Nowadays Afternoon Tea is EVERYWHERE.
Morrisons Cafe even has an offering for cakes sake!
Not that I’m complaining, but it does take the occasion out of the whole thing somewhat.
I like to dress it up. Speaking as someone who once wore a ball gown to Tesco, I miss the glamour. So when we popped down to London recently, I jumped at the chance to experience a little bit of luxury and do Afternoon Tea in style!
My first thought, obviously, was The Ritz. That was until I came across this:
Yep, that’s an edible Burberry Trench.
And that? Oh that’s just a scoffable Moschino Handbag.
The Berkeley, in London’s oh-so-posh Knightsbridge is just a skip, hop and a jump away from Harrods. It offers it’s infamous Prêt-à-Portea (which changes it’s offerings each fashion season) for an eye-watering £45 per-person.
Now, before you choke on your Vanilla slice, let me explain.
For £45 you get UNLIMITED amounts of tea, cakes and sandwiches. They literally will keep coming until your waist band explodes and you develop diabetes. They’ll even let you take some home in the cutest little handbag.
We arrived with great expectations and empty tummies for out Fashionista’s Tea. It took a while to persuade the Mr that this would be a manly affair. In the end I resorted to outright lies.
The Caramel Room, the setting for our afternoon soiree is GORGEOUS. It really makes you feel like you are back in the 1920’s. A lovely waitress takes you to your table (complete with a pink shoe place card with your name on it!) and talks you through the whole collection on custom Wedgewood crockery with a snazzy pointy stick.
Now, this bit is important. If she innocently asks you if you “want to start with some champagne?” be aware that this will bump up your bill to £58 per person (there’s also a 12.5% ‘discretionary’ service charge added to that but who’s going to be the tight git that tells the nice lady you want that knocking off?!)
Naturally, my lovely boyfriend responded with an enthusiastic “yes please!” despite me kicking him violently under the table.
My VISA card groaned in my pocket.
When the cakes arrived, they were spectacular to see. Snakeskin Miu Miu’s tote bag? Check! Christian Louboutin’s chocolate biscuit with fresh turquoise hue icing and signature red sole? Check. Victoria Beckham geometric print cherry and white chocolate mousse? You bet ya.
This was somewhat lost on the males present. Who said things like “does anyone want the last pink hat?” But anyway…
Was it fabulous? Yes. Did I feel like a princess for the day? Yes. Would I go again? Er…no.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t an everyday affair. And I’m not rushing back to Mozza’s cafe with my purse £130 lighter vowing to never spend more than a tenner again. But for me, there are so many fantastic places with equally special atmospheres for a nice meet-in-the-middle price that are just as good.
Also, and here’s the real issue; there were no scones.
To my mind Berkeley, that disqualifies you completely.
You’ve really scone and ruined it now.