A little escape from reality is often needed and a little indulgence never hurts either! When the Firm’s birthday rolled around, Diva #2 and friends knew exactly what she would love – something low key yet smart and stylish, much like herself.
Diva #2, The Firm and Ms. Nightingale arrived at the Ritz Carlton Montreal on Sherbrooke Street and waited for the Polish Pearl and Cuz. Although Cuz, who had made the reservation, nonetheless ended up at another upscale Montreal hotel instead… she was a little lost!
Since we love a little Montreal history, we’ll enlighten you with the Ritz’s dreamy tale. The Ritz Carlton opened in 1912 and was quickly known for its afternoon tea. The tradition is now revived, a flashback to the Edwardian era now made popular by Downton Abbey. Canapés, mood music and a lavish flair perfectly sets the tone for this social tea setting.
The Palm Court is where afternoon tea is served at 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. daily. An opulent room with a painted ceiling, fireplace, oversized chairs and a bar stocked with Dom Pérignon Champagne. This is also the same location where Diva #2 and friends celebrated their high school graduation, thus a touch of nostalgia was in the air!
We usually do not focus on the décor of a restaurant but this is the Ritz Carlton after all. We just couldn’t stop snapping pictures of its extravagant interior! Arriving to the Ritz for high tea made us feel like Grace Kelly meeting Cary Grant in to Catch a Thief… although sadly there was no Cary Grant in sight. We started our tea with a champagne toast to our dear friend before our tea, scones, sandwiches and pastries were brought to our table.
The tea is always served on fine china with plain and cranberry scones, accompanied by raspberry jam, Devonshire cream and rose petal jelly. The Firm had already hinted that the Divas should learn to make the rose petal jelly! But we don’t do well with requests! The scones were perfectly light and airy with a slightly crisp exterior. The Devonshire cream mixed with the jam or the jelly made for a delicious creamy bite.
The sandwiches had the crusts cut off and were surprisingly filling. Of the four selections, the chicken with truffle mayo was underwhelming. The confited tomatoes with goat cheese on tomato bread made for the perfect sandwich, the tomatoes were mellow and sweet, and the goat cheese was tart. The classic cucumber sandwich was refreshing and the smoked salmon was velvety and lovely.
Afternoon tea is not complete without dessert, as we were served a selection of four pastries at the discretion of the pastry chef. The apple mousse was creamy and delicate with a hint of pear. The fruit cake was more along the lines of a sponge cake, with raisins and figs. The mille feuille had layers of custard and crispy flaky layers with a thin sugar topping. And the chocolate torte with gold leaf was a small and decadent bite of dark chocolate heaven.
No matter how many episodes of Downton Abbey you’ve watched, you’ll never master the etiquette of high tea at the Ritz. However, high tea is definitely something to experience at the Ritz Carlton Montreal. The service is impeccable, the food is delicious and the ambiance makes you feel like you’re on vacation without a care in the world. Enjoying high tea at the Ritz is more than just a meal, it’s one of those Montreal moments that our city is known for!
Our Rating: Splendid
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