Guests are invited to “tumble down the rabbit hole” in this unusual take on traditional London afternoon tea at the Sanderson Hotel – themed as a “Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.”
I visited London yesterday afternoon for the ‘themed Mad Hatter’s tea party’ at the Sanderson Hotel and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for something unique and fun! I made reservations for two people via email a week before. The cost is 38 pounds per person + 15% service fee.
Tea is served in the courtyard garden in the center of the building which was once where the factory workers had their lunch. Philippe Starck installed a beautifully designed Japanese style garden with dining either side which can be used all year round with carefully positioned heaters in the ceiling.
The crockery was custom designed by concept store Luna and Curious and you know you’re on to a winner when your plate has a zebra on it.
Once seated, we were handed an old vintage children’s nursery rhymes book disguised as a menu. There was also an enchanting musical trinket box filled with sugar lumps that displayed a dancing ballerina serenading us with ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ and our napkins were each wrapped with individual riddles.
On the napkin there was even a riddle to solve… What has a head, a tail, is brown and has no legs..?
Our tea was served in teapots topped with crowns – yet another playful addition to this distinctive afternoon tea. Our waitress then brought out a small mirrored tray containing four delicate glass potion bottles filled with loose leaf tea so that we could ‘sample the aroma’ labelled ‘strawberries and cream’, ‘mint chocolate’, ‘apple pie’ and ‘rhubarb and custard’.
Each one smelt absolutely divine but we eventually decided on strawberries and cream together with another pot of apple pie. An array of monochrome crockery featuring zebras, birdcages, carousels and ticking clocks paraded themselves at our table together with antique looking silver tea strainers for our loose leaf tea.
This was followed by 3 tiers of sandwiches, sweet and savoury scones, quiches and sweet treats.
The middle tier was full of sweets. It had an unbaked cheesecake with a candy striped case and a yellow mango ‘yolk’ hidden in the centre, green tea mousse in a dark chocolate cup topped with popping candy, and a Victorian sponge cake decorated with a clock faced theme.
The sandwiches were served in a ray of colours similar to mini Swiss rolls, including ham and English mustard on yellow saffron bread and smoked salmon with cream cheese on green spinach bread. The breads were adventurous and included sun-dried tomato bread, spinach bread, dark rye bread and even lemon bread. I didn’t really enjoy the swiss roll sandwiches as the texture and colouring of the bread reminded me of a chocolate swiss roll.
Don’t be afraid to ask for more sandwiches or for more tea, you won’t be charged extra, as it’s included in the price. In addition there were a selection of traditional scones with clotted cream and jam available.
This was one of my favourite parts of the experience. Sipping on the ‘Drink me’ apothecary bottle of Passion fruit jelly, Coconut Panna cotta and Exotic Foam. Each sip delivered a totally different and contrasting taste experience as you drink through the layers with a straw.
HOW TO GET HERE
50 Berners Street, London, W1T 3NJ
£35 per person
No Fancy Dress
To find out more about the Mad Hatters Tea Party or to make a reservation visit the website here
You can also call to make restaurant reservations at 0207 300 5588 for more information.