Best Afternoon Tea

The Ritz-Carlton

Before we had consciousness raisings, Prozac, and psychotherapy, there was afternoon tea, a female ritual so soothing and mood-enhancing that it took nobility (the famished Duchess of Bedford) to invent it. Now, when we feel our spirits flagging during the long hours of the weary afternoon, we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and head over to the Ritz, where we are cheered by tiny caviar-topped tea sandwiches, perfect scones slathered with Devonshire cream, endless pots of Earl Grey, the attentive ministrations of tidy servers, and the music of a first-rate harpist, all in a room so utterly sumptuous that we feel like a queen for a day. What does she want, Dr. Freud? What, indeed! She wants to have tea at the Ritz.