Thursday 19 January 2012

Galvin at Windows at the Hilton Hotel and The Berkeley Prêt-à-Portea

Over the Christmas period my friend and I went to Galvin at Windows for cocktails which is in the Hilton Hotel park lane and then onto the Berkeley for Prêt-à-Portea. 

I have wanted to go to these two places for 2 years as a friend had been and totally enjoyed his experience. 
Before I tell you how the day went and what I thought have a look at my photos of the day, it's a great idea if its a special occasion and you would like to treat someone!

(be warned - large photo content!!)
First up Galvin at Windows with its fantastic panaoramic views of London -

The Hilton Park Lane - looks nothing from the outside

The Hilton Park Lane

Galvin at Windows foyer

Our yummy cocktails!

Me smoozing with my cocktail

We decided to have the Pinkmellow, and it was lovely - yes I know it was £13.50 but it's not everyday I go to these places!

Gorgeous view of London from the bar

All in all the hotel was spotless inside, the bar was nice to relax in but expensive. 
It's not somewhere that I think is wow! and worth making a beeline for, but it is worth going if you enjoy somewhere different and just want to take in the views and the relaxing atmosphere whilst catching up with friends. 

At night time this bar comes to life as the views are spectacular.  You don't have to book in advance but finding the Hilton is difficult from Harrods on foot.  It's right by Hyde Park so just look for the tower and you will be there.

Now onto the Berkeley and if your a girly girl like me you are going to love this! -

The beautiful Christmas decorations in the hotel were amazing

The menu prices to follow...

How they display the cakes on your table - very exciting and once you eat what you want they re-fill everything

Me and my menu

All the china are Paul Smith gold plated and if I'm honest I wanted to steal them / buy them because they are just so funky

Pinky finger out! How lady like

We each had our own teapot, they were HUGE! Now I love my tea but even I couldn't empty this

This is the inspiration for the cake designs for Autumn / Winter 2011 each cake is matched to the designer, I loved how the waiter came over with this and explained to you each designer and what cake it related too.

Our sandwiches (the first round) we chose our favourites and they brought us a never ending supply

The Cakes

When you have finished the afternoon tea you can have your favourite cakes to take home and they give you this cutesy carrying case

Costs -

Prêt-à-Portea - £37.50 per person
Champagne Prêt-à-Portea - £47.50 per person

Includes a glass of Laurent-Perrier Champagne.

Couture Champagne Prêt-à-Portea - £54.50 per person

Includes a glass of Billecart-Salmon Rosé, Laurent Perrier Ultra Brut, Laurent Perrier Grand Siècle.

All served on fine-bone china by Paul Smith for Thomas Goode

My Opinion -

The Berkeley was hard to find from Harrods and walking, the hotel is down a side street with a small plague to show what the building name is.  (we got very lost)

The staff are welcoming and accomodating and they made us feel at home.  The hotel is 5 star and the interior and clientele do show this.  I was most impressed with the Christmas decorations!!

Our waiter was fab and couldn't do enough for us, and surprisingly the atmosphere wasn't as pretentious as I thought it would be.  I'd definately recommend the Berkeley if you'd like a quiet girly afternoon tea with a friend, but it is pricey the sandwiches aren't anything special and the cakes although they look good they don't match up to they're good looks taste wise!  There was only one cake that I liked and that was the Eclair. :-( The take away box is sweet and makes you happy that you have a little reminder when you've trecked on the train to get home, and can enjoy a home brewed cuppa and a fancy cake.

The negatives -

Cost - Pricey and in parts not worth the money, once you've been I wouldn't be bothered about going back again.  The cakes are beautiful but they don't taste it!

Service Charge - All prices are inclusive of VAT. A discretionary service charge of 12.5% will be added to your bill - Yes our waiter was helpful and fussed around us but in general there was nothing to justify sticking this huge service charge onto the bill. 

Overall -

A great experience, we have been invited back to sample they're spring / summer 2012 menu, so I shall ensure that I blog about that and tell you whether it was second time lucky! Watch this space...

Next on my list - London Zoo, The Waldorf for dinner for my birthday! :-) :-)

Thanks for reading and hope this has helped you make a choice out of the large amount of afternoon teas out there.



(photos my own, words on service charge and costs taken from Berkeley website)




  1. That looks yummy!
    thanks for the follow, following you now xo

  2. Literally salivating - the cocktail sounds amazing but more amazing is the constant food refill, dream come true!x

  3. Hey girls! Thanks for the great comments. I would recommend going to the Berkeley and the Hilton but it is pricey, but the experience is great.

    I am dying to try the Ritz afternoon tea but have been told it's timed seating so you can't really relax? I will post about the Waldorf hotel though for my birthday so you can compare.

    Thanks for reading and Celia please join my blog / follow me and I can update you more.

    Lots of love to you both, Claire xx

  4. Ahh this looks so cute :D I think my cousin did this for her wedding 'hen' with her friends, obvs wasn't into a wild night :P

  5. S and LucyyLou please become a member of my blog to see more posts!

    It was definitely a girly day out.

    Thanks for reading xx

  6. WOW! what an amazing view! :)

  7. Beauty in a bottle - thank you for the comment. The view was amazing! please become a member I shall be posting about the Walorf hotel in February. :-)


    Claire x


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