When visiting new places, I like to have afternoon tea. It gives me an opportunity to relax, enjoy tea, and reflect on my new experiences!
Description: “The first service took place in 1913 and has once again become a fashionable pastime for a new generation of social tea lovers.”
Review: One of the first things I knew I had to do in Montreal, aside from visiting Camellia Sinensis Teahouse, was to go for afternoon tea! I chose the Ritz-Carlton Hotel because is a historical building which was opened in 1912 and had a gluten-free option which was not available at some of the other afternoon tea places I was considering. Vegetarian, vegan, and Kosher options are also available!
Reservations could be made online and my friend and I decided to go mid-afternoon. When we arrived at the Ritz-Carlton, the Palm Court, where afternoon tea is served, is an extension of the lobby area. There were only a few guests when we arrived, so the staff sat us at the back of the room, up a short flight of stairs, which gave us a nice vantage point of the ornate room.
Once settled in, I inquired about the gluten-free option. The server noted that it was something that should have been mentioned when I reserved. However, the website only stated that Kosher would need to be noted. Regardless, they were they were accommodating the request.
The afternoon tasting menu came with:
- A latte or tea selection (there is also an option to upgrade for alcoholic options)
- Afternoon assorted creations were developed by Claude Guérin, who was named Best Pastry Chef in Canada in 2017
- Plain and cranberry scones*, homemade Devonshire style cream and jams (strawberry jam and raspberry jelly)
- Finger cut sandwiches on homemade breads
As I picked the gluten-free option, the items menu was slightly different than the main offering. The finger sandwiches were cucumber, pesto, smoked salmon, and eggplant. The scones were plain and blueberry and the sweets were mini cheesecake, strawberry and basil tart, and chocolate mousse. I personally enjoyed the scones and the sweets the best as the gluten-free bread was a bit sandy (which can happen with gluten-free bread).
After reviewing the tea menu, I selected The Royal Tea of the Ritz, which is a speciality blend, specifically made for the Ritz. It was an Assam black tea base with rose petals, jasmine, calendula petals, and cocoa. During the first infusion, I brewed it for 4 minutes which was a bit light in taste and colour. During the second infusion, I brewed it for 5 minutes which had more of a pronounced taste and deeper reddish colour. The main flavours were cocoa and rose with some woodiness from the black tea.
Overall, I really enjoyed the experience, the atmosphere was pleasant and elegant, the staff were accommodating and friendly and I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys afternoon tea. The only issue I ran into was the discrepancy between the website and the staff and whether I needed to mention dietary restrictions before. So, I would mention them when reserving, just to be safe (4/5 rating).