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, I think it’s best enjoyed 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
Were you supposed to eat the pea shoots too? It’s an interesting taste with the carrot meringue… try it and let me know how you find it.
Melting Mango Cheesecake in a Rainbow White Chocolate Shell
The Cheesecake itself was fluffy, thick and hit places I never thought existed – my soul. I dug a little deeper into the fluffy cream and came across this bright orange sphere bursting with a velvety mango puree. The texture of the desserts were all beautiful, and deciding which one was my creme de la creme was not easy. I declare them all my favourites, give me a spoon any day 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
The sandwich logs were made to resemble the hedgehogs from The Queen’s Croquet – cute – using the natural colours of vegetables to tint the bread. I was all excited to dig into the creative fillings too but a few stale patches had formed along the edges of the sandwiches and I began to wonder how long it was neglected on the kitchen counter. Something so delicate must be eaten immediately! Another mishap was the scones which crumbled at the sight of my knife, whereas the quiche certainly needed one to cut through it. Although a slight bump with the savoury treats, my overall experience was still worth the visit.
Every diner is allocated 2 hour slots, so that should leave you in good time to also dive into unlimited Jelly and take a few swings in the hanging chair…
Lavender and Strawberry Jellies
Jellies include Mandarin, Strawberry, Pear and Lavender
snap snap snap
On an important note, anyone with special dietary requirements can also enjoy The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party as allergen-free options are available.
Have you guessed the riddle yet?
The Hatter said, turning to Alice again.
No, I give it up, Alice replied, What’s the answer?