It would seem that the Ritz-Carlton Montreal is the only 5-star hotel that serves a proper afternoon tea in Québec’s metropole. Fortunately for us high tea addicts, it does not disappoint.
The Ritz-Carlton Montreal setting ★★★★★
The Ritz-Carlton is located in the centre of Montreal, close to McGill university. It is the first hotel in North-America to bear the name “Ritz-Carlton”. It opened in 1912 and was a pioneer in the luxury industry, as per the requirements of Cesar Ritz who was very particular about the use of his name.
Among the multiple demands of Cesar Ritz, the lobby needed to be both grand and intimate so the high society of Montreal could see and be seen, in the spirit of the Ritz Paris.
The Palm Court
Afternoon tea is served in the Palm Court lobby lounge, a large room with a gorgeous round-shaped ceiling. The atmosphere is very relaxing and it’s even possible to take your tea by the fire (that’s ideal during the harsh winter days). The blue-toned ceiling, the chandeliers and the many mirrors make the place even more pleasant.
The only downside would be the arc-shaped armchairs which are not very comfortable and may even break your elbows. If possible, ask to sit on a chair or on a sofa.
The Tea & Beverage selection ★★★☆☆
There are 9 teas on offer from the “Toi, Moi & Café” company: black tea, green tea and herbal tea. That’s not much to choose from and there is no oolong teas or white tea. Still, the quality is quite decent despite the brewing method (teabags).
Each guest can only choose one single tea, which isn’t that surprising in this price range. I recommend that each guest chooses a different sort of tea as it’s possible to ask for refills.
If you prefer richly flavoured teas, go with the “Epices du Marché” tea (which feels very Christmassy) or the “Darjeeling” (strong and astringent). The green teas were too light and not brewed at the proper temperature, so don’t even bother with the Sencha green tea.
The Savouries ★★★☆☆
The savouries are quite pleasant and there are 4 small sandwiches: “Cucumber & mint cream”, “Smoked salmon & dill cream”, “Confit tomatoes & kalamata olives” and “Herb chicken breast & arugula pesto”.
Each sandwich was good and I especially enjoyed the chicken & pesto. It’s regrettable that the bread did not seem that fresh, which made the sandwiches feel a bit dry.
The Scones ★★★★☆
Afternoon tea is served with two scones for each guest: plain and cranberry. They come with homemade raspberry jam, rose petal jelly and clotted cream (which seemed more like sweet cream than proper clotted cream, how disappointing…).
The scones are slightly crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, the perfect combination! It’s just too bad that the clotted cream felt so amiss.
The Cakes & Sweets ★★★★☆
Last but not least, there are 4 delicious sweets: “Mille-feuille”, “White chocolate mousse on its ginger biscuit topped with mango “, “Biscuit sablé” and “Maple bun”.
The staff will encourage you to finish with the best cake and that is the maple bun. I concur as it’s truly marvellous, even though I’m normally not that keen on maple.
The Service ★★★★★
Thumbs up for the service team who managed to stay efficient despite the high attendance, since the rainy Easter Monday was perfect for an improvised afternoon tea.
Mickael (our waiter) and Simon (the Palm Court lounge manager) were very attentive and made sure that we were never short on tea.
Below is a video of our waitress, detailing the contents of the afternoon tea. Bon appétit!
Conclusion & Overall Mark ★★★★☆
The Ritz-Carlton Montreal afternoon tea is almost flawless. The setting is very nice, the food is delicious, the service is perfect and the value for money is excellent (34$/person). Five-star afternoon tea lovers are bound to love it!
If the tea selection had been more generous and the bread fresher, it would have been a perfect score.
+: The nice atmosphere
+: The delicious sweets
+: The efficient and friendly staff
+: Excellent value for money
-: Few choices of tea
-: One tea per person
-: The savouries’ bread was too dry
Phone: +44 (0)207 518 9388, ext. 1222
Address: 350 Notre Dame Est Local 2