Archive | November 2012

Afternoon Tea in Moscow: The Ritz

I have an overdue afternoon tea experience to write about. Back when I did the Trans-Siberian over the summer holidays, I, of course, found myself in Moscow. And naturally I made it my mission to have afternoon tea in Moscow. Being the overachiever I am, I did not one, but TWO afternoon teas during my three-day stay in Russia’s capital. You’d be surprised that there are a handful of venues that offer afternoon tea in Moscow. I did my research and narrowed it down to two venues, where I would grace my presence. Today’s review is of afternoon tea at the Ritz Hotel, Moscow. Had there been a Four Seasons Hotel in Moscow, I would have gone there as part of my Four Seasons Afternoon Tea project, but alas no Four Seasons in Moscow, so the Ritz it was. The Hotel:

From Afternoon tea, Ritz Moscow
From Afternoon tea, Ritz Moscow

And for those who don’t read English above, here it is in Russian:

From Afternoon tea, Ritz Moscow

The hotel is within metres from Red Square (which you can see to the left of the photo):

From Afternoon tea, Ritz Moscow

The hotel lives up to its brand — sheer opulence. The dictionary defines “ritz” as “ostentatious or pretentious display”. I had the Tsar Tea afternoon tea set in the Lobby Lounge, which includes a glass of champagne which is always welcome.

From Afternoon tea, Ritz Moscow

The tea selection was impressive. 22 varieties of hot tea and 3 iced tea blends. Teas are mostly supplied by Ronnefeldt tea and also TWG. Yes, a table for one:

From Afternoon tea, Ritz Moscow

A relaxing cup of tea:

From Afternoon tea, Ritz Moscow
From Afternoon tea, Ritz Moscow
From Afternoon tea, Ritz Moscow

Four different kinds of sugar!

From Afternoon tea, Ritz Moscow

I was even served strawberries!

From Afternoon tea, Ritz Moscow

The afternoon tea 3-tiered platter is a serving for two. So even though it was just me, I had to order the set as 2-person portion, which meant that there was double of everything. That’s a lot of food for one person!

From Afternoon tea, Ritz Moscow
From Afternoon tea, Ritz Moscow

The spread:

From Afternoon tea, Ritz Moscow

The food was pretty traditional. Nothing too crazy Russian, I guess.

From Afternoon tea, Ritz Moscow

The savoury plate was a selection of 5 open finger sandwiches: – cream cheese, smoked salmon and capers – camembert, walnut and sour cream – sour cream and roe – cheese, ham, sour cream and capers – prosciutto, cucumber, sour cream Everything had sour cream. They use sour cream like it’s butter. They do love their sour cream in Russia.

From Afternoon tea, Ritz Moscow
From Afternoon tea, Ritz Moscow

Desserts was 2 different flavoured macaroons, a choc cup, some jubes, and a cake. One of the macaroon flavours was mint and basil. A little weird.

From Afternoon tea, Ritz Moscow
From Afternoon tea, Ritz Moscow
From Afternoon tea, Ritz Moscow

And the scones for last:

From Afternoon tea, Ritz Moscow

And yes, even the scones were served with sour cream! This is a thing in Russia. Sour cream with everything. I love sour cream as much as the next person, but on my scones! Even I have limits. Scones, sour cream and jam is just a weird combination. I actually even had the audacity to ask for fresh cream. They happily obliged and gave me a generous serve of fresh cream.

From Afternoon tea, Ritz Moscow

Now that’s more like that. Topped with strawberry jam.

From Afternoon tea, Ritz Moscow
From Afternoon tea, Ritz Moscow
From Afternoon tea, Ritz Moscow

Afternoon tea in Moscow. Check.

From Afternoon tea, Ritz Moscow

Hotel interior:

From Afternoon tea, Ritz Moscow
From Afternoon tea, Ritz Moscow
From Afternoon tea, Ritz Moscow
From Afternoon tea, Ritz Moscow
From Afternoon tea, Ritz Moscow
From Afternoon tea, Ritz Moscow
From Afternoon tea, Ritz Moscow

The Tsars Tea afternoon tea set cost 2500 rubles (portion for 2). So for two people, I think you get to split that cost. It does include a glass of champagne, 3-tier platter of food and unlimited tea. Not recommended if you have an aversion to sour cream!

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