Although it’s a marvellously civilised and quintessentially British affair, the Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea at The Sanderson Hotel is also pretty bonkers; but I’ll tell you a secret, all the best tea parties usually are, and this one definitely left me grinning from ear to ear in a Chesire cat-like manner.
The Sanderson Hotel have joined forces with Luna & Curious to bring to London one of the best themed afternoon teas I have ever been to and you had better take my word for it. It is set in the hotel’s courtyard garden which is a phenomenal outdoor sanctuary with a lush oasis of flowering trees, fountains and mosaics (yes, it remains perfectly warm during those cold winter afternoons so no excuses).
Upon being seated, we received a menu hidden inside a vintage book and napkins wrapped with a riddle, this was a fitting way to begin our magical transportation to Wonderland. Everything is served and explained by the Mad Hatter himself – a fabulously eccentric and entertaining host who is definitely as mad as a hat.
The attention to detail is practically faultless. Eye catching items adorn the table such as teapots with king and queen designs as well as sandwich plates featuring zebras, birdcages, carousels and clocks.
Each tea blend is presented at the table in adorable minuscule tea caddies making it easier to sample and inhale their fruity aromas. To sweeten the deal, our sugar cubes were stored inside a magnificent music box containing a ballerina dancing on top of the sugar to ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’.
After several ‘oohs’, ‘ahhs’ and gobsmacked glances; just when we thought our excitement levels were at their peak, in came the three tiered platter of goodies.
The sandwiches were colourful, creative and darn right delish. Each were rolled up and involved delights such as Cumbrian ham with wholegrain mustard on sun dried tomato bread and cucumber and chive cream cheese on spinach bread. My friend who has a massive sweet tooth, especially enjoyed indulging in the sweet scones with fruit preserves whilst I however, preferred the savoury scones with herb butter.
The third tier of the tea stand consisted of sweet, creative treats such as strawberry and cream flavoured marshmallows made to look like mushrooms, a carrot meringue served on a bed of pea shoots, a ‘Tick Tock’ traditional Victorian sponge clock and a melting mango cheesecake coated in rainbow patterned white chocolate. We were in heaven, utterly impressed and extra gluttonous.
A tea party obviously doesn’t mean you have to stick to tea, so ‘off with the tea’ and ‘hello cocktails’ we thought. The cocktail list was very elegant showcasing drinks such as a ‘Pear and Elderflower Bellini’ (£14), a ‘Punchy Scarlet Martini’ shaken with strawberries, cucumber, honey and pomegranate (£12) and of course… champagne darling.
I haven’t done much of the whole Afternoon Tea thing in the past as much as I would’ve liked to, but I sure will now, though I imagine it’d be hard to find one which will top the one at The Sanderson. Well done guys, well done indeed, i’m definitely making this haunt a weekly ritual.
To anyone who fails to go – it’s your loss, and as the Queen of Hearts would say ‘Off with your head’ because quite frankly missing out on this sensational affair is most certainly a (social) crime.
The tea and all the trimmings is served daily from 11am – 5.30pm and is priced at £35 per person, with champagne costing a tenner.
The Sanderson Hotel
50 Berners Street
As seen on Messi Palate