Walking into The Ritz, I couldn’t help but be slightly overwhelmed by the opulence of the hotel – red velvet, gigantic golden chandeliers, marble and damask as far as the eye can see, now I know where the expression “putting on the Ritz” comes from, you can’t help but feel like should be dressed in your best when in such classically lush surroundings. All very old school but in the best possible way.
I was directed to the Marie Antoinette Suite for the canape and champagne reception before dinner. The Ritz is the kind of hotel that has a champagne of the month, naturally, and this month, it was Perrier-Jouet’s turn to be featured and hosted. As it it the biencentennial of the founding of Perrier-Jouet, Head Chef John Williams created a sumptuous 5-course meal paired with some of the finest vintages of Perrier-Jouet for that evenings dinner. The Ritz has also invited Chef de Cave of the House, Herve Deschamps to elucidate us on the vintages that we would be enjoying with dinner.
After drinks, it was on to the Music Room for dinner. The room is actually located in the William Kent House right next to the hotel. It was built in the 1780’s and added onto the hotel after being beautifully restored.
The champanges featured included the 2004 Belle Epoque, the Grand Brut Millesime 1998, the Belle Epoque 1996 in magnum and the Belle Epoque 2004. Perrier Jouet champagnes are quite fresh and very good partners to rich cuisine, having excellent acidity and bubbles which are not too aggressive. The dish of seared scallops with smoked eel, bacon and watercress was the best match of the evening with the Millesime 1998, the toasty notes of the champagne quite agreeable with the smoked eel and highlighting the sweet notes of the scallops.
The Ritz does champagne dinners once a quarter and the next one will be at the end of the year. The Ritz charges £195 per person for the dinners. For table reservations and booking information, please contact Natalie Jones in The Ritz Events Department on +44 (0)20 7300 2233 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. A big thanks to Neil Phillips, The Wine Tipster and The Ritz for inviting me along.
In the meantime, I just can’t get “Putting on the Ritz” from the movie “Young Frankenstein” out of my head, another classic….