An elegant tea-time treat

Take time to indulge in a spot of traditional afternoon tea at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, and you’ll realise that nobody puts on The Ritz quite like The Ritz.

The waiting list isn’t quite as long as its more famous counterpart in London – where patrons often have to book at least a month in advance – but you are unlikely to leave disappointed.

The Ritz tea is bottomless in its generosity and delivers a more than ample amount of delicate sandwiches, sumptuous cakes, and, of course, a staggeringly large selection of teas.

A tradition of the Ritz-Carlton since 1927, afternoon tea is held in the grandeur of the Silver Palm Lounge and is a luxurious respite from hectic life.

The tables are, as you would expect, exquisitely laid with all the paraphernalia that partaking in traditional afternoon tea requires.

You can choose to have tea served on either one of the many coffee tables, leaving you free to while the afternoon away on the comfy sofas, or at a more traditional dining table making it slightly easier to access all the tasty treats.

There’s not a tea-bag in sight. All teas are loose and include exotic flavours such as vanilla bean, pear caramel, wild blackberries, Marrakesh mint and ginger twist. Traditionalist will enjoy blends such as English breakfast, Darjeeling and Earl Grey.

First to be served – on fine Wedgwood china – are a delectable selection of finger sandwiches, all in elegant bite size morsels. Egg and mustard-cress, Caribbean lobster, smoked salmon, Serrano ham and cucumber with goat cheese are just some of the delightful sandwiches.

A selection of tasty pastries follows, all as scrumptious as the other.

If you’re not quite full, you can then tuck into a healthy portion of scones, accessorised with obligatory pots of heavenly Devonshire clotted cream, lemon curd and sweet strawberry jam.

Next up is a plate full of fine cakes, freshly baked cookies and sumptuous chocolate dipped strawberries.

Regular reinforcements of freshly brewed tea, poured by exceptionally attentive staff, help wash it all down.

For those who have chosen the larger tea menu out of the three available – advisable only if you are particularly famished – a further plate of fresh strawberries covered with whipped cream and drizzled with Grand Mariner follows.

The only problem with the whole affair is it ruins a perfectly good eating opportunity, namely dinner. You’ll simply be far too full.

This is arguable more than just ‘tea’. It’s a four course luxurious meal that will leave you satisfied for the rest of the day. Enjoy.

FYI

Traditional afternoon tea at the Ritz-Carlton is served Saturday and Sunday, 2pm to 4pm and costs $20 to $35 plus gratuity. All three menus include a selection of fine teas, scones and cakes. A kid’s tea menu is also available for $15 and includes a choice of hot chocolate, tea or milk. For reservations call 943-7000.

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