15 Arlington St.
Boston, MA
(617) 536-5700

Tea served Wednesday through Sunday, 3-5:30 pm.
Tea Royale: $25
Full tea: $18.50
Light tea: $14.50
Reservations required.
The Ritz-Carlton Logo

Click here to go to the Ritz-Carlton of Boston's home page.

From The Boston Globe (April 1996):
Nestle yourself into a brocade wing chair in The Lounge, select either a full or light tea, and unwind to the gentle strumming of live harp music. Full and light tea come to the table on a silver-tiered tea stand, complete with tea breads, a scone and whipped cream and fruit preserves, a fruit tart, and a chocolate-dipped strawberry tea sandwich. Full tea adds asparagus and ham, smoked salmon, and egg salad sandwiches. Try the caffeine-free sweet cinnamon tea.

My visit to The Ritz-Carlton (March 10, 1998):

After a disturbing visit to my doctor in downtown Boston, I decided to throw monetary caution to the wind and not only shop on Newbury Street, but also have tea at the Ritz. I must admit the experience was as I'd remembered it from many years ago, only the price has jumped considerably while the amount of food has not. I was able to garner the menu from my impeccable (in all manners) waiter, so that those with culinary inclinations might recreate a similar tea themselves without actually having to go to the Ritz. (There is also a book in print on the subject, The London Ritz Book of Afternoon Tea : The Art and Pleasures of Taking Tea.)
The Ritz

It seems that the romance of "taking tea at the Ritz" is just being in the atmosphere of the Ritz itself. Yes, the room and its furnishings are beautiful, the wingchairs are soft & comfy, the waiters are polite and well-dressed, and the live harp music is delightful. However, I couldn't help having the feeling that someone somewhere was having a chuckle over the fact that I would pay $18.50 for the privelege of being at the Ritz and having a spot of tea. I ordered the Full Tea, which did not leave me full. While the food was good, there simply wasn't enough of it to make it worth coming here again. When I think about how much I can get a Bertha's for $7.95, it makes me cringe. All my food was brought to me immediately, arranged on a 3-tiered display rack. The 4 sandwiches were small, and missing their top slice of bread in order that I might be impressed by the layout of their "fillings." The menu says "scones," yet I was only given one. (I wish there had been at least another, because that scone was clearly the most delicious part of the meal.) There were two slices of tea breads the same size as the sandwiches. (I got poppyseed and some sort of berry pound cake.) The fruit tart was undoubtedly mini, about two bites' worth. And I was also given a chocolate-covered strawberry, which wasn't on the menu. I ordered the Earl Grey tea, which was very good.

My recommendation? If you are curious to experience tea at the Ritz, by all means do, for it is a pleasurable one. If "getting your money's worth" to you means leaving with a full belly as opposed to leaving with the sense that you've been lounging in luxury for an hour, try someplace else.

The Ritz-Carlton's tea menu.