When I went on an around the world trip for two years with my parents and brother, there weren’t any destinations that we hit that were on my really want to visit.
The one destination I did have on that really want to visit list was Spain, specifically Madrid. During the two year trip, I didn’t go there until three years later, when I went on a short trip to Madrid with my mom.
It was a dream trip for me when I got to stay at Hotel Ritz, Madrid. And also have afternoon tea there.
The hotel, now managed by Mandarin Oriental, was built because King Alfonso XIII of Spain wanted a hotel in Madrid similar to the Ritz in Paris. So he commissioned the hotelier César Ritz, who started both the famous Ritz in Paris and London to open one in Madrid.
I wanted to stay at Hotel Ritz, Madrid because of its location. It’s right next door to the Museo del Prado and also very near walking distance to the boutiques of the Salamanca neighborhood, Retiro Park, and other museums like Thyssen-Bornesmisza and the Reina Sofia.
Afternoon tea is typically served in The Hall, a large sitting area off the lobby with high ceilings and all the glitz you’d expect at a hotel of the Ritz’s caliber (think chandeliers, carpet, yellow and brownish tones). But the other option you have for tea is outside at the Ritz Garden.
It’s here at the Ritz Garden that locals seem to come to dress up and ‘be seen’. The garden is an enclosed outdoor area with security by each entrance. It’s right by a main road. And while you can hear the cars go by, it somehow feels like a secluded area, and not right in the center of Europe’s fifth largest city.
Upon sitting down, I was given a menu that wasn’t very descriptive. I just went for an earl grey.
There’s just one afternoon tea offering at Hotel Ritz, Madrid. The pictures here show two servings, one for me and another for my mom.
The Savory – (five varieties per person)
Savories are what you’d expect at a traditional English afternoon tea. Cucumber, egg and chicken salad egg sandwiches and smoked salmon.
I landed in Madrid in the morning on a red eye flight from New York and this was my first ‘meal’ in Madrid.
The Scone – (two scones per person)
Two fruit scones came with cream and little containers of strawberry jam.
The Sweet – (four varieties per person)
We had a little welcome gift delivered to our room when we arrived, which consisted of this delicious moist almond egg cake. I had some of it in my room before going to Museo del Prado. Then had a little taste of it again at afternoon tea.
Also a fruit cake. Which I liked, but probably came from a package. As you can see, there was a little piece of plastic on the cake. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Food was served on pretty green and gold rimmed plates with flowers. Meanwhile, the cups were plain white and the teapot was pretty functional, one I need for home!
The staff didn’t seem to know much about afternoon tea. And they tended to stay out of the way.
As a guest, the WiFi also worked really well outside.
Social Media Aspect
Hotel Ritz, Madrid posts updates and shares guests’ content a few times a week on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Afternoon tea at Hotel Ritz wasn’t anything too special in regard to food and tea. But, the ambience makes this afternoon tea one of my favorite things I did in Madrid. Sitting outside over afternoon tea, reflecting that I was actually in Madrid, with my mom, was priceless.
Cost: €35 (about USD $40) for Afternoon Tea
Tea Time: 4 – 8 pm daily at The Hall or The Ritz Garden at Hotel Ritz Madrid
Plaza de la Lealtad
5, 28014 Madrid