I love an afternoon tea. Earl grey, mini sandwiches, scones- it’s one of my favorite indulgences. I had heard rave reviews about the Pret a Portea at the Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge, held in the Caramel Room- mini edible handbags and shoes? Sold! We arrived at the Caramel Room and were escorted to our table. To my delight, I had a personalised reservation in my name waiting on our table. I’m a sucker for the little things! We chose the £39 afternoon, but for an extra £10 you could decide to make it a Champagne afternoon tea with a glass of Laurent Perrier.
At your table, you are presented with a booklet to explain the inspiration and themes behind this season’s treats. Every six months the menu changes to keep up with the changing fashion seasons. For this season, our tea included a chocolate biscuit heel inspired by Manolo Blahnik, a Tory Burch magenta bikini biscuit, a Jason Wu coconut hatbox, Dolce and Gabbana pistachio panna cotta, Alexander McQueen honeycomb cream, and a Balenciaga chocolate mousse and brownie, just to name a few.
I was STARVING by the time we got to the Berkeley so when these little sandwiches were put in front of me I scarfed them down. And then the lovely waitress asked if we’d like them refreshed….err yes! Free refills!
I tried to be adventurous and strayed away from my regular Earl Grey tea and tried a herbal infusion of Posh Pomelo and Melon tea. It was like a party in a glass. I decided not to get a refill (the infusion tasted like sweets after awhile) which they happily took away and replaced with my beloved Earl Grey. Again…free refills yo.
Like the tea, the food was also refreshed. I didn’t care for the cucumber gazpacho, so they took this out and replaced it with extra roasted vegetable tarts. After two helpings of sandwiches and a refill on all the mini treats, my belly was bursting. I highly reccommend the taster spoon of foie gras with a mysterious condiment – it was as if Willy Wonka himself had made a magic spoon that tasted just like a roast dinner.
You do need to book in advance here but I had only booked a couple of weeks beforehand for 2 people on a Sunday afternoon. Any leftovers are placed in pretty little handbag shaped boxes for you to take home and show off to your friends.
Did I miss the scones and clotted cream? Definitely not- and it’s not just the lactose thing either. For a bit of quirk and charm, I’d pick the Berkeley for tea any day.