Heaven is a Place on Piccadilly

And that was it. I have had the best there is.

I am ruined for all other afternoon teas. Forever.

The Palm Court tea salon at the Ritz at 150 Piccadilly, St. James’s, London, is the standard to which all other afternoon teas aspire. Before we left for London, my tea expert friend, Miss Linda, told me to make a reservation and that if I didn’t have tea at the Ritz whilst I was in London, she would cease to know me.

And when you go to London, if you don’t have tea at the Ritz, I will cease to know you too. (You can make your reservation here.)

So what does one do once the best has been had? Stop looking? Should I just not bother having afternoon tea at any other place?

No.

Because exploring the new, the old, and the different in afternoon tea is all part of the fun. I went to tea at the Biltmore Hotel near Miami, Florida — and they had an incredibly inventive way of serving a single shrimp skewer with mango sauce in the tiniest of jars. The Ritz would never do that, but it was delightful nevertheless. Dare I say that it was very Florida as well?

A savories course for afternoon tea at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida.

The best part is bringing all of the experience, inspiration, and knowledge of afternoon teas away from home back to your own kitchen.

From time to time, putting on afternoon tea for guests at home is a culmination of all of the things we love: food, tea, decorating, china, silver, and friends.

Last year, we put on a Valentine’s Tea for ten ladies hosted by our dear friend Miss Linda. We may have been thousands of miles from Piccadilly, but between the fun of menu-planning, setting the table, and seeing our friends, we brought the Ritz home.

Chocolate Mousse Cups topped with raspberries. Plate is Royal Doulton’s Old Country Roses pattern.

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