Prêt-à-Portea

This week, I was in London for Fashion Week and treated myself to the legendary Prêt-à-Portea designer afternoon tea experience at the Berkeley Hotel which is inspired by the world of fashion. I had already done it once 6 years ago (for the previous post click here please) and was curious to see the Collins Room after it had undergone renovations.

You might be wondering what is Prèt-à-Portea exactly? It is a menu of couture cakes especially designed for the respective season gets a makeover every six months to reflect the latest catwalk trends, colours and designs. For F/W 2017-18, Head Pastry Chef Mourad Khiat has sent out a brand new collection of exquisite biscuits, bakes and fancies. It takes inspiration from an array of distinguished fashion and accessory designers, and the latest creations shown on the international fashion runways.

YOUR FASHIONISTA’S TEA INCLUDES
A delicate collection of cakes and fancies inspired by the world’s finest designers:

Gucci’s kimono, complete with a charming parasol, transformed into a pomegranate and grenadine bavarois, with cassis and apple compote topped with a crystallised edible flower and a chocolate parasol.

Balenciaga’s effortlessly luxe black-and-white flouncy dress reimagined as a moist chocolate cake, layered with white chocolate Grand Marnier mousse, crunchy ganache and a sexy orange leg.

Gianvito Rossi’s red-heeled boots, recreated as a fennel seed biscuit iced with burgundy red royal icing.

Bottega Veneta’s daring mustard-coloured suit, gracing the cakewalk as an iced speculoos chocolate biscuit.

Anya Hindmarch’s orange leather clutch as a dulce and ginger cake sandwiched within foxy orange chocolate.

Burberry’s sleek white feathered cape, recreated as a tonka bean cheesecake with cinnamon crumble base, covered with glossy white glaze and finished with a curvy white chocolate feather.

Miu Miu’s luxuriously warm coat transformed into a bûche of pistachio crémeux set on hazelnut sable and topped with waved meringue.

Christopher Kane’s ‘LBD’ taken to another level with stunning flowers and transformed into a chocolate moelleux cake with lacte café and Bailey’s cream, finished with sugar flowers.

Dolce & Gabbana’s stand-out dress, now an almond génoise complete with a mango & passion fruit insert and a cocktail caraibe mousse, topped with a rainbow of chocolate disks.

Your tea also includes a flavoursome collection of miniature savoury skewers, taster spoons, elegant canapés and tea sandwiches. To drink, choose from a large selection of loose leaf teas (I personally recommend the Ceylon & Rose tea) from the hotel’s extensive collection and treat yourself to a glass of bubbly like I did. Raise a toast in style!

Prêt-à-Portea is priced at £52.00 per person.
Champagne Prêt-à-Portea, with a glass of Laurent-Perrier, £62.00 per person.
Couture Champagne Prêt-à-Portea, with a glass of Laurent-Perrier Rosé, Bollinger Rosé or Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, £70.00 per person.
A 12.5% discretionary service charge will be added to your bill.

Bookings
Email: dining@the-berkeley.co.uk
Call: +44 (0)20 7107 8866

THE PRET-A-PORTEA BOOK
There is also a great coffee table (I meant tea table book :-)) that I can recommend: «Prêt-à-Portea: High-Fashion Bakes and Biscuits» was published to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Berkeley’s iconic afternoon tea with 20 recipes and baking techniques from the hotel’s Head Pastry Chef Mourad Khiat. To buy the book, click here please.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht
Runway Photos: Courtesy of the Brands
Photos Cover: Courtesy of the Berkeley Hotel

Penhaligon’s Equinox Bloom

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Penhaligon’s has unveiled their very first gourmand fragrance, EQUINOX BLOOM, inspired by the quintessentially English tradition of afternoon tea, and the transitional moment when day turns to evening and when cold winter yields to spring.

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Created by Master Perfumer Olivier Cresp, Equinox Bloom plays with an olfactory palette inspired by the delights of high tea, accompanied by the heady bouquet of the first sweet spring flowers.

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During one of my recent visits to London, I enjoyed an incredible brunch in a smart, refined place, where the magnificent atmosphere of the rooms, furnished with opulent floral compositions, ensnared my senses almost at once. While admiring the floral scenery, my brunch included delightful toasts topped with honey and marmalade and these gourmand facets inspired me to bring to Equinox Bloom a trendy, modern inflexion to the generous floral bouquet. To me, this luxurious and abundant refinement reflects Penhaligon´s generosity in fragrances in a perfect way.” – Olivier Cresp, Perfumer.

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A subtle, sweet treat from Penhaligon’s, Equinox Bloom plays on the country’s favourite traditions and pleasing transitions – day to night, winter to spring – offering up a delicious and distinctive blend of gourmand and floral infusions to truly delight the senses.

GOURMAND FLORAL

Top Notes: Neroli Bigarade Essence, Violet Leaves Absolute, Chantilly Accord
Middle Notes: Frangipani, Orange Blossom Absolute, Jasmine Sambac Absolute
Base Notes: Ambrox, Benzoin Siam Absolute, Brown Sugar Accord

Equinox Bloom is available now as Eau de Parfum 50ml (€ 139.00) and 100ml (€ 189.00).

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And if you are happen to be in Hong Kong, please enjoy Penhaligon’s special afternoon tea at The Four Seasons Hotel.

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The hotel’s pastry chef Ringo Chan designed a new selection of treats inspired by the new scent Equinox Bloom, among them jasmine lemon cake pops, rose and pink praline éclair, and aqua sphere and white peach verrine, as well as a selection of afternoon tea buffet items.

The Lounge, G/F, Four Seasons Hong Kong, 8 Finance Street, Central; +852 3196-8820

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: © Four Seasons, © Penhaligon’s and © Conor Beary 2016

Tea Time with Jimmy Choo in Munich

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From now until to February 28, 2014, the Mandarin Oriental Munich invites guests to indulge in little fashion fantasy of their own with the Mandarin Bar’s Jimmy Choo Fashion Afternoon Tea.

Neon Elaphe PumpsOne of my favorite heels by Jimmy Choo for the new season is the neon elaphe pump.

The tea set takes inspiration from Jimmy Choo’s Cruise 2014 collection and highlights the popular clutch Charlize iconand the stiletto Sunday. The iconic hotel’s pastry chefs have specially created a range of dainty culinary treats, such aschocolate raspberry macaroons, Jimmy Choo handbags filled with chocolate, cucumber and cream cheese and grapefruit lemon and caviar shooters which are sure to win the hearts of every fashionista.

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Whether as a gift for a best friend or as a treat after a shopping tour, this special Afternoon Tea at the Mandarin Bar is a must for those with a passion for fashion who want to enjoy the sweet temptations of life.

Jimmy Choo Candy Glitter Clutch

How gorgeous is Jimmy Choo’s Cruise 2014 Candy glitter-finished acrylic clutch?!

It is priced at €39.00 per person and €55.00 per person with a glass of champagne. All guests who book the tea will a special complimentary gift set: Jimmy Choo FLASH fragrant surprise. Available from Mondays to Fridays from 3.00pm to 6.00pm. Reservations can be made through: +49 (0)89 290 98 1929.

See you there! In case that you won’t make it to Munich, check out the Prêt-à-PorTea at the Berkeley Hotel in London.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Munich and Jimmy Choo