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What better way of celebrating London Fashion Week 2016 than a Pret a Portea at The Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge, London for a ‘fashionista’ themed afternoon tea. Well unless you have FROW tickets – of course.
I have been to a few afternoon teas in and around London and I couldn’t wait to see how this one compared to the others. The menu changes every couple of months, and this time it was a celebrating a 10 year milestone. So pastry chef, Mourad Khiat chose 10 of his favourites from the past 10 years: fashionable bakes including an array of designers, exquisite biscuits, bakes, fancies and savoury skewers.
The moment we walked into The Collins Room (recently undergone renovation and formerly known as the Caramel Room) it was a sure sign of us enjoying an elegant afternoon. It’s a very light-filled, charming dining room with a very modern touch to it with its velvet covered furniture and urban shutters. The room was named after legendary designer, David Collins, as his protege for 15 years Robert Angell, worked with other British architects to make the room the new, refreshing, delightful room it now is. It has an element of peace and quiet; although you are sat amongst other diners.
To begin with we chose from a selection of teas and I went for an option of the Sweet Loose Leaf Tea Pairings; the Blackcurrant and Hibiscus. When it came out we was advised we could refill as many times as we liked and the staff were very formal in coming around and topping up our china when it was getting low.
The tea was then followed by some mouth-watering savoury bites, which ranged from mousses, canapes and finger sandwiches. The sandwiches included: egg salad on brioche, Scottish poached and smoked salmon on an orange bread, spicy chicken and coriander on a white bread and an amazing pickled beetroot and cheddar cheese on root bread (which was both of our favourites). We wasn’t too keen on the tomato mousse that was served alongside the sandwiches, but again we was informed we could order more of our favourite savoury choices after completion.
Our server then set down our three tiered selection of cakes and desserts and pointed out which cakes were inspired by which designers – very couture. We were served treats inspired by Jimmy Choo, Dolce and Gabbana, Jason Wu, Simone Rocha, Moschino and several other known ‘fashionistas’ of the past 10 years.
The sweet treats included blackcurrant bavarois and star anise pannacotta, topped with chocolate owl dress designs; cinnamon biscuits shaped as a boot with black and red icing; praline cream cake with hazelnut croquant as a velvet pointed-toe shoe and loads more rich, delicious fashionable treats.
And as we had fulfilled our appetite entirely, there were two boxes of leftover cakes waiting for us at the end. We both were given a take-away bag in the shape of a bag filled with lots of our leftover goodies.
The one flaw we both had regarding the tea was the fact there was no scones…not that we could have ate any more than we did, but The Berkeley swayed away from a ‘traditional’ tea by not including the English statement delicacy.
Should you wish to attend, The Collins Room is open from:
2pm – 5.30pm (Mon – Wed);
1.30pm – 5.30pm (Thu);
1pm – 5pm (Fri – Sun).
The dress-code is smart – casual.
The price per person is £52.00 (plus a 12.5% discretionary service charge added at the end).
To make a booking visit: The Berkeley, Afternoon Tea.