The Ritz

Hotels St James'
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The Ritz

Live like royalty in this palatial hotel, which has more heritage than you can shake a jewel-encrusted sceptre at.

Let’s be honest: The Ritz probably isn’t the place to stay if you’re on a budget. Rooms start at around £300 and escalate to more than £1,000, if you want one of the really swanky suites. But it is of course no ordinary hotel: this is a London institution that’s been setting the bar for luxury ever since it opened in 1906, so doing things on a budget isn’t really the point. The name alone evokes a sense of opulence and class. The building is full of sparkling chandeliers, marble plinths, mirrored walls, plush carpets and neatly upholstered furniture. Frankly, it feels totally palatial – there’s even an inhouse gilder who goes around making sure all of the gold leaf keeps on gleaming, just as it did when the Louis XVI decor was first unveiled more than a century ago.

Of course, this is entirely appropriate for a building that sits a stone’s throw away from classy haunts like Fortnum & Mason and The Wolseley, not to mention Buckingham Palace, though it’s unlikely you’ll want to leave your room to check out the neighbourhood. For a start the beds are super cosy, and you’ll find it difficult to resist diving straight into one of the thick dressing gowns embossed with The Ritz’s regal logo. And the bathrooms – oh, the bathrooms! – are just sublime: think gold taps, lots of marble and baths deep enough to go swimming in.

If you’re splashing out, you’ll also want to pack some fancy clothes and book yourself a table for afternoon tea in the Palm Court. It’s an unforgettable experience, and the unlimited supply of sandwiches means it’s easy to get your money’s worth. Or, if you really want to go all out, get yourself a seat in the restaurant, which was recently awarded a Michelin star, and order the sumptuous crêpes suzette: they’ll wheel a trolley over to your table and prepare the dessert in a sizzling pan right in front of you.

In truth, all this grandeur can feel a little overwhelming at times. And, if you’re more bothered about hotels with gadgets and gizmos, you might see all this as a bit old-fashioned. But, then again, you don’t come to The Ritz for the modern touches, you come for the heritage, the excellence and the sense of occasion. And when it comes to this, The Ritz is as close to perfection as you’re ever likely to get.

Time Out tip: You’re right in the centre of London, so there are plenty of top-drawer things to do nearby – the Royal Academy and National Gallery are a must for art lovers, while the West End is within spitting distance for fans of the theatre. But if you really want to make the most of the area, head to Mr Fogg’s for a cocktail with character, or Hawksmoor for one of the best steaks on the planet.

By: Alex Plim

Posted:

Venue name: The Ritz
Contact:
Address: 150 Piccadilly
London
W1J 9BR
Transport: Tube: Green Park tube
Price: Rates £300-£495 double
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East London Girl
tastemaker

It is always nice to treat your Mum on her birthday so when I saw a Time Out special for a pre theatre dinner with a glass of champagne, I just could not resist. Admittedly, it was because I was dying to visit too!


The Ritz is an iconic grade two listed 5 star hotel located seconds away from Green Park tube and in the heart of Mayfair. It is one of the world’s most prestigious and best known hotels so make sure you dress smartly.

From the moment you walk up the stairs to the hotel, you are greeted with friendly smiles and a professional touch. We passed the infamous Palm Court restaurant where afternoon tea is served, which was such a beautiful setting.

Our dining room, The Ritz Restaurant, was absolutely stunning with beautiful carpets, high ceilings and gorgeous paintings.


The service was second to none. We were introduced to our waiters and sommelier and were made to feel extremely welcome (despite having the Time Out voucher). One of our waiters, Simone, was so professional and informative but also very funny and kind and he made our night.


We were offered a selection of breads to begin, with some salted butter, and then we all chose a different starter – Hens Egg with charred leek, pecorino and flowers, Terrine of Goose Liver, mango, gingerbread and tonka bean and Wild Mushroom Consomme with morel custard. The dishes all arrived with cloches on which were lifted simultaneously by our waiters- it felt like something out of a film! On to the fish course, we had the bream with champagne sauce which was fresh and flavoursome:


Moving on to the main dishes, we had the Roast Chicken, mushroom, leeks and jus gras and Gloucester Old Spot Pork, broccoli, turnip and black radish. The pork was, quite honestly, the best I have tasted – so tender and flavoursome. When I mentioned that I would rather not have the mushroom with the Chicken, they kindly gave me a potato croquette with chicken liver as a replacement, which was such a nice touch.


Finishing off, we had the most amazing Crepes Suzette, which were prepared and cooked by our table. The sauce was made with butter, sugar, orange peel and Grand Marnier (orange liquer) and the crepes were then flambéed before being served.


The food was absolutely spot on – such good quality with some amazing flavours – the presentation was also absolutely first class.


A fairytale evening and definitely recommended as a treat!

Jane G.
Tastemaker

Having been to a few teas in London I would rate The Ritz my second favourite. The seats are a bit less comfortable and it's a bit shabby but hey, how cool to have tea at the Ritz! 

The staff was friendly to us, attentive and helpful. We had plenty of food and tea without really ever asking first. No tea in London is the same experience so you are best to try them all rather than go back to the same one again right away.  There is a dress code, and be sure to visit the bathrooms... POSH!