Friday, March 16, 2012

A Tea Party!

I have been feeling more British since I moved to London. I am totally used to the accents now where I don't even realize that they are speaking different than me. I don't notice the constant cigarette smoke smell that I breathe in everyday while walking around the streets of the city, where when I first moved here, I had a constant sore throat from it. I am used to riding the tube and even help other people who don't know what train to get on. I can't get enough of living in "Theatreland" where all the West End shows are lining the streets. I have fallen in love with city life and all the perks that come with it. But.....
I knew I wouldn't have the true British experience until I went to Afternoon Tea. And not just any afternoon tea, but at the best The Ritz Hotel! All the reviews read, "This is the one and only place to go for afternoon tea. It is a once in a lifetime experience." And it definitely was! I could probably say that this was one of the most fun, most British thing that I have done since I have moved to London.
Before it started, we went to "Accessorize" to buy some fun British hat/headband things. They had all different ones and they were so fun to wear. I loved mine how it draped across my face like one of those fish net veils. When we walked into the tea room, there were two other ladies there with similar hat type of things on. It added to the fun of playing "tea party." And yes! I do have my pinkie finger raised in this picture. :) It only fits!(Heather Sifuentes, Kelcey Moriarty, Becky Norton, Me, and Esther Woodbury)
So beautiful!
The inside of The Ritz was absolutely gorgeous. I felt like I was a princess in a palace and was worth a million bucks. All the workers were wearing tuxes and they opened the doors for you. They take your coat and treat you like royalty. There was a small music band with a violinist, bass, and piano, playing light music in the background. I felt like I was on the Titanic cruise ship with all the fancy rich people, eating gourmet foods, with lots of fancy utensils and dishes. Wouldn't this just be the life if you really did things like this on a regular basis?
What will I eat tonight?
The menu was actually a fixed menu, so we got to try a little bit of everything.

Pouring myself some tea. I ordered an herbal passion fruit tea. Honestly, I am not really a big tea person, but this was quite good, especially with a couple sugar balls and a bit of cream. It was so fun pouring it through the fancy sifter and into my delicate tea cup. I was nervous I was going to break something! I loved the silver tea pots. We all got different kinds of tea and passed them around so that we could try each others. Later on in the evening, I ordered some hot cocoa, which was amazing and I should have just ordered that to begin with! So rich and creamy.
So after we sat down and ordered and things, the waiter asked us if we were here celebrating anything special for the evening. I was thinking, nope, just hanging out with a bunch of girls....but Heather tells them that we are here celebrating everyones birthday. He asked, "So, who's birthday is it?" Heather told him, "Oh, we are just here celebrating all of our birthdays, all together." She didn't think anything of it, but I remember reading when I made the reservation that if you are there celebrating a birthday or special occasion, to make sure and let them know so they can bring a cake out to share. So after she said that, I was wondering if they were going to. A little bit later, a few men in tuxes come out with a lit cake and sing to us. What a fun way to top off the evening! I'm glad Heather said what she did, because the cake was really good. It was a thick, dense, and moist vanilla cake with cream filling and peaches and raspberries. The fondant on top was actually really yummy, not the kind you want to peal off.
And now for the food...

It was absolutely delicious and I ate way too much. I have a problem with the buffet type of restaurant where you pay a certain amount and then you can eat as much as you want, because I feel like I need to get my moneys worth, or else I feel like it wasn't worth it. And you can't take home a doggie bag so I just had to eat up! :) Anyway, the food was great and this is what they served:
1. Plain and raisin scones served with strawberry preserves and clotted cream to spread on top.
2. A ton of different kinds of little rectangular sandwiches that were perfectly cut and perfectly even. They had ham, cheese, egg salad, salmon, and veggie ones.
3. Little pastry type of desserts that almost looked too beautiful to eat. They had a little lemon and blueberry tartlet, a dense chocolate mouse truffle cake, a vanilla custard pie thing with a flaky layers in between, and my favorite: a rose french macaroon with a white chocolate wedge, whip cream on top, and filled with raspberry jam. Some desserts even had a cute little circular piece of chocolate on top for decoration that had an "R" printed on top for "Ritz."
4. Half way through the evening, a man came around with little parfait type cups full of a custardy flan type of thing with a burnt carmel sauce on top.
5. Later on, another man came around with a rolling cart with two cakes to choose from. He had a carrot cake, and a berry tart/pie thing.
6. And of course, the unexpected birthday cake. :)
7. Plus all the different kinds of teas and hot chocolates that you could imagine.
I was in heaven!
Our waiter. Doesn't he look so cute and so British?
We didn't want to leave! I didn't want the night to end because we had too much fun! Plus, I knew that I would probably never be back there again. But we had to get back and watch the Bachelor finale and see if Ben chose Courtney or Lindzi...even though I already knew the results....
We took a taxi home which was kind of fun. Only my 2nd time in my life riding in a taxi. That added to the princess feel during the night. :) It was a late evening, and I didn't get to bed until about 1, which made for a brutal awakening when my alarm clock rang at 6:30 the next morning, but it was all worth it. What a fun, memorable, completely British night!

1 comment:

  1. SOOOOO fun! What a neat experience! I totally know what you mean about getting used to accents. I don't even notice the southern accent anymore with most people. I'm glad you're having a blast, and that you have good friends to share it with!