Having experienced plenty of fun and impressive afternoon teas around London, I was glad to finally tick the Sanderson’s Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea off my list, one of the top Themed Afternoon Teas on the Bookatable website, and was recently awarded a Highly Commended certificate at the Afternoon Tea Awards 2018, in recognition of its high quality Afternoon Tea service.
Celebrating the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland, The Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea at Sanderson offers a unique twist on the classic afternoon tea. From the very beginning of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, food and drink play an important role, so it is a rather apt theme that would appeal to many as an afternoon tea experience.
The Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea is served on the outdoor terrace, with a view of their lush open-air courtyard, brimming with flowering trees, fountain, mosaics and reflecting pool.
Laid out on our table were sandwich plates decorated with zebras, birdcages and ticking clocks, and a vintage book on the side opened up to reveal the hidden menu. Our waiter soon arrived with little glass bottles that contained various Alice-inspired tea infusions to enhance our experience down the rabbit hole. I chose the Mad Hatter, which was green tea infused with passion fruit, guava and mango, whilst Melanie went for Alice, a China black tea infused with hints of blackcurrant, vanilla, caramel, citrus, bergamot, blue cornflowers and blue mallow flowers. Our fragrant teas were served in cute teapots adorned with caricatures of kings and queens, topped with paper crowns. As part of the Bookatable offer, we were each served a complimentary gin-based Sanderson cocktail which had lovely hints of lychee. For those looking for a boozier experience, there are options to add on champagne or other Mad Hatters-inspired cocktails.
Their selection of savouries were given their own twist and were more interesting than your standard traditional hand-cut sandwiches. There was a mini smoked salmon scotch quails egg with caviar and cream cheese, a Cornish crab brioche roll with spiced avocado and coriander, White Rabbit cucumber and cream cheese sandwich on pesto bread, and my favourite of them all, the stack of King of Hearts ham and parmesan croque-monsieur, which certainly tops your standard ham and cheese sandwich. We then moved on to unravel the white napkin to reveal the warm scones, served with Cornish clotted cream and fruit preserve.
I liked that there was a much more vast variety of sweet delicacies to savour. The Queen of Hearts rose and strawberry Jammy Dodger, a favourite childhood biscuit, was nice and buttery, whilst the Mocha chessboard gateau, complete with a cute miniature chocolate chessboard, was light and intricately made. The vibrant yellow Tweedle Dee lemon curd financier had a fresh and zesty flavour, and the Mad March Hare vanilla pocket watch macaron had a good texture and flavour, with a crown made from a crunchy Malteser-like ball – there’s no excuse to be late for this important date!
From the top tier, we tucked into Wonderland marshmallow magic mushrooms, a Chocolate and pistachio cigar which resembled the Blue Caterpillar, and the Mad Hatter’s lost carrot and fennel meringue served in a teacup with a cute grass feature.
And finally, we washed it all down with Alice’s exotic fruits ‘Drink Me’ potion – secretly fantasizing that we would somehow shrink at the end of our meal and continue on a little adventure! – alas, one can only dream, but nonetheless we had a lovely afternoon tea experience.
This fun-themed afternoon tea menu is served everyday, but the exclusive Bookatable offer that includes the complimentary cocktail is only available from Monday – Friday until 30 April 2019, and can be booked via the Bookable website. In the meantime, why not have a browse of the other Themed Afternoon Teas on offer on the Bookatable website – there’s sure to be something from your favourite movie or classic literature that will tickle your fancy.