Whenever I’m asked what my favourite meal is (or, for want of a more morbid topic, what my last meal would be, given the choice), afternoon tea is always the answer. I mean, what’s not to love about tiny sandwiches, ten different types of cake, good old English tea and champagne? Since having tea in Mayfair a few years ago, I’ve sort of made it my mission to make a point of having afternoon tea somewhere nice at least once a year. Last year it was Harrods for my hen do (seriously, the BEST tea I’ve ever tasted, nothing has compared since) which is kind of hard to top. Although this year, I’ve found a pretty good contender.
I’d heard talk of the Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea at The Sanderson Hotel for a while. It’s cropped up on various blogs and my Instagram feed regularly, so I knew it was right up my street. Couple that with one (early) birthday celebration and a Groupon discount code and I was booking train tickets left, right and centre.
If tea, cakes and miniature carrot meringues (eek!) aren’t your thing, then avert your eyes now. If they are, however, then take a look at this glorious feast…
Everything was so impressive – from the little details like the riddles on the napkin rings, the cute little paper crowns on the tea pots (banking those ideas for a future party!) and sugar cubes in the vintage style jewellery boxes (anyone else have one of these? Anyone else still got one of these? Is it just me?!) right through to the food, every little detail was thought of carefully.
The choice of teas were far better than anywhere else I’d ever experienced, and the selection was so quirky (we went for mint chocolate, apple pie and rhubarb) that I even forewent my beloved Earl Grey on this occasion. And that’s saying something. And just when I thought I couldn’t fit another morsel in, out came ANOTHER teeny tiny cake, this time of the birthday variety. Which I ate, obviously (despite saying I thought I would die if I put another thing in my mouth).
My only criticism would be that there seemed to be an awful lot of sweet and not enough savoury – we ordered extra sandwiches but they took so long to arrive that we’d made a hefty dent on the cakes by that time and were sugared up to the eyeballs by then. Oh, and the jelly – weirdest consistency ever, sort of like grainy wallpaper paste, so unless that’s your thing then skip the jelly cart!
There were a lot of families treating their children to tea on the day we went – and I can only imagine that this would be such an exciting experience for any child who wants a ‘grown up’ tea with a twist.
We booked our tea through Groupon, so got a discount on the total, but for more information on pricing or the menu itself (we were asked if we had any dietary requirements when seated, so I assume the hotel caters for any you might have) you can read more about the Mad Hatter’s Tea here.