For my sister’s birthday at the end of last month, I wanted to treat to a special afternoon tea. Her favourite afternoon tea has always been the Prêt-à-Portea at The Berkeley Hotel, I took her for a birthday treat a few years ago, so this year I wanted something different. However, when I saw that this summer, all the cakes on the menu were based on classic items from the House of Dior. I changed my mind, as we both loved the Designer of Dreams exhibition at the V&A.
Prêt-à-Portea: The Dior Collection
When we sat down in the beautiful Collins Room at the Berkeley Hotel our waitress talked us through the menu and drinks options and we started with a cappuccino. I know what you are thinking, why are you having coffee with afternoon tea. But trust me we had to order the coffee for the ‘gram!
Unlike a traditional Afternoon Tea, the Prêt-à-Portea doesn’t have clotted cream and scones. Instead, there are two courses, first a savoury course consisting of sandwiches and mini canapes. And the second sweet course.
As both my sister and I are vegetarians, and so they changed out some of the meat sandwiches for us. I’m not sure which one was my favourite either the Butternut Squash or the Roasted Vegetable with Artichoke. Along with the sandwiches came the canapes in mini bowls, a quinoa salad, a mixture of mushrooms and baked camembert.
Finally, the cakes. Each one of them is based on an iconic piece from Dior collections of the past. The top tier featured the bite-sized treats, probably the most recognisable part of the feast. A raspberry and lychee cake decorated to look like Miss Dior perfume bottle. Before serving the cake is sprayed with a sprinkle of rose water for the notes in the perfume. Then there were the iced biscuits, first the J’Adior slingback shoe. And the Bar jacket one of Christian Dior’s original designs.
To represent the Miss Dior dress is a white chocolate mousse topped with an edible violet. Whilst the Junon dress with its delicate purple flowers. Becomes a mini cheesecake topped with edible purple glitter.
The most amazing looking desserts were the pavlova, which is inspired by the Muguet dress. The piped cream representing the delicate flowers in the dress, and a chocolate bow for the belt. Then the Lady Dior handbag. A red velvet cake with chocolate details for the design of the bag and mini charm.