1 August 2014

The Caramel Room at The Berkeley (afternoon tea)

0203 544 1656

The Berkeley, Wilton Place, London SW1X 7RL

£39.00 Afternoon tea Knightsbridge
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  • Wine: £48.00
  • Champagne: £65.00
  • Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 1-6pm

Square Meal Review of The Caramel Room at The Berkeley (afternoon tea) ?

Who said calories and fashion don’t mix? Inspired fashionista favourite, the Berkeley Hotel’s ‘prêt-à-portea’ is the afternoon tea that put wheat and sugar back in the supermodel diet. Served daily in the faux-crocodile and chocolate-brown Caramel Room (reservations are a must), this fashion-fabulous offering changes every six months to reflect the hottest catwalk trends. Eschewing traditional stodgy scones and buns, it prefers miniature savoury skewers, taster spoons, canapés and a selection of cakes and fancies that pay playful homage to the biggest names in fashion. ‘Designer’ treats have included chocolate biscuits in the form of neon-yellow Christian Louboutins (complete with a signature red sole) and a Dolce & Gabbana Sicilian blueberry sponge ‘wicker basket’. Paul Smith-designed Thomas Goode striped bone china sets off the look perfectly. Tea is £39 – or £49/55 with a choice of Laurent Perrier Champagnes.

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  1. Your tea is ready now. This will solve your so-called tonsil problem. It's a special concoction. It contains cramp barkTor (Seinfeld episode “The Heart Attack”)There are different themed afternoon teas in London but probably none like the one in The Berkeley. The Pret-a-Portea Afternoon Tea in their Caramel Room is perfect for every fashion aficionados. MenuTea TimeAll the cakes and sweet treats are amazing, they are inspired with fashion creations from Oscar De La Renta, Miu Miu, and Christian Louboutin fashion creations. Finger sandwiches are really nice, also the rest of the savoury treats specially the goat cheese and beetroot mouse that is amazing...
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  2. Home It’s unusual for cake and fashion to go together, in fact in many fashion circles cake is the enemy. But not at London’s Berkley Hotel where they’ve finally brought cake and fashion together in a beautiful delicious union. The Prêt-à-Portea high tea changes every season to reflect current catwalk designs. These pictures are the AW12/13 ranges from YSL, Marc Jacobs, Lanvin, Burberry, Diane Von Furstenburg, Fendi & Prada...
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  3. Arabella & I were invited for afternoon tea at the Berkeley Hotel yesterday to celebrate our gorgeous friend Dolly's 13th birthday. Arabella had never had a formal afternoon tea before and my last one had been nearly 5 years ago so we were terribly overexcited! The Berkeley afternoon tea is a fashionista's heaven as all the cakes and treats are inspired by the themes and colours of the fashion world (I definitely learnt a thing or two)! We arrived at 2.30 and the place was heaving - this is obviously the "cool" place to be. It is served in The Caramel Room which is brightened up with colour popping menus and brightly coloured crockery.Service was extremely efficient and friendly - we ordered champagne and tea and the waitress immediately bought out a plate of sandwiches for everyone. She offered a more simpler selection for Arabella however she was happy with the more grown up ones (she can't be fussy as she is constantly my recipe guinea pig)! The sandwiches were egg mayonnaise in brioche, ham & mustard, smoked chicken mayonnaise, smoked salmon and cream cheese and cheese and chutney. All the breads were different and homemade and it tasted delicious!! Being the piglet that I am, I polished my plate off very quickly and immediately was offered another - I said a huge yes! The waitress overheard Arabella commenting on how much she loved the smoked salmon one and in a blink of an eye, Arabella had a plate of just those - she was delighted (as was I because I then shared with her)!Being such a savoury girl I was more than happy with the sandwiches but then the cakes arrived and my sweet tooth very quickly appeared!! It was all so pretty you didn't want to touch it….well, that feeling lasted for about a second!The bottom tier was more savouries - it is difficult to remember exactly what it all was other than incredibly tasty! There were shot glasses of watercress soup, swordfish carpaccio, a goat's cheese cheesecake, aubergine something and a roasted vegetable tart. The swordfish was so incredible we ended up ordering plates of it on its own - tender but meaty if that makes sense.As I mentioned each cake is modelled on an outfit or accessory from the latest fashion season:The Burberry Prorsum heart patterned ginger biscuit trench with caramel icing (as modelled by Arabella).The Saint Laurent essential autumn red "Classic Duffle 6" Victoria sponge cake bag - Arabella had about 5 of these and they were her favourite. The Vivienne Westwood Anglomania oversized checked mint green macaroon, the Miu Miu polka dot jaconde and Gianduia mousse topped with playful orange neck scarf (this was my favourite). Then the Giles antique gold chocolate feather set on a base of Sacher Torte and the Oscar de la Renta orange bavarois emphasised with shocking pink chocolate embroidery.Then the Gianvito Rossi chocolate over-the-knee boot biscuit with ankle strap, the Emporio Armarni violet cassis mousse and light Curacao jelly topped with chocolate swirl and theJean Paul Gaultier gold quilted banana and caramel cremeux with passion fruit compote accessorised with leopard print chocolate shard (I didn't have a chance to try all these as I ate so many sandwiches but it all looked so pretty).It was all delicious - once we finished a plate it was refilled with more and then when we could eat no more we were given the remainder to take home in a doggy bag. The waitress made sure Arabella had a pink bag with her favourite delicacies in and was also given a princess wand as a gift much to her delight! She felt like it was her birthday.What an incredible afternoon - not good for my waistline as now all I want to do is try out the afternoon teas around London - I have been researching today and saw that Dean Street Townhouse even offer mac and cheese and welsh rarebit with there's so I am definitely going there next!!! I always think I prefer lunch or dinner as it is more of a meal but this has really changed my tune….I cannot wait for my next one. Plus Arabella was in Heaven - it was perfect for children sandwiches and cake - a proper party!!Pret-A-Portea at The Berkeley HotelWilton Place, KnightsbridgeLondon SW1X 7RLTel: 020 7107 8866Email: [email protected]

