So I’ve lived in London roughly a month now, and while a lot of those hours were taken up by school work, I had more than enough time to explore. Now I love a lot of things, but if you know me you know that two of my true loves are tea and Alice in Wonderland. Childish? Maybe, but, how does that saying go? You can’t help who you fall in love with. Or in my case, what you fall in love with. Conveniently, England is pretty much the home of both those things (no, not why I moved here…..just very coincidental.) So, imagine my delight when I stumbled upon the Mad Hatter Afternoon Tea at The Sanderson Hotel? Seriously, the idea sounded like heaven. The location is right off of Oxford Circus, so getting there was a breeze. The hotel itself if very modern and chic, the kind of place you expect someone famous to waltz out of. Once there we were ushered to a lovely courtyard open for sunny days, covered for rainy ones. While still elegant, it was a change from the posh interior, a bunch of small tables and cushioned stools were littered around the area as well as groomed hedges along the edges (check out those rhyming skills) which makes you feel like you’re seated in the Queen of Hearts tea garden. The atmosphere is serene and comfortable. Once seated we were given the menus, which are actually in old books. You open them to read the tea and meal options. In a book! (can you tell how excited I am by this?)
Enough on that though, on to the actual Afternoon Tea.
While they have your everyday variety of teas, such as English breakfast, green, mint, etc, they have a small list of very unique flavors as well, including apple pie, mint chocolate chip and vanilla rhubarb. Feeling adventurous I strayed from my usual Earl Grey and ordered the apple pie (because yum) and I was not disappointed. While it was a mild tea in comparison to most black or green teas, the flavors of apple, cinnamon and vanilla were perfect. The tea pots were characters within themselves, with faces of the King and Queen of Hearts on either side, sporting a black paper crown around the lid. I may or may not have drank half the pot before the food even arrived.
When the food did arrive, I was blown away. I’m no stranger to afternoon teas, but this was something else. I think my whole life had been leading up to this one meal. Not only did they play heavily on the Alice in Wonderland theme, but there was so much food! lots of tea sandwiches, bigger than most i’ve ever seen, and all able to be continuously refilled. Both sweet and savory scones, practically falling off the tray. And not to mention the sweets…
Raspberry cakes decorated like clocks, green tea mousse in chocolate tea cups with edible playing cards, white chocolate and passion fruit delights, as well as cute mushroom shaped marshmallows and strawberry macarons. Could it get any better? Oh yes my friends, It could.
Last but not least, my favorite dessert and the one that played so close to the book, a Drink Me bottle! Curiouser and curiouser! This bottle contained three different mousses, which when you sipped through the straw, gradually changed flavors, just like when Alice drank the potion In the book. However, I did not grow or shrink during the process and walked away very much myself (though perhaps much fuller)
All in all it was a wonderful experience! It’s cute enough where kids would enjoy the themed foods but the quality and presentation is well thought out and at a level any food loving adult would enjoy. If you’re ever in London I highly suggest checking it out, especially if you are looking for something a little more whimsical than the classic high tea most places offer.
for more information you can check out the website below.
Until Next time! Xx