I have long maintained a theory—held by few but myself—that birthdays observed out of your country of origin don’t count. For those birthdays spent below the Equator or the other side of the International Date Line, deduct a year. My advancing age will not be added to the tally this year. Instead, I’ll be lying on a beach slaked in sun screen, my body modestly covered so as not to alarm small children or cause amusement among the local paparazzi.
My friend, Cyndy, refuses to play this game with me and instead insisted we have a pre-birthday, pre-trip lunch, since I would be away on my upcoming birthday next week. For years we have gone to the Ritz in Clayton for my birthday and were toying with going elsewhere this year. At the last minute, we reverted to the nearby, familiar and traditional.
Eloise Would Love a Birthday Lunch at the Ritz
At a place such as the Ritz, I always expect to see Eloise playing in the halls, wearing a red, pleated skirt and with her little Pug, Weenie, in tow. This is a place Eloise would enjoy should she venture to the Midwest. It has doormen, stunning Christmas displays and staid, old-world charm.
I appreciate having my car whisked away at the front door and returned at my pleasure. Flowers are fresh, table clothes white, as are the petite tea pots. Rest rooms provide dainty hand towels rather than paper or blowers. The lunch menu is down-home Clayton, however, with an array of sandwiches, salads, and soups.
Alternatively, the Ritz offers an Afternoon Tea on Saturdays at both 11:30 and 1:30. Cost: $39 for adults; $29 for children. If you want to be pampered a bit for a special occasion, this may be just the way to indulge your whimsy for a few hours.