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Hi all! My name is Becca and I am a 21 year old from Berkshire, England with an interest in all things cake. I have only been baking for the past couple of years and if someone had told me 5 years ago that I would be a passionate cake maker at the age of 21, I'm afraid to say I probably would have laughed in their face! I have had many cake disasters in the past (including a Barbie cake for my friend's 16th Birthday that was still raw in the middle when she cut into it...) However one Christmas I opened my stocking to find a Giant Cupcake making kit, and hey presto, my love for all things sweet emerged. I have developed this blog as a way of sharing my baking experiences with others. I love to read other baking blogs, you can learn so much from them and discover some great new ideas. Plus I just love looking at photos of yummy scrummy cakey goodness ;) (possibly a touch of 'food pornography' going on there!) Whilst I am still on a massive learning curve with my baking, I will share any tips I have with you as well! Thanks for popping by! Love Becca xxx

Monday, 3 September 2012

"A Fashionista's Afternoon Tea"...Posh Tea & Cake at the Berkeley Hotel, London

I have been very excited about writing this blog! Today I went to Knightsbridge in London with my Mum, sister and 2 of our friends to have Afternoon Tea at the Berkeley Hotel. Now, when someone mentions afternoon tea I immediately think of scones with cream and jam, cupcakes, or big slices of carrot cake. But let me tell you this was no ordinary afternoon tea! The Berkeley themselves describe it as afternoon tea, "...with a fashionista twist". I'm not even sure if the word 'Fashionista' is in the dictionary but hey, it sounds good! Instead of serving up traditional scones and clotted cream, customers are presented with a variety of different cakes all inspired by the latest fashion designers, including Louboutin, Mulberry and Dolce and Gabbana. I am not a huge fan of fashion and don't tend to buy products by flashy brand names, but I was very impressed with this afternoon tea. From a baking perspective all of the cakes were creative genius and very inspiring.

So let's start from the beginning...

When we first sat down I was drawn to the unique china on the table. It was only when a friend pointed it out that I realised all of the china was Paul Smith...I just loved the colours and how it all matched!

We loved the shoe with Pat's name on!

I think the tea pot is my favourite :) Even the menus were lovely. They came in lots of different colours, my favourites being pink and green!

The menu itself sounds wonderful.

A wide selection of teas...I stuck with traditional English Breakfast tea (my favourite) but Max chose the Chocolate Mint Truffle!

The menu excites you and gives you a clear idea of what you will be eating. One of the things I loved about the menu is it includes an insert with photos of exactly what each cake is inspired by.

"From the Cakewalk"...love it!

How cool is that?! Whilst we were looking at the menu we sipped Champagne (we were feeling very posh by this point, even after my Mum gave away that we aren't used to 'fine dining' by responding to the waiter's question of what Champagne we would like with, "the cheapest one"!!!)

We started with a selection of sandwiches. I was happy to hear none of them had any prawns or caviar or something in- I'm really not into that kind of thing! They were all popular fillings that most people would eat and were very yummy.

 Egg mayonnaise roll
Cream cheese and cucumber on a tomato bread. The bread was gorgeous!
Simple, traditional and one of my favourites- Smoked salmon sandwich
Coronation chicken sandwich

Cheese and tomato wrap- with lots of salad!

We hadn't long finished our sandwiches when the waitress asked us if we wanted a refill of sandwiches! I was really surprised as I have had experiences of afternoon tea where they can be quite stingy on the portion sizes. It made a refreshing change to know you could get your fill of food and get your money's worth! Of course, none of us could turn down more sandwiches...however when we saw all the cakes I wished I had saved more room! 

The cakes were served on matching china cake stands. The top tier held the mousse and biscuits, the middle tier held the cakes and the bottom tier held the savoury spoons and cucumber soups. I'm not a big fan of the savoury tasters, plus I didn't think I would have enough room in my stomach, so I dived straight into the cakes...

I started with the white chocolate creme de menthe and raspberry mousse topped with a lemon meringue, which was inspired by Mulberry. The lemon meringue was amazing. The mousse was delicious too, although I'm not sure about the flavours together. They tasted yummy separately though!

Next was the cherry bavarois and coconut cream topped with an edible skirt and heel. Both flavours came across really strongly and I loved the decoration of the leg sticking out the top!

The biscuits were very inspiring and I'd like to have a go at making more biscuits myself. Biscuits can be very simple to make (which I must admit sometimes put me off- I like to challenge myself!) however they can be decorated in so many ways. The shoe and the bikini biscuits looked so effective and were really yummy too- the shoe was chocolate biscuit and the bikini was vanilla. 

**Scroll up back to the menu to see the pictures of what they are inspired by!**


This next cake looked really effective. I loved the leopard print on top (inspired by Michael Kors) however the filling was coffee and I am not a coffee fan! 

 This Gucci inspired cake was described as a chocolate mousse embellished with golden beads. The first mouthful came with an exciting surprise that gave me a brief reminder of my childhood...popping candy :-)
The layers look so effective.

This cake is probably my favourite when it comes to looks. The cute Dolce and Gabbana handbag is made out of blueberry cake and wrapped in coloured chocolate. The chocolate was very tasty, but it did turn your tongue blue! I was a little disappointed with the blueberry cake. I couldn't taste any blueberry at all! 

This is a red and white striped vanilla cake inspired by Fendi, filled with fraise de bois cremeux (which was like a raspberry mousse) topped with a large "yellow button". The filling was beautiful.

I have saved my favourite until last...Whilst the colours did put me off at first, this Valentino inspired lemon and raspberry cheesecake was like a piece of heaven in your mouth! It is so original and creative, plus I am a sucker for any kind of cheesecake... The flower on top wasn't edible but was a nice touch.

We were all so full up afterwards (as soon as we had finished a few of the cakes they bought out more!!) but I am happy I managed to try everything. We were so stuffed we couldn't finish everything, so they put our left overs into these rather fancy "doggy bags".

Again they all came in different colours and were a great finishing touch to the experience! 

It was a great day out and an experience I will remember for a long time.
Look how happy we all are :-)

To top it all off we took a trip to Harrod's...but I think I'll save that for another post in the fear of rambling on too much!!

Love Becca x

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