The Brits know how to do afternoon tea - classic, whimsical, fun, modern, fashionable, girly, traditional. Whatever you feel like, there is a tea for you.
Being back in London for my birthday this year, I wanted to do an afternoon tea with friends, but nothing too stuffy. That's when I came across a fun 'Mad Hatter' tea by the Sanderson Hotel. I'm a lover of all things Alice in Wonderland, so knew this was the one to go with.
There is no detail spared by the Sanderson with this tea. The menus are thoughtfully designed inside an old, weathered book. The sugar comes in a music box with a little spinning ballerina. Tiny little bottles and tags read the classic Wonderland 'eat me' and 'drink me' accompanying the delicious treats. The crockery is beautiful, artfully designed with images from Alice and each piece different from one another.
The sandwiches arrive first and have a unique twist. I loved the tiny croque monsieur sandwiches, as well as the cucumber and goat cheese. Uniquely, they offer replenishment of sandwiches! You select your teas from pretty little glass bottles, all with an Alice theme, and you have the opportunity to smell a sample of each to help with your selection. It was hard to choose as there are a spectrum of delicious teas to pick from, but my favourite was the Mad Hatter flavoured tea.
The cakes are the main event though! This ordering is a bit different from other afternoon teas where the sandwiches come at the same time as the cakes and scones. There are classic scones with clotted cream and jams, along with Alice themed pastries and cakes - a fudge caterpillar, a red heart and chocolate biscuit, carrot shaped meringues, and marshmallows in the shape of mushrooms. A complete visual feast! Some afternoon teas offer cakes that are far too sickly sweet and make you feel a bit ill after, as they focus more on the design and appearance rather than a balanced taste. Luckily, this was not the case at the Sanderson.
We had really friendly and attentive customer service, and the tea was a reasonable price in a lovely setting. We left feeling full and happy after a fun afternoon! This is a great option to try if you're in London and want to try one of the city's most famous traditions. Go to the Sanderson website to make a booking!