Tea at The Berkeley

I finally caught up with the little seester one evening. It’s almost quite hard for her to catch me, due to the time difference and also for some reason, I somehow never seem to be able to pick up her phone when she tries calling.. sorreee…. So finally, we managed to catch up over the planning of our  visit in London.. I can’t wait!!!

She sent me a link with the note ‘Bring out the fashionista side in you’ and I was BOWLED over by the offering at The Berkeley!!

Hmm, I feel like forgetting scones with clotted cream and cucumber sandwiches for Prêt-à-Portea is afternoon tea with a difference. This post-modern confection is designed to appeal to fashionistas and the figure-conscious. Prêt-à-Portea features seasonally changing collection of cakes and pastries inspired by catwalk designs. Inspired by the Autumn/Winter 2008 fashion collections, this seasons afternoon tea at The Berkeley in London includes designs by Christian Dior, Jimmy Choo and Alexander McQueen.

If you are thinking it all sounds frivolous, apparently it’s taken very seriously by the kitchen. The pastry chef visits the London Fashion Week shows to get ideas for colours and textures of the upcoming season’s collection. They then have to meet the approval of a specially selected committee made up of fashion experts from Vogue, Harpers Bazaar and other publications. There’s a wide selection of speciality teas, served on bespoke Paul Smith fine bone china produced by Thomas Goode of Mayfair; and the Champagne is served in coloured Baccarat crystal flutes. Ooh.. how classy is that?

Prêt-à-Portea is served in The Caramel Room – a stylish, dimly lit space decorated with chocolate wall coverings and faux-crocodile fabrics designed by New York-based designer Alexandra Champalimaud. Service is superb, and everything tastes as gorgeous as it look.

With several awards and accolades in it’s bag, it was voted “one of the must-have things to do in London” by ES magazine, one of “the 5 best places to take tea” by Elle Deco, and “one of the two greatest teas in town” by Hello!. It also won the “best afternoon tea in the world” award in Wallpaper* magazine’s prestigious Design and Lifestyle awards, chosen by a panel that included Mario Testino, Donna Karan and Sir Norman Foster. Just to name a few…

The fabulous 19th-century hotel (at its current location since 1972) is also renowned for its world-class restaurants, and an achingly beautiful bar: so it would be easy to start your afternoon with a lovely cup of tea and end the day with snazzy cocktail.

Ooh, I just want to sink my tea into the season’s hottest colours and flavours!

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  • Alexander McQueen fromage blanc chiffon dress balanced with raspberry meringue
  • Christian Dior duo of apple and hot pink cassis mousse & elegant fondant hat
  • Smythson “Maze Bag” banana Madeira cake with gold leaf clasp
  • Giambattista Valli red currant bavarois topped with lush fresh raspberries
  • Jimmy Choo high heel tuile
  • Christian Louboutin “Pigalle” green glitter shoe biscuit with renowned red sole
  • Yves Saint Laurent honeycomb supreme with chocolate jelly and pearl Croquant
  • Prada dark lace Valrhona chocolate crème
  • Valentino signature red chocolate coat biscuit accessorized with gold buttons
  • Louis Vuitton praline delice completed with chocolate pointed fez hat

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Price-tag?

Prêt-à-Portea £35 per person
Champagne Prêt-à-Portea £43 per person

Includes a glass of Laurent Perrier Champagne.

Couture Champagne Prêt-à-Portea £49 per person

Includes a glass of Bollinger, Laurent Perrier, Ultra Brut, Veuve Cliquot Rosé or Laurent Perrier Rosé.

The Berkeley
Address: Wilton Place, Knightsbridge, London. SW1X 7RL
Tel: +44 (0)20 7235 6000

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