LWSY The Ritz London // The Ultimate City Weekend Retreat
Every time I visit London I am always filled with so much excitement. Since moving to Paris travelling back to London has always been for a special occasion. Whether to visit family or friends it allows me the opportunity to visit hotels and create new memories alongside the excitement of catching up with whomever I’ve travelled over to meet up with.
To check into The Ritz London is a dream I’m sure I’ve shared with many over the years. I first visited The Ritz the night before my graduation over 13 years ago. I have distant memories of the Rivoli Bar humming with all types of characters. I sat with my family toasting my degree before heading over the road to The Wolseley for oysters, a steak and a banana split. An evening I decided to re-create the weekend I checked in with my mum earlier this month.
The Ritz offers the friendliest welcome, suitcase in hand this is your golden pass to the dreamiest of arrivals. No we weren’t just taking a peek of the hotel, or stopping by for the famous Afternoon Tea, we were checking in and I was about to see my mum for the first time in months. It was going to be a wonderful stay.
As I handed over my ID, I exchanged an amusing conversation with the front desk associate who knew exactly to-the-door where I lived in Paris as his brother lived just a few streets away. He spotted I was pregnant (not difficult to see now..) and I noticed a pregnancy pillow in my room when we were taken upstairs.
I waited for my mum in the Rivoli Bar so we could walk to our suite together. This is always my favourite part of a hotel visit, the room unveil, the ultimate wow moment.
Our beautiful Junior Suite (starting at £740 per night) which overlooked the front of the hotel offered the perfect blend of comfortable living space and regal splendour. Elegantly decorated with a feature fireplace, princess dressing table, his and hers dressing areas and a marble clad bathroom with double sink, separate bath and shower, and all the monogramed towels and dressing gowns you’d hope for. We could see that this suite could be integrated with the room next door so perfect for a family travelling together.
We’d decided on our favourite Wolseley supper that night so abstained from the full afternoon tea experience that day. Plus as a diabetic for the duration of my pregnancy to come to The Ritz and not indulge in the afternoon tea was slightly heartbreaking so we compromised and asked for a taster selection and a pot of tea in our suite just so I didn’t feel quite so hard done by. A little taste of each and I was in heaven.
I wanted nothing more than to dive into the bath, pull on a fluffy robe and jump on the bed for an afternoon movie. It was a Sunday afternoon after all and I wasn’t planning on moving until it was time for a mocktail in the Rivoli Bar.
We headed down to the bar around 8pm, the afternoon tea crowd were still in full force. You can feel in the air the entire ground floor is filled with a permanent sense of celebration. Gaggles of ladies all dressed up for champagne teas, young granddaughters being treated to their first experience of the cake stands that will stay in their minds for many years to follow, there’s no place quite like The Ritz.
Now how do you please a pregnant women with diabetes when it comes to mocktails, no alcohol, no sugar, no citrus. Well they did it. I think mum was pretty happy with her Marie Antoinette creation too!
10 steps over the road and we were safely sat for dinner at our favourite restaurant. When we returned past midnight we were in for quite the treat. The chief of night security was on duty and he quietly said, “Ever seen The Ritz after dark?” So with his chain of master keys we were invited to visit the William Kent House, the elegant Grade II listed mansion adjoining the hotel.
Retaining it’s original lavish Italian Renaissance style decor we were invited to visit the secret library lift, hear about the secret tunnels for those who wish to check in and not be seen, and if you looked carefully enough, you can spot the modern update to the staircase mural.
We both fell into our beds, I was already excited to wake up and experience The Ritz breakfast buffet.
Breakfast at The Ritz is like a dream. I imagine this is how all royalty do it. A silver service breakfast.
With sparkling chandeliers, towering marble columns and soaring floor to ceiling windows overlooking Green Park it’s not difficult to understand why this room is considered to be one of the most beautiful dining rooms in the world. Of course I had to go for the full English (£39), such a novelty in my world of tartine and espresso cafe breakfasts in Paris.
We took one last turn around the hotel, and dipped into Palm Court before the days afternoon tea services began at 11.30am (and continue with 4 more seatings until 7.30pm).
Above, The Trafalgar Suite
The William Kent House staircase
We begrudgingly trundled back to our suite to pack our things (we confess to packing the slippers too) before heading our separate ways back to Somerset and for me back to Paris. This was truly the perfect mother/daughter overnight experience, and for that The Ritz will hold some wonderful memories for us both. Until next time….!
With enormous thanks to Jackie McDevitt and The Ritz team.
The Ritz London, 150 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9BR +44 (0) 20 7493 8181
LWSY was a guest of the hotel in May 2017.