I have always been curious about afternoon tea, so choosing the Pret-a-Portea, my sister and I decided to indulge in cakes and more for my birthday treat. Being a huge fan of designer brands (not that I can afford them) I found the Pret-a-Portea afternoon tea whilst browsing online and booked well in advance due to the popularity. The delicacies are inspired by the fashion world’s themes and colours and the menu changes with the fashion seasons.
On arriving at the Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge we were greeted by the waiter, who led us first to the bar first as our table was not ready (we arrived early). This gave us a chance to look around the hotel; it has marble flooring, a nice fireplace surrounded by vases and high ceilings, very posh indeed.
At the Blue Bar we were led to our table and were given snacks of olives, nuts, these square crispy bites and a drinks menu where we ordered ginger beer. It’s a small chilled out bar, the staff were lovely and efficient. I loved the décor, but be warned the drinks prices are expensive…
Around 15 minutes later the waiter came to collect us and show us to our table in the Caramel Room where the afternoon tea takes place, we were super excited! On our table there were bright coloured menus laid out, these were very cool and on opening you get a leaflet on the Autumn and Winter 12-13 collection describing the fashion inspiration for the delicacies and of course the afternoon tea menu.
On taking our orders, I opted for the Champagne Pret-a-Portea at £49 which included a glass of Laurent Perrier Champagne and my sister selected the Pret-a-Potea at £39 and chose the Berkeley Blend tea. First was the arrival of the sandwiches with different kinds of bread which included, cream cheese and cucumber, salmon, olive pate, egg mayonnaise fillings, my favourite was the cream cheese and cucumber. The champagne was delicious and the tea was so good that my sister wanted to take it home in a flask…geez you can’t take her anywhere!
On the arrival of our 3 tier stand of treats it had the wow factor. The waitress went through each plate on the stand, starting with the bottom which was the savoury ‘taster’ spoons such as soy marinated tuna with apricot-ginger chutney or turkey and chestnuts millefeuille.
Next were the mini cakes these included: a Yves Saint Laurent “Cabas Chyc” green Victoria sponge cake handbag. A Burberry Prorsum layered praline, dulcey cream and chocolate mousse trench coat topped with stylish violet umbrella. An Manolo Blahnik “Neurotica” pink polka dot cake pumps with gianduja cream. A lovely red-carpet favorite Prada nougatine and beriolette mousse with geometric pattern. A Giambattista Valli red macaroon with rose ganache and lavish chocolate ruffles and a Lanvin chocolate and orange mousse topped with mouth-watering French meringue.
On the top plate the following treats were included: a Diane Von Furstenberg pink lady apple mousse and kalamancy cremeux topped with playful interlocking sugar puzzles. The sell-out Fendi maple and ginger ankle boot biscuit with yellow and black icing and a Marc Jacobs double breasted chocolate biscuit blazer with show stopping sparkly pink icing.
The savoury palettes were my least favourite items on the list, and some of the cakes were a miss, but the way that they had thought about the fashion trends and using that for inspiration was amazing, it was super cool. The Yves Saint Laurent green Victoria sponge cake handbag was my favourite, it was so cute that I didn’t want to bite into it.
Although the Pret-a-Portea at the Berkeley Hotel may not be your traditional English afternoon tea, it was fabulous and if you love fashion this will be right up your street. I highly recommend visiting; it makes a great girly afternoon out combined with shopping. Make sure that you visit with an empty stomach as you can eat as much as you want, and if you can’t then you’re given a very chic doggy handbag to take home. LOVE IT!