When it comes to patisserie it doesn’t get more special and spectacular than Cédric Grolet. When he opened his first patisserie outside France in February 2022, I was first in line to try his creations. Positioned inside the luxurious Berkeley hotel in Knightsbridge, it is a fitting location for this legendary pastry chef.
After stunning customers with his breakfast pastries, counter tasting menu and magical fruit masterpieces, this month he has launched his much-anticipated ‘Goutea’ – a fusion of the tradition of French snacking and a more traditional British afternoon tea.
We were seated at a beautiful corner table in the Remi Tessier designed Berkeley Cafe. The friendly staff soon appeared with appetising glasses of iced vanilla tea and poured us glasses of champagne.
The tea is available seven days a week, served at noon, 2pm and 4pm. It is priced at £85 per person, which is very reasonable when you consider the array of treats you are presented with.
The goutea menu will evolve with the changing seasons, but I’m sure certain elements will remain the same. There are some recognisable afternoon tea staples, for example – a perfectly delicate scone sandwich filled with jam and clotted cream. The savoury features are rather more unusual – an intricate avocado tart (topped with with an egg) and a trompe – l’œil burrata topped with balsamic dressing which reveals a vibrant tomato gel and basil pesto when cut open. A mini comté and bacon quiche is delivered to the table to enjoy warm. I really appreciated that each guest is given their own stand of patisserie, there is no sharing here… thank god, because you’ll want it all to yourself.
When it comes to the sweet part of the tea there is a real variety on offer, nothing is too sweet or heavy. The Autumn menu includes a classic Paris Brest, a pistachio cookie, Grolet’s iconic vanilla flower and a signature green apple, filled with fresh apple and dill. It’s difficult to choose a favourite, but the apple was perhaps the most beautiful, both in appearance and taste. I was beginning to lament the tea coming to a close… but then a waiter appeared with a tray of freshly baked madeleines, I was full but it is difficult to resist the smell of just-out-the-oven Cédric Grolet madeleines.
Just as I thought I couldn’t be surprised and excited by another afternoon tea Cédric Grolet has come up with an experience that truly wows. Trust the French to add a little magic to the tired British tradition of eating tea and cake. Bravo chef.
For more information and to book Goutea by Cédric Grolet at The Berkeley click here.
I was invited to this tea as a guest of The Berkeley.