London: Afternoon tea in The Berkeley

The Berkeley (Knightsbridge – London) does not look grand from the outside, but you know it is expensive when you spot the fully hotel-uniformed men (beautiful long coat, bowler hat, gloves) standing outside the door.

And I was waiting for one of them to tap me on the shoulder saying “where do you think you are going – you wear sneakers and jeans – how dare you step into our hotel!”. But they did not, in stead they smiled and were friendly and said “Good afternoon madam” and pushed the push door for me. See, that I like.

Here are some notes:

When you step into the lobby you sink until your neck in the carpet. OK, not exactly but it felt that way, it is very soft and beautiful and you just hope you don’t happen to have a piece of sticky chewing gum underneath your shoe when you walk there.

We had afternoon tea (high tea) and the people pouring us the tea wore white gloves. Also – whenever you had managed to drink your cup, they were already standing behind you asking if you wanted more. I drank a lot of cups.

The first time the girl serving me tea asked me if I wanted “English Breakfast”. Which I thought was an odd question, I was there at 3.30pm, and on my watch that is way passed breakfast time, I was here for the cakes, not for bacon and eggs and beans on toast! So I looked puzzled at her. And she suddenly realised what I was thinking and so did I and we both had to laugh about it. English Breakfast Tea she meant!

And then there were the things we could eat:

  • A mouth-watering selection of miniature savoury skewers, taster spoons and elegant canapΓ©s.
  • A collection of cakes and fancies in in the colours of the fashion season and in the style of the world’s finest designers.

I have no idea what fancies are, but I did fancy the cakes we got, they tasted like heaven.

I always thought that it wouldn’t be me, hanging around in a posh hotel like this. But I could get used to handsome man in nice uniforms and a bowler hat holding the door open for me. And I had never had a high tea before, but I can surely recommend it. If you want to experience a tea like this yourself, it’s Β£35,=.

This was an event organised by London Girl Geek Dinners. I normally hate networking events like these, but I have visited two of their events now and I must say that the girls attending these meetings are the exact right group for me. The meetings are about gadgets, web and geekery stuff in stead of makeup, high heels and the latest fashion news which suits me quite well.

This particular event was sponsored by Eurostar, who made a short presentation about a web application they had developed. Eurostar had invited Brussel and Paris geek girls to London, and the tea was a good opportunity to mingle with them. There were some very nice people at this event and I will certainly attend more of these meetings. (and no they are not always in places like these!)

5 thoughts to “London: Afternoon tea in The Berkeley”

  1. I went to a similar tea with some pals last year in one of the big hotels (can’t remember which one) We had a glass of champers as well as tea and I could certainly get used to it!!

  2. Very posh indeed. They even have got their own label on the mineral water bottles. Did you try one of these red coat biscuits?

    Next week I’ll be going to an After Work Clubbing thing with some girls from my dept. There will be cocktails and a buffet; and I suspect people will be much younger than me, and conversations will be awfully superficial… But maybe (hopefully) I am completely mistaken :)

  3. Wow. I’d like to have tea that way! Today, however, it is on my desk, in a blue mug. Not high tea. Thanks for a lovely, lovely description. xo

  4. The idea of a High Tea makes my mouth water. As far as I can tell, you’ve had a great time.
    Any potential room mates?

  5. @grigorisgirl: I certainly could get used to this too!

    @Zazz: yes that red biscuit pic it the biscuit on my plate, and I ate it right after. It was delicious, as were all the other cakes they had. (didn’t eat them all though!) That After Work clubbing thing sounds good – who knows, you might be surprised and actually like it! It’s good to try something new sometimes :)

    @Lily: today my tea is on my desk in a blue mug too :) But it was nice to have tea that way indeed.

    @Pedro: well most people I talked too were Belgian, very nice girls though – but you already know about my upcoming room move :)

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