2 August 2013

Cocktails, Cakes & Champagne - Birthday Celebrations Pt 1

Anyone who knows me well will be aware of how I like to string out my birthday as long as I possibly can. In a few days time I will be 32 years old.
Caroline               Lou

But the celebrations started yesterday!

It was a scorcher in London town. Lovely Lou was treating me to the Berkeley Hotel's Fashionista Afternoon Tea. This was the spring/summer 2013 Pret-a-Portea collection with all sorts of lovely cakes and treats based on catwalk designs by the likes of Alexander McQueen, Prada and Oscar de la Renta.

My dress, however, was not designer but a lovely summer maxi from Oasis. You've got to love high street too!

The fashion theme is perfect for the Berkeley Hotel as it's located right in the heart of Knightsbridge, just round the corner from Harvey Nichols, Harrods and a long line of designer shops.

We were seated in the rather warm Berkeley tea room and ordered ourselves a champagne cocktail.

Not only was Lou treating me to tea but she also handed me a gift. To my delight, it was a gorgeous little pink Annie Haak bracelet, inscribed with the words 'Laughter, Love, Life'. 

You may know of my little Annie Haak obsession - I think her designs are just so beautiful and delicate. What a fabulous present from Lou! I love birthdays!

Before we were presented with our cakes, we were each given a little plate of classic finger sandwiches. 

The cheese one in particular was delicious (we ordered a few more of them!)

And then the cakes arrived; inspired by the world's finest designers. 

Each cake was based on an actual catwalk outfit, shown in the little accompanying booklet

Editors from the leading fashion magazines advise the pastry team to help them identify the key trends and 'must have' pieces each season and the designers are queuing up to have their creations on the cake stands!

The cakes were so beautiful and really tasty. My favourite was the chocolate and honeycomb Jason Wu "Carolyn" hatbox shaped cake bag sandwiched in retro leopard print chocolate. So cute!

Let's not forget our glasses of rose champagne too

And look what came out at the end! Thank you Lou! Well and truly spoilt!

Outside, the sun was shining and it was damn hot. The shades were on!

I love Lou's white Zara wedges!

We jumped in a black cab and headed to Mews of Mayfair at Lancaster Court. 

Mews of Mayfair is hidden away from the noisy West End streets on a little cobbled lane just off New Bond Street. There are lots of tables set outside - great for good-weather days like this one.

It also has the bonus of producing a fantastic cocktail! The perfect place to relax and chat away a few hours.

And what with the topic of the day being fashion, I must show you the wall paintings in the ladies toilets! 

Believe it or not, by around 7pm we were beginning to get a little peckish. We took a walk down New Bond Street to Old Burlington Street where we had a reservation at Retro Feasts - a new six month pop-up restaurant that's taken over the restaurant at Embassy Nightclub.

There was table football, a huge swatch watch on the wall (I used to love swatch watches!), 80's and 90's music playing and all sorts of other memories from school days scattered around in the name of decor. I was already sold on this place!

As you would imagine, the food and drinks menu continued the retro theme

We had to test out the cocktails didn't we? 

The Sherbet Fountain was great! Served in a little jar, it was punchy and tangy, just as you would expect. Lou wasn't quite so excited by her Pear Drop choice but it was still a very tasty and unique cocktail. 

We weren't ravenous having eaten our body weight in sandwiches and cakes at lunchtime but we did fancy something small. We ordered:

...the vol-au-vents

the Prawn Cocktail...

...and the Cheese and Pineapple sticks

Firstly, I love the menu. It has a great variety of dishes which are simple and classic but with a modern twist. Although we thought that the vol-au-vents were a bit under-seasoned and bland, the prawn cocktail was delicious in a gorgeous flavorful sauce and the fried cheese and pineapple on sticks were epic! I'm a very big fan of goat's cheese anyway but with the crispy coating and the juicy pineapple, I could probably have eaten double the number we were given. The perfect snack!

I have to mention the amazing customer service we had here too. Every waiter and waitress that served us was welcoming and friendly. You can tell that this place has been inspired straight from the childhood of proprietors Luke Thomas and Mark Fuller and it really shows. I will definitely be back here again very soon!

The perfect retro ending to an absolutely fabulous day daarling! Thank you Lou!

Retro Feast
Bar Service
Waiter Service
Retro Feasts on Urbanspoon
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  1. It was such a fantastic day with you Caroline but it always is !! I can't wait till our next date :-) Love Lou xxx p.s Love the blog xxx

    1. Had such a great day! Roll on the fashion show! :D

  2. such a cute tea party! I loved every detail. And your dress was perfect for the event.


  3. Happy Early Birthday! What a great way to celebrate! Gotta love fashion mixed with food =]

    A Golden State of Mind

    1. Thanks hun! It's definitely a winning combination!

  4. Happy birthday Caroline! That afternoon tea looks amazing! You eat out at some of the best places and now I've got a massive urge to go for afternoon tea as well. I hope you have a great time over your next few days of celebrations.

    Lucy x

  5. It all looks amazing, especially those puds! You're looking gorgeous as usual (loving the maxi dress) as is your beautiful friend!

    Loving the retro place too. Such a great idea.

    Happy birthday! x

    1. Thank you so much :)

      The retro place is amazing - I bet as it gets more popular it will become a real hit, especially for pre-going out snacks.


  6. What a lovely friend you have there treating you to afternoon tea and a pretty bracelet! Looking forward to seeing what else you do to celebrate your birthday. Have a good 'un! xx

    1. I know, I'm a lucky gal!

      Thank you loads


  7. Happy birthday Caroline! A leo like me?! Retro feast looks INCRED thanks for sharing. X Meryl

    1. Yep, proud Leo! :)

      You should defo give Retro Feast a go, I thought it was great.


  8. Umm... 1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!
    2.... It all just looks incredible.
    3. I want your bracelet so badly.
    4. You know how much I love afternoon tea, and this is insanely good!

    And 5... Oh, I'm just so jealous of your perfect day!

    Can't wait for part 2!
    Emily xx
    My Ginger Bread Journey

  9. this looks amazing- you're starting a tour of afternoon teas! I love how the puddings were matched to each outfit- very cool! and you both look lovely!enjoy the rest of the celebrations!xxx

  10. It looks like you had a fabulous birthday, as well you deserve :) Fashion, food and AMAZING-looking cocktails - the perfect day :)



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