Friday, July 17, 2015

Afternoon Tea - The Berkeley, London (Pret a Portea)

With reservations at The Berkeley London luxury hotel made weeks in advance via the Internet, anticipation for this unique tea was high. Not only were we eager to experience this elegant tea, but we were meeting a former Sweet Remembrances tea room employee here. Colleen, a graduate of Carnegie Melon University has spent the past year studying at University College London, working towards completing her Masters degree in linguistics. It was great to connect with her during our travels to England.
This fashionista tea is inspired by the latest runway fashions and the clever tea time treats amazingly mimic the newest designer collections. Once our tea was ordered, a variety of sandwiches and a delectable selection of savory treats were brought to the table. Alas, I can't describe all the savories, but suffice it to say, they were all unique and tasty!
Creativity abounds with the flavors, the colors, the shapes and the variety of savory treats. From chilled beet soup to duck pate, from jellied tomato aspic to curried chicken salad, from salmon to stuffed cherry tomatoes, it was a feast for the eyes as well as a tantalizing treat for the taste buds. 

Following the savories, an amazing collection of cakes and fancies, inspired by the world's finest designers arrived on the tiered tray. When the hostess brings out the tiered tray, she also shares a booklet with colorful pictures that features the fashions that each miniature dessert represents.
                                                                                            The menu changes every six months to conform with the changing seasons in fashion. Our tea tray represents the 2015 spring/summer line of the latest catwalk designs.  The Berkeley website has a detailed description of each of the fashions that are depicted on the tiered tray, shared below.
Giambattissta Valli mini tower of light pink joconde sponge ruffled with raspberry crème suprème and topped with a dramatic pop of pink spun sugar.

Oscar de la Renta’s iconic princess gown of coconut and lime mousse set on a sablé Breton with delicately placed green leaf icing.

Anya Hindmarch’s handbag of blueberry Victoria sponge wrapped in light blue chocolate.

Emilio Pucci's summer coat of light cheesecake and apricot Emanuel sponge finished with bold dark chocolate buttons.

Alexander McQueen's "Armadillo" vanilla shortbread shoe with cream icing and edible sparkles.

Philip Treacy for Alexander McQueen's butterfly hat with chocolate glazed gianduja mousse.

Lisa Marie Fernandez's chocolate shortbread 'Alexa' bikini with green icing and sweetly trimmed cream ribbon.

Jean Paul Gaultier Crème de Menthe cremeux with dark chocolate ribbon and mint jelly finished with white orchid meringue, rhubarb crisp and edible purple petal.

Elie Saab’s Red Degrade Silk Georgette dress duo of blended strawberry and mango bavarois with mango compote, topped with flame like sugar frill.

Did you notice that scones are missing from the menu? They certainly were not missed. As a matter of fact, it was quite impossible to consume all of these fashionable sweet treats. Colorful little boxes are provided for take away. We sent Colleen back to her flat with a cheerful variety of midnight snacks!

With so many quality Afternoon Teas offered at high end luxury hotels in London (The Ritz, Claridges, The Dorchester, The Savoy to name a few), it is next to impossible to select just one. We were quite pleased with the uniqueness of this Afternoon Tea, and feel we made the right decision to splurge on this ultra creative tea. Special thanks to M.E. for alerting me to this upscale tea many years ago. It has been at the top of my bucket list ever since she shared her experience. We all agreed that this was our most memorable tea experience in England.


Bernideen said...

Children would love all those darling food items. The details are amazing and the time spent orchestrating all these finger foods. Glad you were able to enjoy!

Ruth W said...

So fun! I have always loved their fun presentation...always something quirky and unusual!

janice15 said...

I love the colorful tea pot and plates and nice pattern very different.. with love Janice

Linda @ Friendship Tea said...

I think you made the right choice for a London splurge tea. I'm loving your trip.

Marilyn Miller said...

OK this post puts The Berkeley at the top of my list for sure. Next May I am going to be sitting here having tea. How wonderful!

martea said...

Thrilled beyond words that my experience there inspired you to splurge for it! They truly do tea like no one else! The new fashion inspired treats all looked amazing.

Angela McRae said...

Oh my, this tea looks and sounds absolutely amazing! I can imagine *maybe* coming up with one artistic treat like that, but *all* of them? Nope. Can't even. And I LOVE that china! It's gorgeous, unique, and fits perfectly with the theme. Yes, it sounds like this was absolutely the perfect splurge on your trip!