What’s the more you have of it, the less you see?
The English Afternoon Tea, the epitome of class and sophistication, but what happens when you mix a few lines from a classic children’s story with an old tradition?
Set in the Japanese garden at The Sanderson Hotel, spend an afternoon riddled with Alice in Wonderland characters and treats from The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and pay close attention to the embellishments that’s designed to bring intrigue and breathe life to a range of scones, desserts and sandwiches.
I know you’ll agree when I say Alice in Wonderland was one of the most confusing films to ever exist but one of the best (after the Lion King), so we really appreciated the restaurant’s attention to detail from the rolled sandwiches like the hedgehogs in The Queen’s Croquet, to assembling the fine crockery to reveal that of a moving picture *hint* the tea cup sets.
Bookatable.com frequently has deals on this Afternoon Tea for £29 instead of the usual £35*.
*£40 per person in total including the service charge without champagne.
It’s always tea time!
- Mad Hatter
Presented with 4 tiny vintage glass bottles and a beaming smile from our hostess, we were left to be enticed by each vibrant bottle of fruit, petals and tea leaves. Choose from four flavours, one per person with unlimited top-ups, Strawberry & Cream, Mint & Chocolate, Rhubarb & Custard and Apple Pie.
Strawberries & Cream and Rhubarb & Custard Tea
The teas were all so whimsical and fruity. The Strawberry & Cream was delicately floral and naturally sweet with luscious pieces of strawberry brewing in the tea. The Rhubarb & Custard was slightly more tart, so I tried it with a few sugar cubes from the music box to mellow out the sourness.
Rhubarb & Custard Tea
Carrot Meringue served on a bed of Pea Shoots
‘Strawberries and Cream’ homemade Marshmallow Mushrooms
Are you supposed to eat the pea shoots too? Do I regret it? NO. Now that I have mentioned it, it’s an interesting taste with the carrot meringue… try it and let me know how it goes!
Melting Mango Cheesecake in a Rainbow White Chocolate Shell
The Cheesecake itself was fluffy, thick and had the ability to melt anyone’s soul. As I dug a little deeper I came across this bright orange sphere embedded in the cream bursting with a velvety mango purée. This was my absolute favourite, but then so was the contents of the chocolate tea cup and the ‘Drink Me’ Potion. Basically wrap anything in cream and let me handle it.
‘Tick Tock’ Traditional Victorian Sponge
Matcha Green Tea and White Chocolate Mousse with Popping Candy
served in Chocolate Tea Cup
Smoked Cumbrian Ham with Wholegrain Mustard on Sun-dried Tomato Bread
Cucumber and Chive Cream Cheese on Spinach Bread
Cold Smoked Salmon and Lemon Butter on Dark Rye Bread
Egg Mayonnaise with Watercress and Smoked Sea Salt on Lemon Bread
‘Drink Me’ Potion – Passion Fruit Jelly, Coconut Panna cotta and Exotic Foam
Selection of homemade savoury and sweet scones
Served with herb butter, fruit preserves and clotted cream
I was so excited to try the sandwich logs resembling the hedgehogs from The Queen’s Croquet as I am a fan of imaginative fillings and the use of vegetables as colouring, but sadly this is where the sweet words stop. Stale patches had formed along the edge of the bread and you begin to wonder how long it had been sitting around on the kitchen counter.
The savoury side of things continued to fail as the scones crumbled in fear at the sight of my knife, whereas the quiche certainly needed one to cut through it.
Every diner is allocated 2 hours for the Afternoon Tea, so this should leave you plenty of time to also dive into the unlimited Jelly Kingdom and take a few swings in the hanging chair…
Lavender and Strawberry Jellies
Jellies include Mandarin, Strawberry, Pear and Lavender
snap snap snap
It’s comforting to know that anyone with special dietary requirements can also enjoy the sentiments of having The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, the restaurant takes food allergies seriously and the hostesses will make sure the treats are right for you at the very beginning.
There are seasonal variations to the menu, visit Kate and Chelsie’s blog to see what they had!
Have you guessed the riddle yet?
The Hatter said, turning to Alice again.
No, I give it up, Alice replied, What’s the answer?