Help with a great Tea in London

Mar 5th, 2004, 12:37 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 691
We leave for London in 5 days and I've made reservations for tea at the Ritz. I've been told if you take the last seating that the waitstaff won't rush you. At 32GBP each this, and lunch at Gordon Ramsay's will be our two food splurges. I can't wait!
JoeG is offline  
Mar 5th, 2004, 02:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,256
JoeG, have a super trip and be sure to let us know about the tea experience. I hope your tea at the Ritz lives up to all expectations. My husband is wonderful but he would draw the line at tea at the Ritz for that price. I'll have to settle for the more plebeian teas offered. Good travels, Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Mar 6th, 2004, 02:36 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 691
I do hope the Ritz tea experience is worth it. I love getting bargains, but sometimes you have to go for it. You can't be cheap to a fault - then you'ld be...well...Rick Steves!!!!(not that there's anything wrong with that.)
JoeG is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2004, 06:16 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 37
I've just tried to make reservations for tea at Brown's. The email I got in response said that they are closing on April 6th for renovations. So they are not open in July for tea. I'll check out some of the websites that you mention for alternatives.

Thanks for being such a great resource. There hasn't been a single question that I haven't found an answer to here.

Take care,
Amy Lynne
AmyLynne is offline  
Apr 6th, 2004, 05:09 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 97
When we walked past Brown's on March 26 there were lorries out front removing furniture etc. It looked like it was already closed.
huebie is offline  
Apr 6th, 2004, 07:32 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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We capped our trip to London last month with tea at the Ritz. It was our last night and we thought it would be a fitting end to a wonderful trip.

We booked about a month ahead for the 5:30 seating. Since we had a large, late breakfast, we thought this would serve as dinner. Plus posters advised that we wouldn't be rushed at the last seating, which proved correct.

The Ritz has a formal, somewhat stiff feel to it which we expected. Since this was the quintessential English experience, I was a bit surprised that none of the hotel staff that we encountered were British. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Just didn't expect it.

Shortly after being seated, we were asked to choose from three or four teas. We picked Darjeeling since it was the only one I could understand. A short time later we were brought a three tiered serving platter. The first level had the little sandwiches - ham, cucumber. salmon, egg salad, and roast beef. Since, I was now famished, I had eaten four or five of these before I realized it. Of course you could eat these in two bites. My wife gave me "the look" and told me "no more sandwiches until you finish a cup of tea." One nice thing, the waitstaff continually kept replacing these sandwiches so the platter was always full. Plus the people around us wouldn't notice "that guy over there just ate a dozen little sandwiches."

I decided it was time to move on to the middle tier. There were two choices, scones and some little chocolate things that looked like brownies. We also had a little tray with strawberry jam and clotted cream. I split the scone in half, spread an ample amount of jam and then scooped a huge dollop of clotted cream on top. I had now experienced food Nirvana. While these scones were about the diameter of a silver dollar, the combination of 10 or 12 little sandwiches, 5 or 6 cups of tea and three of these little scones with about a half pint of clotted cream soon began to catch up with me. I tried one of the little desserts on the top tier, just because it was there, but never sampled the half a dozen or so additional ones. I sat back and tried to absorb the whole experience. Most of the other people seemed to be tourists just like us. There was a pianist playing in the background. I figured it would be classical music, but oddly enough he was playing mostly show tunes. About ninety minutes had passed, the room was beginning to clear out. We not only weren't pressured to leave, I couldn't get anyone's attention to get our check. I momentarily thought we were in France. (L'addition, s'il vous plait?) Finally, I almost had to tackle one of the waitstaff to get the his attention. When he brought the check (in the little leather enclosure) I opened it up to find a credit card inside. The server, who told us he was Spanish, was friendly but asked if we spoke Spanish. Finally, we managed to explain to him that this wasn't my credit card and resolved the check issue. I think it was 32 or 34 GBP each.
As we got our coats to leave, I noticed that a string quartet was getting set up to replace the pianist. To my delight they were playing classical music not show tunes.
JoeG is offline  
Apr 6th, 2004, 11:31 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 97
We had a wonderful tea at the Orangery last Thursday. The food and service were great, and the room is beautiful. There wasn't as much food as we had at Fortnum and Mason's last year, but it was only 8.95GBP. We had little cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream, and a slice of their orange sponge cake with tea.
huebie is offline  
Apr 6th, 2004, 07:12 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 86
I took my son to London in April 2002 when he was 19. He said one of the most enjoyable parts of the trip was tea at Brown's and the play later that night. I can't say enough. Very nice food with excellent service, very, very relaxed, soft music. I could go on and on. Brown's has my vote for sure.
redhat is offline  
May 25th, 2004, 06:18 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 252
Afternoon tea is also on my list of things to do in London, but, the gofortea website is not functioning. Also, it looks like Brown's will be closed when we go to London in October. Any other suggestions of where to go for reviews of tea places?
lacontessa is offline  

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