  4. Being a fashion and food blogger, I was excited to check out The Berkeley Hotel’s Fashionista Afternoon Tea, the seemingly perfect fusion of my two greatest passions. “Prêt-à-Portea” as they call it is a hot ticket in London and I had to book a weekend reservation 2 1/2 months in advance. I had high hopes for the afternoon tea...
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  5. Published : Thursday, 27th June 2013

    Sybaricious :: Afternoon

    In over a decade of living in London, I realise that I have not really given the Great British institution of the afternoon tea a good enough hearing. The problem is that I don't drink tea and have a well known aversion to all things cucumber thereby eliminating cucumber sandwiches with crusts or otherwise. Should that matter though? The ritual of Afternoon tea is really very little to do with the tea isn't it?A few years ago I had a rather lovely champagne fuelled outing to the Ritz where none of the other guests were filling in the song request cards for the pianist so endless, magically self-refilling platters of sandwiches and cakes were consumed to a soundtrack of our own personal piano karaoke. Can afternoon tea get any better?So, to The Berkeley. H had very kindly given me an afternoon tea voucher for my birthday last year which, of course, I had left until the very last moment to book before it expired. One thing that is for sure about afternoon teas, they get more booked up than dinner at almost all of the most popular London restaurants. The Goring has recently been voted top afternoon tea in London and there is no chance of a weekend seat before the autumn, Claridges are quoting October. Having spent the weekend spring cleaning my flat destroying my manicure whilst knee deep in mops, cloths and a lifetime supply of Flash All-purpose cleaning liquid, I needed a bit of glamour so off to the Berkeley for a Sunday evening tea. The "Pret a Portea" was introduced back in 2004 as quite a clever spin on the traditional British afternoon tea.   Biscuits and cakes are inspired by haute couture designers and their collections and, as such, the treats on offer change from season to season. Located sensibly close to Harvey Nichols and all sorts of other lovely shops, it makes an excellent place for a pit stop to refuel. The event (and it really does feel like an 'event') began with a plate of sandwiches; tomato bread (albeit with the dreaded cucumber), curry bread with prawn and olive (slightly odd as the prawns seemed to have been pureed), poppy seed bread with pastrami and the same with smoked salmon and a little wholewheat roll with egg mayonnaise.  All the breads are made in house and were worthwhile additions to the cakes. Sandwiches are accompanied by a plate of canapes (in this case a tuna tartare with quails egg, goats cheese on a cheesy buscuit, smoked duck vol au vent, turkey layered with chestnut puree and some of sort of beetroot spicy curried lamb confection which was probably the tastiest). Whilst the savouries are all very delicate and nice, the real draw here is the cakes. You are talked through a little brochure showing the designer garments on which the cakes have been modelled. I understand that the pastry chefs even go so far as attending some of the fashion shows to see their inspiration on the catwalk and various glossy magazines advise on seasonal trends (no doubt leading to this year's neon placeholders, menus and doggy handbags).  Confectionery reinterpretations are imaginative and not always the obvious. Whilst some pieces are direct iced biscuit versions of original designs (such as the maple and ginger Fendi yellow shoe and the chocolate Marc Jacobs red blazer), others are more avant garde.  Original Yves St Laurent Cabas bagA green handbag was made of coloured moulding chocolate and was a dainty little replica of the Yves Saint Laurent "Cabas Chyc" bag.The cakes that I found most interesting were the ones that didn't try to be exact replicas of their inspiration but were a riff on the original theme. The rose macaroon had been styled in homage to a Giambattista Valli dress and had a very subtle rose flavour (nothing worse than eating a cake that tastes like soap).A nougatine and 'berriolette' mousse (no me neither....think it might be an invented word for mixed berries as found no references on Google other than the Berkeley- happy to be corrected though!) was topped with a chocolate printed with a geometric pattern taken from a Prada garment thereby drawing inspiration from the fabric rather than the item of clothing. Gianduja cream sponge has an excellent flavour and the sponge is decorated in the bright pink polka dot design of a Manolo Blahnik stiletto. Real Fendi boot thing. Biscuit Fendi bootIf you aren't particularly girly or into fashion then I think there are maybe better places to take your afternoon tea as some of the cakes do fall into the 'style over substance' category, when you are using that much fondant or moulding chocolate to replicate real garments and accessories it is always bound to happen.Despite having been stuffed to the gills with as many mini handbags or shoes as you manage, each diner is given a doggy bag which is in the shape of a handbag (of course it is, why am I even surprised?!) There were plenty of slightly red faced men leaving the dining room unsure of the most macho way to carry a small neon cardboard handbag filled with little cakes- bet they ate them all when they got home though!Pret a Portea at The Berkeley HotelCaramel RoomWilton Place, London, SW1X 7RL(0207) 1078866
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Essential Details for The Caramel Room at The Berkeley (afternoon tea)

  • Address: The Berkeley, Wilton Place, London SW1X 7RL
  • Telephone: 0203 544 1656
  • Website:
  • Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 1-6pm

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  •  Berkeley Bites - The Caramel Room Sharing Platter and 2 Signature Cocktails for £50

    • This offer is available from July 22, 2014 until September 1, 2014, subject to availability as displayed in the booking interface. Offer excludes service and Not available in conjunction with other offers. This promotion has additional information available. Click on the link(s) to view.

      Max: 6 people

      Starts: 22 Jul 2014

      Expires: 01 Sep 2014

      includes VAT.

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