals thoughout the day.

The traditional afternoon tea is a quintessentially British offering of sandwiches, pastries and freshly baked scones with clotted cream and preserves. Start off with delicate Scottish smoked salmon and citrusy lemon butter on sourdough, followed by a classic cucumber and cream cheese sandwich that is served with the elevated flavour pairing of dill and mint. A chicken breast and creamy tarragon mayonnaise meets malt bread while some sandwiches are served in a rich, buttery brioche roll. 

In terms of tea, guests are spoilt for choice with 18 different types of loose-leaf tea available. From The Ritz's own breakfast tea, to a floral earl grey, refreshing mint and the more complex Chinese green teas. 

Moving onto the sweet selection, guests will find an assortment of seasonal pastires and cakes alongside the staple of scones, Cornish clotted cream and strawberry preserve. Turn the afternoon into a celebratory occasion for the whole family with a children's menu, and the addition of a glass of Champagne for the adults to indulge in. 


How long does the afternoon tea last?

Afternoon tea lasts between 1 hour 30 minutes and 1 hour 45 minutes with the last sitting at 7:30pm

Helpful? 0

What is the dress code?

Gentlemen are required to wear a jacket and tie. Jeans, shorts, and sportswear are not permitted.

Helpful? 0

This venue also offers

The Ritz Restaurant

The Ritz Restaurant

The Ritz Room
Private Group Dining

The Ritz Room


The Ritz Hotel, 150 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London, W1J 9BR

020 7300 2345 020 7300 2345


Opening Times

Afternoon Tea
Mon 11:30-19:30
Tue 11:30-19:30
Wed 11:30-19:30
Thu 11:30-19:30
Fri 11:30-19:30
Sat 11:30-19:30
Sun 11:30-19:30


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2 Reviews 

Tracy G

27 June 2018  
Pressie for my mum's special birthday which was all the more special for the constant supply of goodies and selection of teas which she enjoyed very much. Whilst she doesn't eat a lot it was lovely to have all the mini nibbles. Some had tea and coffee, others were offered juices. Not our first visit so we knew what to expect but always a pleasure. The waiting staff are always attentive, polite but discrete. Value for money is as always, we visit for special events, birthdays etc. So not an issue. Prefer this to a meal out as its a relaxed atmosphere. Décor, it's the Ritz!!!

David H

08 March 2013  
Food & Drink 3
Service 3
Atmosphere 5
Value 3
The place is the hero
We've been here a few times in the the last decade, the latest at an early sitting today. Let's be quite clear, you come here to sit in the Palm Court for an hour or two in one of the most opulent and visually dazzling hotel spaces you'll ever see. On arrival you wait in a kind of genteel scrum near the piano till a waiter finds you and takes you to a table. There's no desk, no formal check in. The place is busy- its always busy and very difficult to get a table at weekends. The food is, well the food is OK. Its very traditional, sandwiches with crusts cut off, scones with artery-clogging clotted cream and jam, and the sort of “fancy cakes” you used to get in a baker's in the 1950's, accompanied by your choice from maybe 20 types of tea. You get about as much of all of this as you want, though in my experience it doesn't take long to feel a bit stodgy and waterlogged. Service is unfailingly polite, though trying to attract your waiter's attention is not always easy, the aformentioned “scrum” could be improved, and seeing your waiter carrying maybe half a dozen pots of tea for various tables tends to stress the industrial scale of things somewhat. In my view a pot of tea lasts for maybe a couple of cups before its either too strong or losing its character, and they could be a little more forthcoming about bringing a new pot. Value? Well its pretty tough to justify £47 for what you get to eat, even if service is included. There are quite a few London hotels that offer more interesting and better value teas. But you're there for an occasion and you either think of it in those terms or you're probably not going to feel good about being there. We got there early to get out of the rain, went to the bar, and were a little disappointed to be seated in the lobby. Looking quickly at the champagne menu we decided not to pay £21 minimum for a glass of Non-vintage champagne with no Prosecco or similar on offer, and for our sins were then ignored for the next fifteen minutes, after which we walked into the Rivoli Bar (yet another remarkable space) and were seated and served immediately. Its possibly worth pointing out that our two glasses of middling wines from the cheaper end of the “by the glass” list cost an eye-watering £33. Still the place was beautiful, and I can't deny that we enjoyed being there.
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020 7300 2345 020 7300 2345

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