My sister totally spoilt me for my 25th birthday. After a relaxing pedicure and cocktails at London Grace Nail Bar, we headed over to The Berkeley for a fashionista afternoon tea, aka the ‘Prêt-à-Portea’ tea.
The atmosphere was so relaxing, with plush grey velvet sofa’s and chandeliers in a brightly lit room. All the cakes were inspired by fashion brands’ spring/summer 2017 collection, from a Miu Miu bikini and 2a Mulberry handbag to a red carpet Ralph & Russo Pain de Gene dress (if you don’t know what that is, don’t worry, just eat it). The cakes are beautiful and so delicious.
I do have one complaint though, there weren’t any scones with the afternoon tea, you have to order them separately! A very British problem.
If you’re looking for a gift for a fellow fashionista or you just want to try out afternoon tea at The Berkeley, then you’ve come to the right place as I’ll be talking about the menu, price, dress code and what to expect in general.
The Overall Experience
The Berkeley hotel is gorgeous. You walk into a room with 2 grey furry chairs, a fireplace, marble floor and beautiful flower decorations.
The staff are attentive and friendly, and the hotel does it’s best to suit everyone’s needs, especially if you have a gluten/dairy allergy.
If you love a place with nice bathrooms, then you’ll like The Berkeley. Sounds weird I know, but I just love a well decorated bathroom!
The overall experience was fab, be prepared to feel pampered.
- Pret-a-Portea afternoon tea: £52pp
- Champagne afternoon tea: £62pp
- Couture champagne afternoon tea: £70
Smart casual. Most ladies wore heels and dresses. For men; shirt, trousers and smart shoes.
First course: Sandwiches and Miniature Savoury Treats
All afternoon tea’s start with savoury sandwiches, perfect to prepare your sweet palette for later.
The pastrami and cheddar sandwiches were probably my fave out of the savoury dishes. As for the mini savoury treats, they were definitely unique! The tomato macaroon was surprisingly good, the macaroon was savoury rather than sweet and it still had it’s ‘melt in the mouth’ texture. I have to admit, I wasn’t a big fan of the fennel veloute, which was like a cold soup, or the mackerel (I’m not a fish fan).
Here’s the low down on the first course:
- Roast corn fed chicken, gherkins, baby gem, smoked mayonnaise on onion bread
- Duck egg mayonnaise, mustard cress on white bread
- Poached Scottish salmon, tarragon emulsion on rye bread
- Peppered pastrami, beef tomatoes, basil, creamy cheese on granary bread
- Cucumber, garden sorrel, brown butter Boursin cream on white bread
- Montgomery cheddar, celeriac, watercress, pickled walnuts on tomato bread
Miniature savoury treats:
- Fennel veloute, raspberry, sour dough route, cucumber & sorrel jelly, fresh herbs
- Tomato macaroon, pepperred goats cheese, confit tomato, peas and olive
- Charred miso mackerel, barigoule vegetables, nasturtium leaves
Ooh yes the good stuff. Let’s go through this tier by tier.
- Beside the seaside retro Mix Mix bikini lime biscuit refreshingly topped with lime green royal icing
- Charlotte Olympia’s high-kicking ‘Chiquita’ banana pump biscuit
- Pucci’s caramelised pineapple compote print jumpsuit layered with coconut jelly, summer strawberry bavarois topped with psychedelic wave
- Gucci’s pink candy floss summer very sable Breton jumper with rhubarb mousse accentuated with a golden sugar bow
Second and third tier:
The Mulberry handbag, Dolce & Gobanna chocolate mousse and Stella McCartner pump cake were definitely my favourite, most probably because they had chocolate in them (chocolate addict here!). The Ralph & Russo lavender cake was another favourite, it was stunning and so delicious.
- Brilliantly British chocolate and vanilla checkered Battenberg Stella McCartney pump cake wrapped in almond marzipan
- Mulberry’s ‘Pembroke’ valrhona ivoire chocolate glazed structured satchel cake with black and white chocolate stripes
- Red carpet-ready Ralph & Russo Pain de Gene dress cake with velvet lavender cremeux and beriolette jelly romantically topped with showstopper sugar frill
- Balenciaga’s Raspberry bavarois and blueberry compote topped with kinky slinky pointed stilletos to hip legs
- Dolce & Gobanna hazelnut dacquoise italiante pasta midi dress with praline croquaint and gianduja chocolate mousse topped with fun Farfalle.
Yes they all sound extravagant and confusing, but all you need to know is that they are little bites of heaven that will give you a massive food baby after.
I definitely recommend afternoon tea at The Berkeley. It’s up at the top on the list of afternoon tea’s that I recommend, although The Ritz is still my fave!