A Dior Weekend In London Part 2: Prêt-à-Portea at The Berkeley
Hey you lovely people!
So, I’m back to chat more about my weekend in London for my beautiful Mama’s birthday! After we’d purchased my Dior shoes of dreams (check out my last post), I had a little treat in store for my favourite lady, to celebrate her birthday in style; Dior Prêt-à-Portea at The Berkeley, the fanciest, most beautiful afternoon tea, on the finest, most stunning china! It’s the perfect afternoon tea for lovers of fashion…and cake! So a quick change after our shopping spree, we were ready for some gorgeous food. I’m going to share it all with you, just incase you want to try it for yourself! So here it is A Dior Weekend In London Part 2: Prêt-à-Portea at The Berkeley, enjoy!!
What is Dior Prêt-à-Portea?
Prêt-à-Portea is the name of The Berkeley’s famous fashion inspired afternoon tea. The name takes inspiration from the French phrase Prêt-à-Porter, which means ‘ready-to-wear’ a term often used in fashion to describe a fashion house’s main collection (the more wearable collection, not couture which is said to be more exclusive). Such a clever name; I love it! I had the afternoon tea for the first time a few years ago when the Alexander McQueen exhibition was in full swing. I loved it so much that I couldn’t wait to take my Mam to the Dior version as an extra special birthday treat. Each cake in the afternoon tea selection is inspired by a fashion garment, and is hand-crafted to replicate it in some way (and always taste AMAZING!).
So, tell us about your afternoon tea!
We arrived at The Berkeley and we were seated at our gorgeous table in the Collins room. Decorated in that gorgeous Dior grey, it’s the perfect setting for the beautiful afternoon tea. Our server came and explained how the afternoon tea would work, and took our orders for our tea to accompany our food. As part of your portea, you can choose as many different teas as you wish to wash down the cakes and sandwiches. I opted for Lemongrass and Ginger tea, and Mam chose beautiful White Peony. Our teas arrived, quickly followed by our sandwiches. A whole plate of finger sandwiches each, accompanied by a plate of savouries, it may be high-end, but you certainly get well-fed for your money!
The Sandwiches were as follows:
The sandwiches were an amazing variation! With lots of different types of bread, from rye to tomato and everything in between, and fillings from chicken, to cucumber, to spicy veg, there was something to satisfy every taste bud. My favourite was the aromatic cottage cheese, baked courgettes, peppers, artichokes and baby spinach on seven grains bread-delicious! You can see the full selection on the menu here!
The savouries were pretty special too, although we were already quite full and that was even before the cakes made an appearance!
Again, I don’t want to bore you here with every ingredient (check the menu link for full details) but I loved the bottom left (or top right!) which was parsnip cream, crispy chicken skins, Jerusalem artichokes, truffle walnut purée and foraged herbs…and it was a taste sensation!
What about the cakes?
Ooh the cakes, my favourite part of any afternoon tea! Each cake was inspired by a garment from the Dior archive. The top tier of cakes were larger sharers, whilst the bottom two layers were meant as one cake each. The Miss Dior perfume bottle was sprayed with rose water to enhance the flavour of the delicious lychee and raspberry cake, glazed with shimmering pink icing. I loved the iconic silver bow, a beautiful finishing touch to a famous piece! The more abstract cakes were inspired by various dresses from the Dior archives. The dome with the flower was inspired by the Miss Dior dress, in the form of a velvet white chocolate mousse with a violet and red berry centre. It’s sparkly neighbour was inspired by the Junon dress and was made from white chocolate and cassis jelly and finished off with an edible sparkle!
Being a biscuit girl (and because my Mam was quite full at this point!) I managed the jacket biscuit, inspired by the famous Bar suit from the famous 1947 New Look collection, Monsieur Dior’s first ever collection. It was a chocolate biscuit with royal icing, and was every bit as tasty as it was pretty!
I also loved the J’adior shoe in biscuit form! A perfect biscuit after I’d just purchased mine that very same day! This was a vanilla biscuit with royal icing and an edible bow!
The Lady Dior bag, was made from red velvet cake and stuffed with strawberry ganache and was equally delicious and super realistic. The Lady Dior is a super famous Dior style staple and was a perfect addition to the tea. It’s little white neighbour was inspired by his Lily of the Valley Muguet dress from 1957, and was celebrated beautifully here as a delicate pavlova filled with raspberry jam and Madagasan chantilly, topped with a coconut marshmallow.
I had to try one of the amazing Dior embossed coffees too, to finish everything off! Such a nice touch and a delicious coffee too!
The verdict: Dior Prêt-à-Portea at The Berkeley
We had the most amazing time at The Berkeley, I enjoyed it even more than the first time I visited! Although there’s a lot of food, you are encouraged by the staff to take your time eating and they happily boxed up our cakes we couldn’t finish too! A nice little piece of Dior to have later! At £60 per person, it is an expensive afternoon tea, but in my opinion it’s worth every penny, I loved it and my Mam did too!
Thank you to The Berkeley for this wonderful experience, and for making my Mam’s birthday so special!
Until next time,
#pretaporteaXdior at the Berkeley is £60 per person and will be available until 1st September 2019. Booking is required (here). This was not a gift, I purchased the afternoon tea for my Mam and I and all opinions and photographs are my own.