I’ve been to The Ritz never in my life and then suddenly twice in one week. I’m such a fraud.
Last week was a black tie gala for work hosted by the British Consul. I went with my work BFF who convinced me to wear fake eyelashes for the first time. We found the most hilarious and uncensored woman there and all had a raucous good time.
Tonight was a menu preview at BARCocoa, the hotel’s on-site dessert boutique. I was supposed to be at a baseball game, but when given the choice between sports and macarons I think we all know where I stand. When I tell you this event made my day I mean it made my day.
My day started rainy, weird and discouraging and ended in me finding my car stranded in the middle of a newly formed parking lake.
Chivalry is alive and well in Charlotte because arguably the kindest man on earth saw me trying to figure out what to do and sacrificed his shoes to save the day. He demanded my keys (despite my half-ass opposition), trudged through the water, and drove my car up to the curb where I was standing. It was the nicest thing ever, but wouldn’t you be more entertained if he had stolen my car and left me hanging?
With my faith fully restored in humanity, I headed to The Ritz where I was met with a tower of macarons and a champagne nobody even asked me if I wanted. Some assumptions are totally ok.
BARCocoa is full of everything you ever wanted–cupcakes, chocolates, cheesecakes, pastries, ice cream and gelato, and assorted other awesome things. They even offer three-hour hands-on cooking classes so you can make these goods at home because what everyone needs is on-call access to unlimited desserts, right? RIGHT. (And get this, the classes are capped at 8 people and are only $75. I feel like this is a steal for what you’re getting.)
We started with the macaron tower, which included coconut, vanilla, s’more, orange, red velvet, pistachio, strawberry, honey, and lots more plus a new debut flavor: blueberry lavender.
If I could have a macaron and an espresso every day around 2pm my life would be complete.
Next up, gelato. Peach mango and (oh no I don’t remember…) praline?
I could swim in the peach mango. SWIM IN IT.
The next course, if you will, was a selection of eclairs, which they’ll be debuting on the menu soon. I was shocked and delighted when we each received our own full tray. The sharing of eclairs is totally overrated.
Traditional chocolate, s’mores, strawberry pistachio (THE BEST), raspberry rose and caramel. This was my first time eating a real eclair and they can best be described as very fancy long John donuts. (Am I fired from my review yet?) These were outrageously good and obviously better than donuts. Also nothing like donuts.
If any hotel would have a signature cake I suppose I should have assumed it would be The Ritz. Their chocolate orange cake is served at every single location around the world. I asked if I could apply to be the global taste tester to ensure brand consistency and no one responded. They’re probably going to get back to me…
And as if this were not already an insane amount of dessert to consume, they wrapped up the event with a trio of milkshakes. Because nothing says “I give up” like three milkshakes.
These were cookies & cream, banana caramel, and chocolate hazelnut. The banana caramel will appear tonight in my dreams. Fun fact: The Ritz, in all its glamour, uses real Oreo cookies for the cookies & cream milkshake. Said the pastry chef when I asked if they use the real deal, “Some things you just can’t fake.” I love her for this. I also love the image of crates of Oreo cookies getting dropped off in front of The Ritz each morning.
So that was my night eating treats at a fancy hotel. I really, really enjoyed it and felt really, really lucky to get to do it. Here’s the whole preview crew and a look at what I wore. (The skirt is from Target, top from Urban Outfitters.)
My treats and drinks were comped as part of a menu preview for local bloggers. No one asked me to write anything in return.