Afternoon tea – Pret a Portea at The Berkeley

Pret a Portea
If you’re looking for the girliest afternoon tea you can find, this is it with cakes in the shape of handbags, cookies in the shape of boots…and it’s all based on this season’s catwalk.  Not that I qualify in any way for the description of fashionista, but there were lots in the room! All the major hotels in London offer afternoon tea but The Berkeley have combined  fashion and cake with their Fashionista’s Prêt-à-Portea, which puts an interesting twist on the traditional English afternoon tea! This is not a traditional style though so if that’s what you want then this isn’t the place to go to!

So out with the scones, jam and fresh clotted cream, which I did miss and in with cakes and biscuits that resemble catwalk designs from the likes of Marc Jacobs, Fendi, Yves Saint Laurent, Lanvin, Prada, Burberry Prorsum, Diane Von Furstenberg and Manolo Blahnik. The menu read like a fashion show and the style was definitely that.

The table was fashionably set, with individual menus and a personalised card in hot pink!  We had some concerns when only one cake stand was set on the table for three people and there was only two handbags!  The waiter quickly reassured us the plates would be replenished as and when we finished them not that we needed this.

There we lots of interesting tea infusions such as mint chocolate tea, funky fruit, caramel as well as the traditional Earl Grey and Lapsong all served in the classic Paul Smith teapots and cups. The sandwiches (we had two rounds and were offered more!) were unique using different types of bread each filling from cream cheese and cucumber to brie, red pepper and cranberry.

Then came the classic tiered tray that featured a plate of unique taster spoons with a ratatouille , a layer of beautiful cakes, and a small dish with two cookies and glasses filled with brightly coloured concoctions. Our server set down the tray and pulled out pictures of the season’s catwalk shows to point out which cake went with which designer.

The maître explained each delicate and creative dessert with the help of a catalogue, which resembled the latest catwalk designs of the season.  Desserts ranged from tasty types of mousse, biscuits, cookies, macaroons and cakes.

PretaPorteaThe desserts were a little different – cool but not overly the best tasting I’ve had however it’s a fun afternoon out especially when catching up with friends.


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