Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Fancy Lolita Tea Time - Ritz Carlton

This month's meet was pretty exciting, since we finally managed to get the majority of the group to have afternoon tea at the DEQ restaurant located inside the Ritz Carlton hotel. I had to book quite early in advance to secure the booking for a party of 11. They were very accommodating with my requests as I initially booked for 8 people but asked if we could change it to 11 people about 2 weeks prior to the date. I think partially because the manager e-mailed me asking me if I could change our reservation time from 12pm to 2pm because there was a private event happening and they could not set up in time for afternoon tea. If anything, it worked out for most of us, as it gave us more time to get ready!

Photo credit: Ritz Carlton
The nice thing about the Ritz is that their afternoon tea menu changes every month or two. The theme for the month of August was Japanese high tea. I know previously in May, it was maple themed and I just saw that for September and October, it's a Gatsby themed tea set. It's nice that you can return and have something unique every time you go. 

This was our menu for our experience at the Ritz.

Wasabi mayo, pickled radish, romaine, flaky croissant
Pineapple, cucumber, mirin cured raisins, micro greens
Panko crusted chicken, candied plum relish, avocado, citrus mayo, sesame sliders
Roasted red peppers, spiced Japanese eggplant, crispy shallots
Broccoli and cheddar quiche
Pistachio Strawberry shortcake
Yuzu lemon tart
Matcha sables
Mango crème choux
Sweet plum pound cake
Freshly Baked Raisin Scones
Devonshire cream
Tea or Coffee

Our group had a nice alcove to ourselves in the restaurant and there was a fireplace where we were sitting. It provided great ambience but having the warmth of the fire in mid August was a bit odd. I think most of the girls were not deterred by this fact since the air conditioning was abundant and we got lucky with the some cooler weather that day. 

Tea selection
The Ritz serves Sloane tea for their tea sets and if I recall correctly, they had swapped out a Darjeeling for a Japanese Sencha for the month since it was more appropriate for the theme. Sloane tea is a Toronto based tea company and it's nice to know that they're supporting local businesses.

There was no time limit to our seating at the Ritz, it seemed that they normally allotted 3 hours for each seating, but they never mentioned a time limit to me when I made the reservation and there was never a sense that they wanted to rush us.

Each person was given their one pot of tea and the table was covered in teapots. Be mindful that the teapots are quite large and heavy. The tables had milk and sugar packets for your tea and a small jars of honey, jam and Devonshire cream for the scones.

We were served quiches that were served on a plate and they brought out the savory items on the tiered stands. It was hard to photograph the items on the stands and I hoped that they would give us the thinner frame stand for our food. I noticed that the Ritz has a variety of stands and some are quite unique looking. The table of two that was near us had a stand comprised of stacked cubes.

My favourite savory item was the smoked salmon croissant with the wasabi mayo. I wish I could have eaten more! A lot of locations in the United Kingdom offer refills of savory or sweet items, however it doesn't seem to be commonplace here in Toronto. I would have ate more of those croissants and taken home some of my sweet items.

Sweets time!
They served the dessert tiers after we were done with the savory and mine was brought out on a separate plate for my chocolate allergy request. There weren't too many differences with mine and the food items that everyone else had except that the chocolate topping pieces were either taken away or substituted with fruit.

One of the things that was brought to my attention was the large amount of sugar on the matcha cookies, I barely noticed it on mine since there was not much sugar, but Whitefrosty was scrapping the sugar off and she had a small mountain on her plate when I looked over.

I enjoyed the yuzu tart the most and I learned that it was less sweet compared to the version with the white chocolate topping. My sister said that she could taste the yuzu better in my tart when I let her try a bit of mine.

The normal desserts and my special non-chocolate versions of them. 

The raisin scones had a dense cake texture to them and were very filling. They weren't very large but eating one was definitely enough to send you into a food coma. I prefer my scones to be fluffy and lighter.

Overall I had a really pleasant experience at the Ritz for afternoon tea. The food was very good and we were provided with excellent service. They took into consideration all the accommodation requests that I asked for. I wish that we could have been seated at a normal table rather than the coffee tables that were in our alcove. I found that it was harder to eat and the couches were too comfortable. I think a few of us had started to melt into the couches after we finished eating since we were so full!

If you're looking to come here with a larger group of 8, it is best to book at least 3-4 weeks in advance, especially during the summer season. For a large group you will be sent an email and form to fill out with your personal and credit card information. It is a disclaimer and also a contract to advise you if you were to cancel within however many hours notice how much the Ritz would charge you for cancellation fees. As long as you contact them prior to that, any cancellation will not incur you any charges or fees.

For this meet I wore Metamorphose's Swan Lake.

Some photos from this post are courtesy of Kimi and Archangeli. Thank you!

Until our next adventure~
Stay fancy!

That fireplace!

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