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Tea at the Ritz, and a big birthday surprise!

Monday, March 18, 2013

A few months back, my daughters and I were talking about bucket lists, and I mentioned that I’d always wanted to have tea at the Ritz in London. So for my birthday, that is what they decided to book for us.

I was warned that they had arranged other things for the rest of the day, and that I wouldn’t get back till late, so dressed up in heels and a smart skirt, I fed the cats and shut them in, and we headed off to catch the tube up to Green Park.

Our tea was booked for 11.30 so we went straight there. I had never been into the Ritz before, and was a little overawed by all the mirrors and gold paint.



I had no idea how much I was expected to eat, but I was told that I had 90 minutes to eat it in! I have never seen so many varieties of tea in my life. It was quite hard to choose. My daughters were very excited that all their plans were going well.



The sandwiches arrived first.



Each little sandwich was a different filling and the breads were different too! We had Ham with mustard mayo, cheese and a sweet chili chutney, cucumber with cream cheese, dill and chives, chicken with horseradish, smoked salmon and lemon butter, and last but not least, egg mayo, with chopped shallots and watercress. When we had eaten them, the waiter came and gave us more!

Then came the plain and raisin scones. We had clotted cream and strawberry conserve with those.



I then ate the cream slice, and thought we’d finished, but no, a dessert trolley came round! I chose a slice of lemon drizzle cake. By this time I feared I might burst! I had to leave part of that cake, we were all very full, and decided to go to our next destination.

The girls told me that I was having a day with a royal theme! I did wonder if that meant I was going on a tour of Buckingham palace, but it turned out to be the Victoria and Albert museum. I hadn’t been there since I was at school, so we spent a happy couple of hours wandering around and looking at the exhibits. Then thirsty and tired, we fancied a cup of coffee, and went and found a coffee shop outside. They were serving lovely cakes, and it was beginning to make me feel sick just by looking at them!

By this time it was mid afternoon, and I was flagging a bit, but the girls assured me that after the next walk I could sit down for a couple of hours. We walked back past the museums and down some little side streets, and I was amazed to be taken into a pub! It was the last thing I was expecting. It was packed. The rugby was on and everyone was cheering the teams on. Oddly they were cheering the Welsh! Who won. We found a table and the girls decided to share something to eat, I just nicked their chips! (french fries to you Americans)

The girls kept asking me where I thought I was going, but I had no idea. Right up to the last minute I had no idea. It never would have occurred to have booked for the Royal Albert Hall, let alone a box at the Royal Albert Hall!



Fabulous! I was overjoyed, and they had wondered if I'd like it! They had booked a concert with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra! A program of popular classics for Classic FM’s 25th anniversary. It was very similar to the last night of the proms, with laser lighting.




As you can see, the girls were looking after me well!



The lights were really stunning, and we ended the first half with a patriotic rendering of Elgar’s 'Pomp and Circumstance', and of course the obligatory ‘Land of Hope and Glory”



The second half was more of the same. We had all the old favourites, including ‘Rule Britannia’ Twice! We all had flags to wave, that had come with the program, and were singing away like sparrows! I would say larks, but you haven’t heard my singing! I think the beer had helped lubricate my vocal chords!

To finish, we heard the 1812 overture, complete with cannon



And fireworks!!



It was deafening, but brilliant.

I had had a lovely day. We finally staggered in just before midnight, and the following day my throat was sore from all the singing! There was never a birthday like it, and they have said that they can’t possibly top it for next year!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

XNANNY 3/22/2013 10:16PM

    emoticon a bit late! I enjoyed your day almost as much as you did. You are great at sharing.

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KANSASROSE67 3/22/2013 8:47PM

    I enjoyed every detail in your blog! What a wonderful day you had and your daughters are very special to plan such lovely surprises for you!

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TIZSLIM 3/22/2013 8:27PM

  A belated happy birthday to you. A few years ago, I went with a friend for afternoon tea at F&M. Very nice too, but now you have 'trumped' me. Well except our 'tea' included a glass of champagne. Very nice except I can't 'do' alcohol during the day so one glass of shampers, along with endless amazing sandwiches left me feeling very sleepy. That's before we even consider the cakes. Glad you had such a wonderful day though. It's so special when ones children arrange such surprises.

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BROOKLYN_BORN 3/22/2013 8:22PM

    What a lovely day and what wonderful daughters you have!

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CHICCHANTAL 3/22/2013 3:54PM

    I love tea at the Ritz. Even more, I love tea at Reid's hotel on Madeira. They have a terrace overlooking the bay of Funchal and the view is amazing.

You concert looks fab. I went to Tosca at Covent Garden last week, my first opera in about 20 years, and it was wonderful!

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MARTY728 3/22/2013 3:22PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon Both you and your daughters look really happy in the pictures. I am thrilled that you day went so well. There is no reason to try to top it unless there is someplace else you want to have tea. If there is not, you can always make it a tradition. A tradition that I hope you can share with your daughters for many years to come! emoticon

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FALLNTENN 3/22/2013 7:48AM

    Happy Belated Birthday. What wonderful day your children planned for you. The memories will last forever.

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1BEACHWALKER 3/20/2013 5:09PM

    Wow...that all looked so much fun!! I was salivating just hearing about those tea sandwiches and dessert! That sure sounded and looked like your family treated you royally for your birthday!! Glad you had a great one! emoticon
Thanks for stopping by my blog! emoticon

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JUNEAU2010 3/19/2013 7:02PM

    How fabulous! I love Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance" and learned to play it on the piano as soon as I could! Most of what you did is on my bucket list! WOW!

emoticon Happy Birthday! (Mine is tomorrow and it will not be as fabulous as yours!)

