Enjoy British-style high tea in the heart of Phoenix

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by Catherine Holland

GMAZ interview by Stella Inger

Posted on July 30, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 1 at 7:07 AM

PHOENIX -- With the London Olympics well under way, people are enjoying all things British -- including afternoon tea.

Stella Inger experienced the elegant ritual for the first time at the Ritz Carlton.

Jeffrey Hattrick, the tea sommelier at the Ritz, took her through the elegant ceremony while he explained its origins, which go back 200 years.

The key, he said, is to "just sip with enjoyment."

"Don't you all of a sudden just embody this elegance?" he asked with a huge smile as Inger sipped per his instructions. "You can't help it!"

Tea, to Hattrick, is not merely a beverage to be consumed as thirst dictates.

“Tea is a vessel by which we can navigate our mood,” he says on the Ritz-Carlton website. “It can enhance the space we are in or guide us to a place we would rather be. Tea is an experience that engages all of the senses and allows us to enjoy an art of living.”

For most people, it's a luxury to hit pause on the day at 4 p.m. to enjoy afternoon tea.

"The time that you think you don't have that luxury is exactly when you need stop, turn off your phone, be at the Ritz Carlton where you're protected by our little bubble here, and live in 'Fantasyland,' which I'm lucky enough to live in every single day." Hattrick said.

The Ritz-Carlton Phoenix is located at 24th Street and Camelback Road.

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