The Berkeley has a long history dating back about 300 years, when it started as a coffee house. The Berkeley, as we know it now, has been at it’s location since 1972. About a 5 minute walk from both the Knightsbridge and Hyde Park Corner stations, the hotel is across the main street from the expansive Hyde Park.
The Caramel Room lives up to it’s name in color. With comfy seats and tables that are a bit on the small side for a group of 4, you can enjoy the conversation while munching. The downsides are that if you are seated in the middle of the restaurant it can be a little noisy (their tea is popular) and the lighting is pretty dark (you’ll see from the pictures).
The Berkeley’s tea is based off on a number of fashion designers’ works (seen mainly in the sweets). The dishes were designed by Paul Smith.
The Berkeley offers a number of different teas for both savory and sweet pairings. Their recommendations are listed at the bottom of each menu page. Luckily you can try as many different kinds as you want. I recommend the Taiwan Ali Shan and Wuyi Oolong.
Unfortunately, the menu didn’t list a full description of the sandwiches and savories. So there is no succinct description. You’ll just have to rely on my memory (which is pretty scary).
To start, the sandwiches were served. All were fresh and flavorful, but my favorite was the beet and cheese sandwich on the far right. I don’t particularly care for beets, but the combination with the sharp cheese was very tasty.
Next, we were served the savories. There were a number of interesting flavors like crab and watermelon, paté, and cold beet soup.
The grand finale was the sweets. The menu (pictured above) gives a description of inspiration and the corresponding sweet. My personal favorites were the Emilio Pucci summer coat and Elie Saab Red Degrade Silk Georgette dress duo. The light flavor the apricot mixed well with the cheesecake in the coat. The dress had refreshing fruit flavors of mango and strawberry.
There was a lot to eat… Even still, I felt like something was missing with the absence of scones. Everything was beautiful to look at and tasty to eat, but it just didn’t feel like an afternoon tea without the scones.
Sadly, I had eaten a rather large lunch and wasn’t able to finish everything. The Berkeley, however, did not disappoint. They had cute little takeaway boxes for the sweets you just couldn’t finish.
Overall, it was an afternoon of good tea, good food, and good conversation.
Tea 4/5, unlimited, good variety
1:00 to 5:30 daily