Prêt-à-Portea, The Berkeley

The Berkeley’s afternoon tea offers something a little different; the sweet treats are inspired by the world of fashion. Head Pastry Chef, Mourad Khiat, takes a look at the upcoming seasons and bakes goodies accordingly, so, if you like the look of a particular handbag, the chances are you’ll be eating it here.

It takes place in the Collins Room, a gorgeous space, all pale-blue and calming and flooded with natural light. Service is tip top: the kind where you feel in safe hands from the minute you arrive.

Their standard afternoon tea is £52 a person (we add a glass of Laurent-Perrier for £10) which starts with a long plate of finger sandwiches. Hen’s egg mayo with beef tomato on white bread is my favourite. It reminds me of the sandwiches my Mum used to make me as a child.

Roast cornfed chicken comes with plenty of tarragon and a smoked tomato emulsion in tomato bread. So posh but we are in The Berkeley after all. Juniper-cured and home smoked salmon in rye bread is another winner. They’re all great.

There are also savoury bites; truffled cep and wild mushroom en croute, a Jerusalem artichoke eclair and a glazed yellow fin tuna tartare. It’s all so indulgent. We wash this down with a pot of Nilgiri Frost black tea which is super delicate and refreshing.

The real excitement comes from the sugar – three tiers of absolute beauties. There’s a shot glass with the most delicate biscuit in the shape of a lady’s legs sticking out of it. There’s an Anya Hindmarch fox handbag. A Speculoos biscuity Bottega Veneta coat. How about a Gianvito Rossi boot? Or a Gucci unmbrella made out of chocolate? It’s all there and it’s gloriously good.

The most important thing about this stuff is it’s tasty. They’ve found the balance of creating something visually impressive and enjoyable to eat and they’ve nailed it. For that reason The Berkeley’s Prêt-à-Portea has got to be the best afternoon tea in London right now.

Would we go back? Yes
We dined as guests of the restaurant