The Ritz

Restaurants, Haute cuisine St James'
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(11user reviews)
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The Ritz

The Ritz dining room’s Louis XVI-inspired decor, with its pink marble, gilt ornamentation and rows of chandeliers, is unforgettable. Champagne is almost de rigueur as part of the overall experience, but we resisted – even a modest half-bottle of wine makes a serious dent in the wallet. Without it, though, we found the amuse-bouches surprisingly lacklustre. The set lunch menu is no bargain at £47 for three courses; mains on the carte hover around the £40 mark.

The provenance and freshness of ingredients seems impeccable – from St Malo butter, via Var salmon, to heritage carrots – but all too often we encountered a dull blandness, despite some precision cooking. The more inventive compilations generally fared better: a fruit sliver shell surrounding flaked crab; citrus jelly cubes and a gloriously sea-fresh oyster mayonnaise with halibut steak; light textured biscuit-sand and delicate white chocolate hoops in deconstructed raspberry cheesecake.

Oddly, there was no way of anticipating which choices stuck to the classic cannon and which gave freer rein to the clearly capable chef John Williams. Aside from the glorious gilt, what you are buying in the Ritz dining room is a conservative formula, complete with coat-tailed service of correctly distant politesse, china plate-domes, tinkling piano renditions of familiar film themes and a general reassurance that all is unruffled in the privileged world you have briefly dipped into.

 

Posted:

Venue name: The Ritz
Contact:
Address: 150 Piccadilly
London
W1J 9BR
Opening hours: Bar Open/meals served 11.30am-midnight Mon-Sat; noon-10.30pm Sun. Main courses £24-£40. Restaurant Breakfast served 7-10.30am Mon-Sat; 8-10.30am Sun. Lunch served 12.30-2.30pm daily. Tea served (reserved sittings) 11.30am, 1.30pm, 3.30pm, 5.30pm, 7.30pm daily. Dinner served 5.30-10.30pm Mon-Sat; 7-10pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Green Park
Price: Main courses £37-£40. Set lunch £47 3 courses, £85 6 courses (£145-£175 incl wine). Set tea £45-£56 (£57-£67 incl glass of champagne). Set dinner £85 6 courses (£145-£175 incl wine)
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Average User Rating

4.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:7
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
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  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|11
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Minki Winky
tastemaker

Ever tried to book afternoon tea at the Ritz? Unless you're free on a random workday at the most inconvenient time of the day, get in line and leave your wishful thinking at the door! 

Luckily though, the Ritz boasts an even more stunning dining venue - the Ritz Restaurant, which, despite being on the pricey side and having a busy schedule, still offers options (such as vouchers) that are quite reasonably priced. Me and my friend opted for a three-course meal with a glass of champagne each and were utterly delighted with the experience. 

Recently awarded a Michelin star, the restaurant offers absolutely impeccable service and deliciously exquisite fine-dining options. We had never seen a table cloth being changed with such grace and in such secrecy: hadn't we known that the guests at the adjacent table had just left, we would've never realized the table cloth was being changed at all. Meal courses were not only being brought to the table at the same time, but there were also at least two waiters attending our table simultaneously, so all plates could be placed on the table at the exact same moment. 

I personally love places with a strict dress code - dressing up is fun and it is a lovely sight to have immaculately dressed people all around you. Suit jackets and ties are mandatory for men, and this is strictly observed - we witnessed a gentleman without a tie being politely ushered out of the premises. It's always easier for the ladies - an elegant dress should suffice. 

Speaking of elegance, the restaurant is easily the most magnificent, opulence-oozing dining room I have been to. Crystal chandeliers shine soft light on floor-to-ceiling mirrors cast in iron, and gold adorns the marble columns and painted walls. A spectacular atmosphere, reminiscent of a French palace or a Roman-style Renaissance drawing room.

Although I am not a food expert, it is not hard to conclude that the restaurant received its Michelin star for its beautifully prepared and locally sourced food.

Still not convinced whether to break the piggy bank and visit? My advice - don't hesitate, our time on Earth is too short not to enjoy the finer things in life.

Georgie
Tastemaker

I had never stepped foot in the Ritz before until last weekend when my mother and I went along for lunch to use the voucher I had gifted her at Christmas. We arrived early so made use of the powder rooms (they don't have "toilets" in the Ritz, darling) which are beautifully decorated with plush pink carpets and elegant wallpaper. Even the tissues have the Ritz emblem on them!


We were shown to our table in the dining room - possibly the most elegant and opulent dining room I have ever visited, with a stunning ceiling painted to look like the heavens and gilded chandeliers - mum and I discussed the complications of all the dusting they must have to do at length as our eyes took in every detail of the room.


Food wise: I had bought a voucher from the Ritz website which gave a three course michelin lunch for 2 for £109, no drinks included. We started with some amuse bouche - a savoury salmon mousse macaroon which was beautifully soft and full of flavour, as was the sugared tulle which was filled with a coronation chicken. absolutely stunning!


