Review: The Ritz-Carlton's Afternoon Tea, Toronto, Ontario
The Ritz-Carlton is a hotel chain whose name is attached with prestige, and more specifically, 5-star service and amenities. With hundreds of locations worldwide, it is unsurprising that the Toronto location is also quite glamorous.
The Christmas tree this year inside the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Toronto
That said, this was our first time checking out the renovated lounge and this year's Festive Afternoon Tea menu. Unlike some hotels (which have you seated in the lobby), the Ritz-Carlton has continued to serve its afternoon tea in a designated restaurant. This is nice because you are not dealing with the extra noise from people shuffling in and out of the hotel. There was also a complimentary coat check, which was a nice touch.
The Tea Offerings
As part of the revamp, the Ritz-Carlton Toronto no longer offers Sloane teas. When we asked the servers why, they told us that it was because those teas tend to lose their flavour when the teapot is refilled with hot water. For that reason they said, they now only offer Tea Leaves, another Canadian company. We were curious to test out this reasoning since we are big fans of a good cup of Heavenly Cream Sloane tea.
- Osmanthus Flower Oolong Tea
- Imperial Orange Pekoe Tea
- Gingerbread Cookie Tea (our recommendation!)
- Earl Grey
- Chocolate Peppermint Truffle Tea (another recommendation to try!)
- Sencha Fukujy Cha Green Tea
- Organic Lychee Green Tea
- Organic Pear Tree Green Tea
- Organic Emperor's Jasmine White Tea
Herbal Leaf Tea Blends:
- Organic Sugar Plum Fair Tea
- Organic Peppermint Leaves
- Organic Tangerine Rooibos
A perfect cup of Gingerbread Cookie tea. The tea definitely kept its flavour even after the teapot was refilled with hot water.
As is the tradition, after the teas were served out came the tiered stand with the standard three levels: savouries, scones and sweets.
One of the best parts of the afternoon tea service at the Ritz-Carlton are the scones; they're not too hard and not too soft. They're simply perfectly delicious. For the Festive Afternoon Tea, we got two types of scones: a traditional buttermilk scone and a cranberry scone. The scones came served with house-made Devonshire cream, strawberry jam and rose petal raspberry jam.
- Egg Mayonnaise Sandwich with Cage-Free Eggs and Fine Herbs
- Coronation Chicken Salad Sandwich with Curry-Infused Sweet Onion
- Smoked Salmon with Granny Smith Apple and Dill Crème Fraîche Sandwich
- Niagara Hot House Cucumber Sandwich
- Hazelnut Coffee Choux with Fragrant Candied Hazelnut, Robust Coffee Essence, Crunchy Almond and Hazelnut Praline with Velvety Canadian Maple Syrup
- Black Forest Cake with Intense Single Origin Dark Chocolate, Fresh Cherry Compote and Madagascar Vanilla
- Almond Financier with Infused Single Origin Dark Chocolate and Bourbon Vanilla
- Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds and Orange
All of the desserts lined up
The Ritz-Carlton is a good choice for an afternoon tea. Overall the service was not bad but there were a few areas for improvement. To start, there were only two tea sample boxes for the entire restaurant. At the time that we went, there were at least 5 other parties dining with us. It would have been more efficient to have a tea box per table. Additionally, when the teas did arrive, we asked one of the servers how long we should steep our teas with the tea timer. The server had not been trained on this because they told us "Oh, the time you want to steep using the timer is up to you". Wrong. Depending on whether you have a black tea, green tea or herbal tea, there are recommended steep times. This is Tea 101 and as a server during an afternoon tea service at a five-star hotel, this is something they should have known. We also had to ask for cream and sugar for the table; this should have been brought out at the same time as the tea. Tea critiques aside, the sandwiches were not particularly creative. Although tasty, they were not very visually interesting. Nonetheless the tasty tea, desserts and scones did make up for the disappointment with the savouries.
At $80 CAD + tax per person, the Ritz-Carlton tea is pricey but is still cheaper than some of the other afternoon teas in the city that are at other 5-star hotels.
☕️ ☕️ ☕️ ☕️ / ☕️ ☕️ ☕️ ☕️ ☕️ [4 out of 5 tea cups]
We give the Ritz-Carlton afternoon tea service 4 out of 5 tea cups. The service was 'ok' and the food was good but nothing that we would say is 'extraordinary' in terms of creativity. There were a couple of missed opportunities during the service, but overall the tea service was quite nice.
You can book your own afternoon tea at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Toronto by contacting the Epoch Restaurant at: 1-(416)-572-8094.