The Ritz – getting past The Glitz

As a birthday gift I was treated to lunch at The Ritz by the other half of No Expert.  We had some concerns as you do, when visiting somewhere so prestigious and potentially wallet busting. High profile venues like The Ritz all too often live off past glories. Fortunately this was not the case here, although there was no getting past the cost factor. The wine was very expensive.  Don’t expect to find bottles at the £30 mark,  the lowest price is around £50, but give it its due, the bottle of Marlborough Pinor Noir we ordered was delightful.  We very sensibly chose on this occasion to go for the set lunch which consisted of three courses for £45, rather than go a la carte, where you could pay the same price for a single course!

I should also say at this stage, that the set lunch was very good indeed, so by going down that  route you really are not slumming it. Indeed we are currently debating the likelihood of naming this the winner of this years best restaurant (the meal was that good).

There was the inevitable Champagne Trolley to avoid before the meal began.  We were quite happy to just go with a jug of tap water (admittedly a silver plated one).

The amuse bouche was served in a Champagne glass and we chose some rather nice bacon flavoured home made bread.  The set lunch menu was certainly enticing, I started with a rather moreish Mackerel dish and my companion had a very tasty salt beef and foie gras terrine.  This was followed by main courses of duck and venison, delivered under cloches and revealed with some theatre.  This was comfort food of the highest order, both were absolutely delicious. Then for dessert we had a classic Ritz dish, the Chestnut Souffle with Rum ice cream, a real treat.  We did not order coffee but were still presented with what I can honestly say were the best selection of petit fours I have had in a restaurant for a long time.  So in summary although the food is not cutting edge by any means, one of the reasons this meal stood out for us, was that nothing jarred, from the bread right through to the petit fours, everything was uniformly excellent and that is a rarity even in the best of restaurants.

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Now that we have got Christmas out of the way, we are looking forward to starting the real celebrations with a post Christmas restaurant binge.   Over the course of the next two weeks we will be dining at two of our absolute favorite restaurants Chez Bruce and The Ledbury.  We also have lunch plans at two locations that could not be more different The Ritz and The Modern Pantry.

We will also be announcing our best and worst restaurants of the year. Watch this space.


The Plaza – New York, New York!

Lunch at the Plaza, it’s like Tea at the Ritz, you just can’t go to New York and not pop in.



Lovely room, friendly staff and a surprisingly good lunch deal. Worth checking if this is still available following the Plaza’s recent refurbishment.

Marks out of 10

Food 5

Service 6

Ambience 7



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The Ritz – putting it on!

A group of us arranged to have lunch at the Ritz.

P101009_13.06They have a very reasonably priced set lunch menu and a comprehensive wine list that includes several “less” expensive bottles of wine (i.e., under £30).

We had the best table in the restaurant, (top right corner) as it afforded a view of the stunning room and the garden area. The restaurant is a “stickler” for the Jacket and Tie rule (they will supply ties if necessary), as is the Rivoli Bar. The bar I was not so impressed with, the decor in particular is very garish.

The restaurant in the Ritz has 2 AA Rosettes, which sounds about right.

Marks out of 10

Food 6.5

Service 8

Ambience (in the restaurant) 8, (in the bar) 4

UPDATE December 2011 – The prices have gone up since this visit and the food has really improved, see post



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