Tag Archives: afternoon tea

Fancy china, delicate finger sandwiches, arguments about whether the cream or jam goes first on the scone, tiers of cakes, maybe even a cheeky glass of champagne. Is there anything quite as delightful as afternoon tea?

My friend Katie had been asking us to go to the Prêt-a-Portea Berkeley afternoon tea with her for years and eventually we caved in (such a hardship…). So one Saturday afternoon we put on our best frocks, met at Hyde Park Corner station and prepared ourselves for a decadent feast.

The Berkeley Afternoon Tea

Berkeley afternoon tea

The Prêt-a-Portea afternoon tea is inspired by, you guessed it, fashion. The menu is transformed every six months to follow the changing seasons in fashion and we were able to enjoy Autumn/Winter 2013.

Paul Smith china

Afternoon tea is served on this fine-bone china by Paul Smith for Thomas Goode. How pretty is it?! I love the bright colours and they really brighten up the tables in the Caramel room where tea is served.

Paul Smith china

The tea menu at the Berkeley was good. The choice isn’t huge but sometimes that’s a good thing as who really wants to spend fifteen minutes reading a list of teas? You can order as much tea as you want and you can change your tea from pot to pot. In the end I simply went for the Berkeley blend which was perfect, followed by a pot of fresh mint tea at the end.

Prêt-a-Portea sandwiches

After you’ve chosen your tea it’s time for the sandwiches. Between us we had a vegetarian, pescetarian and someone who is gluten free so our plates of sandwiches varied slightly but we all thought they were delicious. But to be on the safe side, we happily agreed to a second serving of sandwiches just to make sure.

Prêt-a-Portea savouries

Next we tried a selection of savoury treats. I’m not entirely sure what was what but it was nice. By this point we needed something sweet and really wanted to try the cakes…

Prêt-a-Portea cakes

Can you blame us? Talk about something that almost looks too good to eat.

Burberry Prorsum heart patterned ginger biscuit trench with caramel icing

First up, the Burberry Prorsum heart patterned ginger biscuit trench with caramel icing. It might be the closest I get to the real thing so I savoured every bite! It was nice but a bit more ginger would have been great.

Prêt-a-Portea cakes

This plate of cakes was the business. They looked too good to eat but that didn’t stop us. I did wonder whether it would be a case of design over substance but I needn’t had feared – these were some of the best cakes I’ve ever eaten. My favourite was the Giles antique gold chocolate feather set on a base of Sacher torte. Although the Saint Laurent essential Autumn red “Classic Duffle 6” Victoria sponge cake bag came in a close second.

Prêt-a-Portea cakes

Afternoon tea wasn’t quite perfect – we were missing our fifth spice girl! She’s off in California so we thought we’d let her know what she was missing out on. Anything to keep her away from kale smoothies.

Prêt-a-Portea doggy bags

Just when we couldn’t eat anymore the prettiest doggy bags turned up at our table. I’ve never treated a handbag so well in my life; getting those treats home safe and sound on the tube was a mission!

At £39 a head, Prêt-a-Portea at the Berkeley isn’t an everyday indulgence. It’s a lot of money for some tea and cakes but we spent a good three hours there chatting, having fun and eating some lovely food. It’s a special treat, an excuse to dress up and something to look forward to (you need to book months in advance).

We’re now thinking where to go next for afternoon tea later this year. I’m a big fan of The Modern Pantry but would like to try somewhere new – any suggestions?

Caramel Room on Urbanspoon

Blair Waldorf wardrobe inspiration

I’m trying something new today with my first outfit post. As far as blog posts go it’s quite daunting, especially as I’m not in the habit of posting pictures of myself. But I love this outfit and the feedback on Twitter suggests others did too, so I’m going for it…

I saw this dress before Christmas and couldn’t resist buying it. The tartan pattern combined with the Peter Pan collar was too good to resist and I had the perfect heeled boots to pair it with.

The Catholic schoolgirl look isn’t the look I tend to go for but the tartan pulled me in. I finally dug it out of my wardrobe at the weekend for a girly afternoon tea.

This is definitely my Blair Waldorf on the steps of the Met look – although I think I’m in need of a headband if I’m going to make Queen B proud.

image

Dress, Primark; Boots, New Look; Bag, DKNY.

Afternoon tea – how do you eat yours?

When we were in Rye (yeah, I’m still going on about that) we decided that once the Royal baby arrived we would ‘celebrate’ with a traditional cream tea. For some reason we needed an excuse and that was the most apt reason we could come up with.

The baby didn’t arrive during our time in Rye. So on our last afternoon we tucked into scones, jam and clotted cream for no other reason than we really wanted to. On doing so we questioned the proper way to prepare a scone: is it the cream or the jam that goes on the scone first?

Help me out – how do you eat yours?!

Pinterest Finds: Afternoon Tea

Afternoon tea is an absolute delight. There is so much to enjoy about it whether you are taking tea at Claridges or getting everyone together at home for family favourites.

Aside from tea, what is your essential afternoon tea feature? At the moment I’m partial to a french fancy!

Some other Pinterest Finds you might like, including food in disguise, funny ecards and Woody Allen

London Landmark: St Paul’s

St Paul’s and the Houses of Parliament are my favourite London landmarks.

Currently the thought of visiting Oxford Street feels me with dread. It is bad enough normally, let alone when the Olympics are happening! One New Change in the City, near St Paul’s, is a good alternative. There are several high street stores (including Banana Republic, Hobbs, Reiss, H&M. Topshop) and at the weekend they are empty! Perfect for browsing and leisurely trying a few things on.

We went a few weekends ago and took the glass lift to the roof where you can enjoy the view of London. You can only really see South, but the views are far-reaching; from the Shard to Strata all the way to Battersea Power Station and the Crystal Palace phone mast.

Afterwards we went for a short stroll to St Paul’s. We stopped for an impromptu and relaxed afternoon tea at the aptly named ‘Tea‘. I recommend the Monkey Picked tea, which is slightly chocolatey in flavour. As you can see, the view was pretty nice!

St Pauls Cathedral London

Tea