Puttin' on The Ritz: the restaurant with world class service

By BigHospitality

- Last updated on GMT

Puttin' on The Ritz: the restaurant with world class service

Related tags: The Ritz, Fine dining, Hotel, Michelin, Restaurant, London, Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards

The opulence and extravagance of The Ritz is matched by its impeccable service, helping it win The Service Award at this year's National Restaurant Awards.

For a restaurant experience where attention to detail is second to none then look no further than The Ritz, the opulent Louis XVI dining room in the famous five-star hotel that what is considered to be one of the most beautiful places to eat in the world.

Here opulence and extravagance rub shoulders beneath sparkling chandeliers and under the gaze of a golden Neptune and Aphrodite, where huge gilt mirrors and blush pink abound, and your feet sink irresistibly into the deep pile carpet. It is a room that requires – no, demands – an immaculate service to match, and boy does the restaurant not disappoint.

Executive chef John Williams’ dishes are precise works of culinary art and the pomp and splendour of the dining room – where gentlemen are still required to wear a jacket and tie – is reflected in the service. With dining at this level, the devil is in the detail: from meticulous timing to ensure food reaches the diner at the exact required temperature to the way food is placed on plates so that it is most comfortable to eat, nothing is overlooked.


What makes a dining experience at The Ritz really stand out, however, is its adherence to old school hospitality values and a traditional style of service that goes well beyond merely conveying plates of food to the table. Despite the room’s regal and layered décor there is a light flourish and a true sense of theatre to the service style. Many dishes are prepared tableside, such as its famous Bresse chicken en vessie (pictured below), which is presented to the diner encased in a pig's bladder that is then cut open with scissors and carved, and its equally famous Crêpes Suzette that are expertly flambéed in front of the diner’s gaze.

More recently the hotel has opened The Ritz Garden, a more laid-back but no less special al fresco dining option. Here the service is no less polished, but staff manage effortlessly to judge the slightly different mood the more low-slung chairs and more modern furniture create for a breezier dining experience.

The Ritz wears its history and opulence with pride. For Williams, a visit to the dining room is now a crucial part of every new chef's induction to ensure that their cooking lives up to the surrounds.


“Now we make it a natural process to make sure everybody sees the dining areas because it sets the scene,” he says. “It’s not about what trickery you can do in the kitchen it’s about what you eat, what you taste and how the food looks in this environment and that will make you remember a good evening or not.

“It’s not about what the chefs are doing in the background, it’s about the delivery, the execution, the whole flavour. And when you get that right that’s when people sing.”

The Service Award is sponsored by Liberty Wines​ and Rathfinny Wine Estate.


Related topics: Business Profile, Restaurant

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