My mother has been visiting from Australia these past few weeks, and seeing as last time she was here she flew in a matter of days before my wedding, I am trying to make up for our pre-wedding mother and daughter pampering that I never got to do!

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Yesterday was so much fun, and not only was it great for some long overdue bonding, it really (and I mean really) chilled us out and cheered us up no end! We went to The Ritz for the most luxurious, sumptuous - not to mention delicious - tea you could ever imagine. The atmosphere at The Ritz is really second to none and as I sipped my champagne and looked around at the stunning opulent Louis XVI setting (see picture I couldn't help but think of the great and the grand who have dined and stayed here both in historic times and recently. We dressed up (they have a no jeans/sportswear/trainers policy) which added a bit of glitz to our outing and mum of course loved the whole experience being from Australia - tea at The Ritz is one of the most quintessential British treats!
After tea we popped up to the seventh floor spa for some pampering - and as a girl addicted to grooming I can tell you that their manis and pedis are among the best in town. The Ritz spa in itself is serene, quiet and perfectly decadent! We trotted out well fed and even better looking than when we arrived. Bargain, I thought!
On our way out I could not help wandering into the Ritz Fine Jewellery salon - there were so many sparkling jewels I almost had to slip my shades on. I see a lot of jewellery in my job, and let me tell you, their designs and selection of stones are absolutely breathtaking. You may not be able to afford many of the pieces, but if it's a beautiful place to get inspired by and lets face it a little bit of window shopping never did anyone any harm. If you are still in the market for either an engagement ring or wedding band you're after I highly recommend popping along. Starting price for a diamond engagement ring is £4,000 and wedding bands start at £250. Even better, exclusive to Brides when you purchase an engagement ring from Ritz Fine Jewellery, you will be invited to a complimentary two hour Bridal hair and make-up consultation at The Ritz Beauty Salon. Now, how's that for temptation? Book yourself in quick!

This offer is valid till 31st December 2009, please quote 'Brides' at time of purchase. For more information, contact Ritz Fine Jewellery on 020 7409 1312.

Afternoon Tea is £37 per person and includes an assortment of finger sandwiches (smoked salmon, cucumber, chicken, egg and cress, mature cheddar cheese and ham), freshly baked raisin and apple scones with Devonshire clotted cream and strawberry preserve, assortment of afternoon tea pastries and Ritz chocolate cake.
To make an Afternoon Tea reservation call The Ritz Hotel on 020 7493 8181 or go online
There are five sittings every day (11.30am, 1.30pm, 3.30pm, 5.30pm and 7.30pm)
Basic Manicure is £35 and Pedicure £50.
For bookings at The Ritz Beauty Salon call The Ritz Hotel as above.