In 2013, Amit had surprised me by taking me for Afternoon Tea to The Berkeley, where we had enjoyed the Prêt-à-Portea Spring/Summer Collection on a leisurely afternoon. It was actually the first Afternoon Tea we experienced together as a couple and it was amazing! Perfect for any fashion lover and he isn’t into fashion and loved it too.
Here is a slightly random badly focused photo, probably taken on a BlackBerry, of the day, but my smile says it all.
Fast forward to 2017, my fellow wanderluster and blogger friend from Kenya, Harpreet, was visiting London for a week and wanted to go for Afternoon Tea, and there was no doubt in my mind about which Afternoon Tea experience we would go for and booked the Prêt-à-Portea Spring/Summer Collection 2017 straight away as I knew she would absolutely love it, especially as she is a Fashionista.
I was also excited to experience it again as I hadn’t actually been back for it since 2013! I had however been eyeing it up for a while both from The Berkeley’s Instagram account and pastry chef Mourad Khiat’s Instagram account, and had been dying to come back to indulge in it again.
We kicked off our afternoon with Champagne Milkshakes at The Blue Bar at The Berkeley first, which were delicious and I highly recommend. I have frequented The Blue Bar on several occasions and adore the Mojito here too. It is a fabulous place to enjoy a tipple or two!
We then proceeded to the gorgeous and very plush Collins room, where we were about to enjoy our afternoon tea. I adore the interiors in the Collins room. It is so elegant and pretty!
We decided to have some bubbles with our afternoon tea of course, and listened patiently whilst our server explained the Afternoon Tea to us and we specified our dietary requirements. They were so flexible about this, as I had not pre-specified that I wasn’t a fan of fish and exchanged my seafood options with vegetarian options without a fuss.
We decided to enjoy the champagne first, which was Laurent Perrier to my delight, and have our selection of tea later.
First to arrive was the savoury course, with a selection of the Berkeley Tea Sandwiches. Amongst our selection were Roast corn fed chicken with gherkins, baby gem and smoked mayonnaise on onion bread, Duck egg mayonnaise with mustard cress on white bread, for Harpreet a Poached Scottish Salmon with tarragon emulsion on rye bread, a Peppered Pastrimi with beef tomatoes, basil and creamy cheese on granary bread, a Cucumber with garden sorrel and brown butter boursin cream on white bread and finally, a Montgomery Cheddar with celeriac, watercress and pickled walnuts on tomato bread.
For my additional vegetarian choice of sandwich I had Mozzarella, tomato and pesto, which is a dreamy combination in itself.
We also had some Miniature Savoury Treats which were beautifully presented and we thoroughly enjoyed.
There was a delicious Fennel velouté with raspberry, sour dough croute, cucumber and sorrel jelly and garnished with fresh herbs, my favourite which was a Tomato macaroon topped with peppered goat’s cheese, confit tomato, peas and olive, and for Harpreet, a Charred Miso Mackerel with barigoule vegetables and nasturtium leaves. I had a vegetarian alternative of cous cous, which was lovely.
Then arrived the amazing sweet selection in all its glory!
Starting with the bottom layer, we had Gucci’s pink candyfloss summer berry sable Breton jumper in a rhubarb mousse, accentuated with a golden sugar bow, Ralph & Russo pain de Gênes dress cake with velvet lavender cremeux and beriolette jelly, romantically topped with a showstopper sugar frill and Mulberry’s ‘it’ Pembroke bag in a Valrhona ivoire chocolate-glazed cake, inspired by British collegiate stripes.
On the middle tier we had Stella McCartney’s brilliantly British chocolate and vanilla Battenberg cake inspired by her chequerboard summer pumps. I absolutely loved this! There was also Dolce & Gabbana’s hazelnut daquoise pasta-print midi dress with praline croquant and Gianduja chocolate mousse, finished with a fun farfalle.
On the top tier, in a shot glass, we had Emilio Pucci’s playful colour-blocked jumpsuit reimagined as a caramelised pineapple compote with coconut jelly and strawberry bavarois, crowned with a psychedelic chocolate wave as well as Balenciaga’s new perspective on street style, recreated as a raspberry bavarois and blueberry compote, topped with a kinky, slinky pointed stiletto biscuit.
I adore the biscuits every time I see them on Instagram and was excited to have Charlotte Olympia’s high-kicking ‘Chiquita’ banana pump biscuits and Miu Miu’s retro bikini lime biscuit.
For my tea, I opted for the Lemongrass and Ginger Tisane, which was light, refreshing and the perfect match for this amazing selection of treats. They had an incredible selection to choose from.
We absolutely adored our Afternoon Tea at The Berkeley and enjoyed indulging in all the edible works of art in the gorgeous Collins room and would recommend it to anyone as each and every treat was divine, intricately created and a great way to experience this seasons fashion highlights in cake form. You don’t have to be a fashion lover to appreciate it and it is an award winning afternoon tea for a reason! Mourad Khiat is definitely a pastry genius.
We opted for the Champagne Prêt-à-Portea with a glass of Laurent-Perrier which costs £62.00 per person. Without Champagne it is £52.00 per person.
For more information visit their website.