For my starter I went with the hens egg with asparagus and pea, which had the most lurid orange yolk that oozed satisfyingly across the plate. It was a fresh and light dish which went very nicely with my glass of champagne (which was £24!!!!!!!) and my gorgeous glass of the rosé (£15!!!) was a beautiful accompanyment to my main course of duck breast and foie gras (though intrigued to note it wasn't names as foie gras on the menu - do I detect a pandering to animal rights activists there?! I think so... always seems off because it's obvious when the plate arrives)


For dessert there was no question that we were going to order the rhubarb souffle and thank god we did as it was sublime - so incredibly fluffy and risen perfectly. It was sweet but not sickly, light and airy... the perfect dessert for me.


To end the meal we had a pot of fresh mint tea to share and a plate of pretty petite fours which included macaroon, jelly and a dark chocolate and salted caramel truffle. Whether the petite fours come as standard with the meal i'm not sure, but the tea did not - and at £8 per head for hot water and leaves we were pretty shocked! How on earth can anywhere justify that for a cup of tea?!?!?! It's a bit disgusting really. The drinks bill came just shy of what the voucher for the food cost which was probably the only negative I had with the experience - such high price points for the wine (I think the cheapest glass I found on the menu was £12) and other drinks is just unnecessary and a bit of a piss take. 


But otherwise my experience at The Ritz was superb. I wouldn't necessarily return as I think it's a nice thing to do as a one off, but I would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a special way to celebrate an occasion or treat a loved one.

Lynsey F
tastemaker

I'm not going to lie...we went to eat at the ritz because I found a great deal that allowed us to do so for a dramatically cheaper fee and that counts for a lot as obviously this restaurant is at the higher end of the price market. But after eating there I'm going to say the extra cost is probably worth it.

The food was divine. It was different and perfectly cooked and a real taste experience that I had not previously had. The staff were lovely also. I half expected them to either be very stuffy and aloof (like you see in old 1920s movies) or to treat us slightly differently because we had a voucher deal but they were all very attentive and warm in their dealings with us. Indeed you did feel that the extra costs you pay at the ritz are in part for the service you receive. The staff really know their stuff about everything that they serve at the restaurant and they are happy to help you with your every request.

The restaurant itself is also gorgeous. Tall columns, gold chandeliers and pristine table settings. It is exceedingly decadent overall. It was akin to eating at one of those gorgeous stately homes/castles where you pay to just stare at such gorgeous and highly decorated rooms. Here you get to dine at your leisure in such a room. Amazing :-)

For me this was a special one off but if someone asked me where to celebrate a special occasion and that they were happy to pay a little more than usual then I think I would definitely now not hesitate to recommend the ritz to them. I know that my meal there will be one of those special memories for me. Divine.

Ladyvp
Tastemaker

I went here for after-noon tea and nothing can quite beat this location. I have sampled many after-noon teas in London and this one stands out as one of my favourite. There is no gimmicks here, but everything was delicious and the tea selection was outstanding. The quality is never at fault here or the service. 

AME
Tastemaker

I had some daddy-daughter time at The Ritz recently and thoroughly enjoyed it. The food was fantastic, and whilst it didn't look like much on the plate, it was so rich, flavoursome and satisfying that it completely hit the spot (I've never had lamb that tender!!). The surroundings are very calming and the perfect place for a interference-free catch up! Having a pianist playing in the main room adds even more class to the place and I will definitely be returning to try their famous afternoon tea!

TheMixedMedic
Tastemaker

Contrary to popular belief, the prices here for a special occasion are probably better value than most other restaurants in the area. At 50 pounds a head you can treat yourself to either afternoon tea or a set meal with some bubbly. Ideal if you are looking for something that guarantees great service and is quintessentially British without being noticeably swamped under swathes of tourists. 

Luisa G
Tastemaker

I came to the Ritz with my mother for her birthday, for afternoon tea. It is expensive (it was slightly less expensive when I went), but you really do feel special. The tables are beautiful, as is everything that is used for serving. The food was very yummy, and they even came around with a cake trolly - as if you didn't have enough! The sandwiches kept coming, which was a nice touch - but I would hope so for £45/pp! 


The waiting staff are all very professional, and it's lovely havinga pianist playing whilst you're eating. If you don't like the tea you chose, they offer to swap it for you. I'm allergic to certain nuts, so I had a separate plate with different cakes on, which was lovely!

Rosie T
Staff Writer

I have been to the Ritz for Afternoon Tea a couple of times now and each time I have left feeling very happy. The staff are welcoming and the tea is divine. The Ritz has a wonderful atmosphere, with a beautiful surrounding, such a wonderful place to be. if you are looking fro a good Afternoon Tea I would highly recommend. 

Sosh_uk
Tastemaker

Wow wow wow wow wow! Amazing service and food was incredible. It was my first experience of eating at a fancy restaurant and it was worth every penny. All three courses were great, and the lamb melted in my mouth. They serve fresh bread and the butter, even had the R logo and was the softest creamiest butter I have ever had. They do great deals for lunch so check it out. There's a no jeans policy and if you don't wear a tie, they have a few on standby!

David

Have had the three course lunch here twice in the last few months. On both occasions the food was well up to the standard of the stunning surroundings and better than several Michelin-starred meals we've had. Add to the good food the delightful skilled staff and you have a memorable experience. Bravo chefs - and wake up Michelin and give this place the star it deserves.

BG

Tiny food, big plates and bigger prices. A lovely place, friendly staff (if only pretend 1st class), but expect to leave hungry. Sorry, not going again.