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RUTHIE_UK 3/19/2013 2:38PM

    Wow! Lucky you! Belated emoticon

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CLAIREINPARIS 3/19/2013 12:10PM

    How lovely! I celebrated my 40th birthday in the Ritz in London and it is a precious memory for me as well. As for the V&A, it is one of my favourite places in London and I never fail to go for each of my visits! There is always something wonderful on.
Happy Belated Birthday!

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STFRENCH 3/19/2013 8:46AM

    What a FABULOUS way to celebrate your birthday - your girls really did organise a super day for you!!

For some reason, I started humming Putting On The Ritz whilst reading your blog. If I stay stuck with this song in my brain for the rest of the day, I'll blame you! emoticon emoticon

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LIBBYL1 3/19/2013 1:30AM

  what a special day! and what wonderful family...

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DR1939 3/18/2013 10:46PM

    All I can say is WOW! That was some birthday party. What lovely girls. They are a present to cherish.

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MARIONJEANA 3/18/2013 6:06PM

    What a lovely day!

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CATLADY52 3/18/2013 5:35PM

    They really pulled out all the stops for you. It is a real treat to have daughters who will do that for you. emoticon emoticon

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THE_SHAKESHAFT 3/18/2013 3:42PM

    Oh wow!! That looks amazing! :D

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TRUCKERSMRS 3/18/2013 3:18PM

    What a wonderful day and such thoughtful daughters that you have. Lovely photos too.
I'll have to add The Ritz to my list.
Belated Birthday wishes to you.
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RAINBOWCHOC 3/18/2013 2:00PM

    congratulations on bringing up such thoughtful daughters. Sounds like a wonderful day and I'm sure your joy was clear for them to see.

Maybe the queen will invite you for a garden party so complete the royal theme!

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MARIANNE9855 3/18/2013 12:16PM

    Amazing- I can't think of a better day and everyone looked so happy in all the pics- you especially! I had been anxiously waiting for your blog.

I know not all daughters are wonderful and not all sons are not so much- My sons are wonderful in their own way but they would never in a million years think to plan such a wonderful time for me- they are not detail oriented or very perceptive. Oh well, when my mom was healthy and I had more resources I was always trying to do special things that my father was clueless about- one time I took her to the NYC Opera's summer home for an evening at the opera and that was a special time for the two of us.

thanks again for sharing your special day- and that food looked pretty yummy! emoticon emoticon

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SHELLYBABE2 3/18/2013 12:01PM

    Happy birthday to you & thank you so much for really sharing your days through your words & photos, really does almost feel like I'm there with you.

You all look so lovely, as does the food ;-)) well done you on leaving some of it! Don't think I'd have been able to leave it alone until it was all gone lol. What a birthday to remember!

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MARUKI52 3/18/2013 11:42AM

    Although I'm coming to this late I'd like to wish you a very Happy Birthday for your special day. Sounds like you had a ball.

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1HAPPYSPIRIT 3/18/2013 11:42AM

    Thanks for sharing the photos! We all feel like we've been able to join your birthday celebration! I know it will be a treasured memory year for many years to come!

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ALIHIKES 3/18/2013 11:40AM

    What a great birthday celebration! Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos
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TIME2BLOOM4ME 3/18/2013 11:38AM

    emoticon m emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BLUEANGELLK 3/18/2013 11:30AM

    Your daughters really planned a special day. It sounds like a dream come true!!

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AKELAZ 3/18/2013 10:47AM

    What a wonderful day - glad you enjoyed it so much - and what great daughters you have to plan all that for you. Thanks so much for the pictures and for taking us with you.
emoticon - one you'll remember forever. Birthday emoticon

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-POOKIE- 3/18/2013 10:38AM

    Wow! How wonderful!

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STALEYK 3/18/2013 10:05AM

    So happy for you! What wonderful daughters you have. What a blessing to you!

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SAINTBETH 3/18/2013 9:35AM

    What a great day! What beautiful and thoughtful daughters! You are blessed.

Is that you in the photo wearing a white top? You've made a lot of improvement. You need to post a new profile pic.

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DOVESEYES 3/18/2013 9:28AM

    Wow lovely!!!

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CIPHER1971 3/18/2013 9:17AM

    What a lovely day

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PYNETREE 3/18/2013 9:06AM

    Wow! A Grand and Glorious Birthday Celebration!

No need to try and TOP it next year..as the memory of this year will still be rich enough to hold!

Happy Birthday!

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 3/18/2013 8:45AM

    What a wonderful day! What charming, beautiful, and inventive daughters you have! Not to mention---ritzy!

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PINKANGEL73 3/18/2013 8:11AM

    What a great treat! Can see from your face how much you are enjoying yourself and your daughters look so much like you. Belated happy birthday to you emoticon

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PEGGYO 3/18/2013 8:01AM

    Happy Birthday and it sounds like a great day

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PATTYKLAVER 3/18/2013 7:48AM

    A great day for you! I'm glad.

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COCK-ROBIN 3/18/2013 6:58AM

    I wish I was there. sounds like you had a great time!

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NEW-CAZ 3/18/2013 6:54AM

    Glad you had such a great time!

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HA_MONICA83 3/18/2013 6:40AM

    SOO special! What an amazing day! I'm so glad your daughters treated you to the tops!!! How precious to be so loved! Play those memories over and over....and I"m sure you'll be smiling as you do! :)

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COFFEE_123456 3/18/2013 6:40AM

    That sounds so fun - how nice of your kids to come up with such a special day!

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OVERACTIVEELBOW 3/18/2013 6:29AM

    How Very Very glorious.
So glad you had a Happy Birthday celebration.
Thank you for sharing your pictures and narrative.
Hope the cats forgave you for abandoning them on your day!!
Love and Hugs
Audra

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