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 canapés.
  • 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 £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!)

Posh Girl part II or me and my shoes

Yesterday I bought new shoes. I needed new shoes because I bought a suit (which I need for work). When the lady helping me measuring the length of my trousers (that’s standard here in London when you buy a suit, I didn’t know that, but learned something new) asked me if “those were the shoes I was going to wear with this suit”. I was about to say yes, when the look on her face told me that I probably wasn’t. I was wearing my Converse sneakers.

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Posh Girl
Posh Girl

It is not the type of shop I normally would dare to set foot in, Hawes and Curtis. But I have been looking in their windows quite often, because I love their shirts, both on men (especially when worn under a suit) and for women. They had sale now, all women shirts for half price, and so, while feeling as awkward as Julia Roberts shopping on Rodeo Drive in Pretty Woman, I stepped inside. Because I secretly love posh shirts like this. Because I need some nice clothes for planned future theatre visits. Because I can’t always walk around in t shirts and sneakers. Or yes I can, but I don’t want to. Because I might become a bit more of a Londoner wearing a Hawes and Curtis shirt. Because I think they are funky. Because I felt like it. Because I am worth… Oh, come on.

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