Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at the Sanderson
50 Berners St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 3NG
It is fair to say that my trip to the Sanderson Hotel for afternoon tea was long overdue. I had been waiting to experience the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party for what seemed like forever. Yet, ‘how long is forever? Sometimes just a second‘. With Spring upon us and Mother’s Day looming, it was the perfect excuse to hop along and taster all of Alice’s potions and lotions.
Unfortunately, the Mother’s day afternoon tea came with a bit of a premium which wasn’t justifiable with the quite underwhelming entrance and lack of attentive staff. Therefore, my first top hopscoff tip is don’t go on a Bank Holiday or for Mother’s Day, you will be charged an additional £10 for nada. At the standard price of £48, you must still expect to pay a fair amount. Yet, for the creativity of the afternoon (which I have yet to find elsewhere in London) I don’t think this is unreasonable for a special treat. The whole experience is playfully scrumptious and will leave you right up to your bursting threshold.
Upon arrival you will be thrown straight into the rabbit-hole, fumbling around trying to work out what to do and how to order. It turns out that the book on the table is actually a menu – just make sure your mum doesn’t put it on the table next to you as soon as you sit down thinking it was a bible! The napkin most certainly sums us up…
Once you have crawled out of that hole you dug yourself in, you will feel like Alice herself testing and smelling all the teas on offer that at just screaming one thing at you – DRINK ME! The best thing about London afternoon teas is the tea is unlimited and you can tester and trial as much and as many different teas you like – we of course sampled all of them. Our favorites were the Cheshire Cat and Queen of Hearts which are both infused with chocolate tones.
Once we were waiting for our teas to arrive, our plates of savoury goods came. Having missed breakfast and lunch we were somewhat quite hungry and were a bit shocked when we were just presented with this…
… I think my year 5 school lunches were bigger than that! We slowly nibbled our way through the lot (the smoked salmon, quail egg and caviar scotch egg was to die for!) and at this point no tea had arrived 🙁 After some more nattering the lovely gentlemen brought our tea and did explain to us that we could order as many rounds as we liked and our sweets and scones would be served separately – thank goodness! The beautifully presented teapots and refreshing tea kept us pleasantly entertained in the meantime.
The afternoon tea stand was the part that we had been waiting for. It certainly does not disappoint and you will even find edible treasures hiding in the grass growing out of the teacup. The attention to detail is unreal and flavours are certainly not compromised.
Now, with any afternoon tea I always expect to have scones. For every passionate afternoon tealover there are always two big mind-boggling questions: 1) fruit or plain scone? and 2) jam or clotted cream first? My answers are fruit and jam! However, the Sanderson was not thinking along my wavelength 🙁 Each guest was only presented with one plain scone and just one tiny pot of jam to share. I did, however, immediately ask for more jam as I do plaster it on!
All this having been said, these scones were by far the nicest scones I think I have ever tested – and I have tasted quite a few in my time 🙂 They came out so fresh and warm; they just melted in your mouth.
I am also not a big fan of clotted cream, but the Sanderson clotted cream was pumped with something uuuber delicious. By this point, half an hour had passed from when I asked for extra jam and to be honest I hadn’t really thought much of it. The young gentleman was so apologetic that he came over with an abundant supply of jam and two extra scones to apologise! This was of course a bonus for us but also a a downfall in disguise – we were both getting full yet couldn’t leave the fresh scones! Eating my way through another scone seemed impossible at the time but ‘sometimes I’ve believed in 6 impossible things before breakfast‘. The impossible became the possible.. and more.. mum left half a scone and I had to eat that one as well.These scones were not to be scoffed at, just scoffed up!
Moving onto the ickle treats, I only wish I had more room to munch away at them all, but I had reached my limit. They were so beautifully presented that you could even gain pleasure by just looking at them. To top it all off, we were given an extra little treat towards the end – a passion fruit flowerpot ice cream topped with Oreo crumbs and honeycomb shards.
After a long overdue wait to attend the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, I have to say that I wasn’t disappointed. The tea and food could not be faulted. Highlights included the gorgeous scones, the scrummy scotch egg and the tasty tea! We left pleasantly stuffed and rolled ourselves out with a little goodie bag of leftovers. The hopscoff review would have given the afternoon tea four teacups if only it wasn’t for long waiting times and lack of attentiveness. Don’t let the three teacup rating put you off though, do give it a go! It may just be me being ‘entirely bonkers. But, I’ll tell you a secret, all the best people are‘ 😉
Happy Wonderland exploring!