If for you, like me, you like to make an afternoon tea an occasion, a special treat that forms part of a magical day, then you have to try the incredible Dior pret-a-portea at The Berkeley, it would make the perfect accompaniment if you have tickets to see the fabulous Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition at the V&A or just spending the day shopping in Knightbridge.
The Prêt-à-Portea at The Berkeley is always special, the menu is changed every six months, but the chefs have outdone themselves with their biscuits and cakes inspired by the iconic couture designs of Christian Dior. There are cakes inspired by the Junon Dress worn by Theo Graham at Le Pré Catalan in Paris 1949 to the Bar Jacket which has been synonymous with Dior since it took to the catwalk in 1947.
As well as the incredible sweet treats this afternoon tea also has one of the best savoury offerings I’ve ever had, you get a selection of canapés and taster spoons as well as the tasty tea sandwiches, which can all be made vegetarian, they also cater for gluten and nut free diets, just mention any dietary requirements when you make your reservation.
For the meat lovers, you can expect chicken, pastrami, and salmon, as well as egg mayonnaise, and cream cheese, while the vegetarian sandwiches I had were fancy cheese and pickle, avocado, beetroot, and cucumber, all served on the most delicious array of bread including brioche, rye, and tomato bread.
If the food options weren’t enough, the selection of loose leaf tea is extensive, and what’s even better is you can switch and change up as much as you like, so you can drink your way through the tea menu and try something new. I would recommend the Vanilla Black, as sweet, fragrance and rich black tea, as well as the refreshing White Peony.
The Berkeley Dior Prêt-à-Portea
But come on for afternoon tea we come for the cake right? Well, you are in luck as the Dior cakes and fancies are all incredible. There is a red velvet Lady Dior handbag, inspired by the Dior handbag that France’s First Lady, Bernadette Chirac gifted it to Diana, Princess of Wales in 1995, and there is a white velvet chocolate mousse version of the classic Miss Dior 1949 dress.
There are also modern Dior references, with an edible homage in celebration of the J’Adior shoe by Maria Grazia Chiuri, the vanilla biscuit with royal icing is finished with its inscription bow in edible sugar ribbon, and my favourite I think was the bottle of Miss Dior Eau de Parfum that has been reimagined as a lychee and raspberry cake.
The Prêt-à-Portea is priced at £60 per person, add a glass a Laurent-Perrier Champagne for £70 per person, or why not add the signature Mocktail Prêt-à-Portea, with a glass of a refreshing Mango & Rooibos mocktail at £70 per person. For the most luxurious afternoon tea, the Couture Champagne Prêt-à-Portea, comes with a glass of Laurent-Perrier Rosé, Bollinger Rosé or Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, at £76 per person.