England is known for many wonderful things – its designers,
street style stars, museums – but its cuisine is not one of them (steak and kidney pie, anyone? Didn’t think so). But, without doubt, one of its most delicious traditions is afternoon tea: dainty sandwiches, fresh scones and delectable cakes all washed down with the world’s best teas. While this tasty ritual has been adopted in other parts of the world, no one does it quite like the Brits. So, in my quest to find the ultimate afternoon tea, I’ve had the pleasure of sampling some of London’s finest offerings and present here a mini-guide to the capital’s best tea experiences, complete with recommended fashion looks for each one. The next time you’re in town – to, you know, shop, buy real estate, catch up with Will and Kate – set aside a few hours for this most enjoyable of customs.
1. The Berkeley
($63; Wilton Place, Knightsbridge) Combining two of our favourite things – fashion and sweet treats – the Berkeley’s Prêt-à-Portea celebrates our sartorial heroes with cookies taking the form of fluoro-yellow Louboutin stilettos, a vanilla cake in the guise of a Fendi bag and other delicious offerings that change according to the season’s current collections. This year, in honour of the Queen’s jubilee, the Berkeley is offering a special royal-themed tea: Nibble on confections in the shape of the infamous Philip Treacy fascinator Princess Beatrice sported to last year’s royal wedding or the maple leaf hat that the Duchess of Cambridge wore on her visit to Canada last summer.
What to wear: Cutting edge spring fashion from the top designer labels (or your best approximations). We love the water theme that swept the Spring/Summer 2012 runways in the form of prints, scalloped textures and
lovely variations on the colour blue.
Runway inspiration: Mary Katrantzou, Versace, Chanel
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