I’ve always been fascinated by luxury hotels, especially by the oldest ones. It’s not a matter of being a chick with expensive tastes (which undoubtably I am!) but it’s more related to the stories these places tell. Sometimes, sitting there and watching around, you can feel yourself thrown in another time. Every hotel has its own story and contributes to draw a picture of the social life of a city (so it’s normal find in the latest Ken Follett’s book, set during the II World War, few scenes inside the Claridge’s: the aristocracy meeting point, the right place to have a decent Martini even under the bombs!), but among the luxury hotels of the world, the Ritz-Carlton is a chapter on its own. It was Mr. Ritz that redefined the entire concept of luxury accommodation starting from the Ritz hotel in Paris and the Carlton hotel in London. A very important part of the new luxury experience offered by Mr. Ritz started in the kitchens, thanks to work of one of the biggest chef of its time: August Escoffier.
Mr. Ritz’s hotels became the “place-to-be” and the suites of the Ritz in Paris todays have the names of some its unforgettable clients. In the first part of the 20th century it was common see there Ernest Hemingway, Greta Garbo, Marcel Proust, Charlie Chaplin, … Coco Chanel lived inside the Ritz for more than 30 years! How can you resist the charm of a place like that?
So today in this blog we celebrate the never-ending charm and the high level cooking of the Ritz, not only a luxury hotel chain, but a “concept” and a piece of living history. We do that cooking (and eating of course” this incredibly good lemon cake. A special thanks to Stephanie of the plein chicken‘s blog that shared the recipe and her experience at the Ritz Carlton cooking school.