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The Ritz Restaurant

  • Restaurants
  • Piccadilly
  • price 4 of 4
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
  1. The Ritz Restaurant
    Photograph: The Ritz Restaurant
  2. The Ritz
    The Ritz
  3. The Ritz
    The Ritz
  4. The Ritz
    The Ritz
  5. The Ritz
    The Ritz

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

A place so majestic that it gave birth to the world's most flamboyant adjective, it is pleasing to know that more than a century after it was opened by hotelier César Ritz in 1906, The Ritz remains ‘ritzy’ incarnate. Forever the flashiest gal in town, its Michelin-starred dining room still contains stiletto-swallowing carpets adorned with giant roses, floral swags and crystal chandeliers draped from the ceiling, massive pink marble columns and a shimmering sculpture of Neptune and Aphrodite wearing not much apart from gold leaf. Its brand of Louis XVI opulence is camper than the ‘Barbie’ premiere and just as giddy-making.

One of the last places in London to retain a dress code – jacket and tie please, gents – The Ritz Restaurant is dedicated to celebration. Nobody here is grabbing a quick dinner. There are reasons; a 21st birthday here, old friends getting together there and the beginnings of an amicable divorce over by the crooning lounge singer. And don’t the staff just know it. Never have you seen a more well-choreographed fleet of servers. Pristine in tailcoats, they glide about like the most graceful of ice skaters, pleased as punch to serve the meticulous menu of John Williams MBE, who’s been in the kitchen since 2004.

Forever the flashiest gal in town, its Michelin-starred dining room still contains stiletto-swallowing carpets adorned with giant roses

The ‘Epicurean’ tasting menu is the done thing at The Ritz, either five or seven courses (the first at £177 per head, and the second at £197). It’s a hefty price, certainly, but you imagine the weekly bill for cleaning those plush carpets needs all the donations it can get. First came amuse bouche of creamy parmesan mousse filled with kalamata olive alongside a splodge of duck liver parfait in a coating glossier than Chanel’s best red lippie. Next, was a dainty beef tartare and caviar tart that took longer for our server to explain than it did to eat. It’s here we need to compliment the staff’s exceptional timing. Plates are placed on the table in perfect sync and simultaneous explainers of different dishes see them cheerily talking over each other like they were executing some classic Robert Altman dialogue. It’s a performance worthy of any world-beating theatre down the road, and it’s all we can do not to burst into applause after each dish. 

The food, too, deserved a standing ovation. There was native lobster tail in delicate tomato and basil consommé and anointed with teeny tiny flowers, then perfectly cooked turbot in sauce Veronique, and, at some point, a peculiar and fittingly camp mini Bakewell tart. Suffolk lamb cutlets – again accessorised with mini blooms – were trad, yet had an understated flair. Sauces are king, so paid serious dues to the great Auguste Escoffier.

The real showmanship however came towards the end of the night, with a tableside crepe suzette flambé. And who would have thought that brandy-licked flames could be one-upped by some potted plants? In a move that was more reminiscent of a Camberwell allotment than a five-star Mayfair hotel, a trolley full of various mints was wheeled to our table for a pick your own tea infusion. 

The Ritz, then. Not just ritzy, but delightfully curious, too. 

The vibe Proper event dining in London’s most famous hotel.  

The food Tasting menus bristling with the best British ingredients, and cooked with French precision and flair. 

The drink A champagne trolley (they love a trolley at The Ritz) is followed by a whopping 93-page wine menu, with expensive offerings from across the globe. 

Time Out tip Visit on a Friday or Saturday night and you’ll be in classic dine-and-dance territory, with wannabe Fred Astaires soft-shoe shuffling across the floor.

Leonie Cooper
Written by
Leonie Cooper


150 Piccadilly
Tube: Green Park
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