A few nights ago, I went on a little date to The Ritz.
Excited by the prospect, we tried to take a snap outside, under the famous glittering lights.
^ I think that’s the real winner.
We gave up and headed inside. Into the cavernous, gilded halls of one of London’s oldest and finest hotels.
And went off for a little snoop while they readied the table.
I have to tell you about this dress, it’s another bargain. You know I can’t resist!
It even scoops open at the back and ties with a bow around your neck.
The great dining room is unlike any other.
Every diner sits in one room, on one level and they all sort of face towards the middle.
It’s not designed to sit gazing into each other’s eyes, this is a people watcher’s paradise.
And there’s lots to watch.
Waiters flambe-ing things table side;
This young’un went a little overboard with the booze on a number of occasions, resulting in fireballs that singed the ceiling and brought a gasp from the room, followed by a ripple of nervous chuckling.
It clearly scared the crêpe out of the other waiters!
They would come barrelling over to tell him off in hushed, urgent tones, as guests looked on.
We went for the mysteriously titled “Surprise Menu”; a series of courses where the chef decides what you’ll like.
All that was left to do was to sit back and be surprised!
Starting with beautiful nibbles.
And leading briskly on to duck liver.
Beautifully presented, plump scallops.
With samphire and a rich, buttery sauce.
Followed by a fillet of fish, topped with black truffle, in a truffle sauce, with roasted chestnuts.
I thought about asking for a box of “R” butter to take home.
How amazing would it be to serve personalised butter to people who come to stay?! I’d feel so fancy.
But our waiter wheeled our next course out so quickly and with such a flourish, I thought I’d butter not distract him.
The beautiful Venison Wellington glided out on its own trolley, ready to be sliced and served.
Using a bread knife, he tore through the buttery, flaky pastry, past the layer of truffles and right through the pink venison inside.
For my next birthday I would like to be smothered in truffle and encased in pastry from The Ritz.
Then just spend the rest of the day eating myself out of my cocoon.
Although I fear that perhaps that’s the sort of service they reserve for hotel guests…
We watched hungrily as we waited for our supper.
The string band and pianist played to a crescendo as our plates were placed gently in front of us.
And the truffle gravy cascaded from above.
Easily my favourite part of the meal.
If I went again I would perhaps skip the tasting menu in favour of my very own Wellington.
Before we knew it, the savoury courses were over.
Pudding arrived in the shape of vanilla icecream.
Rich, thick and arranged over a sort of cheesecake base. (I wont make the boyfriend joke again, but you know I’m thinking it!)
Followed by the beautiful Mont Blanc.
A crisp base, with pureed sweet chestnuts and whipped cream. Wrapped in a sugar case, with a slice of milk chocolate and surrounded by meringue kisses.
By the time we’d finished pudding and raised our heads from our conspiratorial, wine-induced-giggling-conversations, the people watching opportunities had all but vanished! Along with the people.
We finished our wine with a final few nibbles.
And, keen to keep the date going, headed off for a dance at Arts.
The Ritz, as everyone knows, is wonderful.
The perfect venue for a special occasion or perhaps just a spot of tea.
Book ahead and try the Crêpe Suzette if you’re taking someone you want to impress! (Especially if they want a good photo-op!)