Time for Tea in a Whimsical Wonderland

“Would you like an adventure now, or shall we have tea first?” (Alice in Wonderland), definitely tea I think, but no ordinary tea mind you we are going to venture to The Sanderson Hotel in London and enjoy their special ‘Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea”

On arrival we make our way into the private courtyard garden that really is a whimsical, lush

hidden oasis within the hotel, full of nature as well as a fountain and reflecting pool. For the summer there are added extras inspired by Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé, such as the seated swing that has become a throne for the Queen of Hearts, adorned with pink roses for the perfect Instagram moment.  Surrounding the chair is a flock of 50 flamingos, as remembered from Alice’s famous croquet match. It is so magical you almost expect the white rabbit to jump out from behind the trees.

First things first a glass of Perrier- Jouet champagne to enjoy whilst looking at the menu, and then it’s time for the fun to begin. Hidden inside a vintage hardback book is the menu, a savoury and sweet delight, the sugar is inside a working music box, complete with twirling ballerina. The crockery is decorated with zebras, birdcages and ticking clocks and the napkins are all wrapped in riddles – you feel like a child again, transported back to Alice’s adventures in a whimsical wonderland.

The Teas, come loose leaf in miniature perfume bottles all named after characters, – I couldn’t resist opting for the ‘Queen of Hearts’, a red rose congu infused with red rose petals, with a hint of vanilla and chocolate and my friend chose  ‘Cheshire Cat’, a marmalade orange infused tea with chocolate and hugging orange , both served in King and Queen teapots complete with crown.

Starting with delicious savoury bites, all with a little twist, from the quail scotch egg, surrounded by smoked salmon and topped with a taster of caviar, which was absolutely divine to the Stack of King of Hearts ham and parmesan croque-monsieur that literally melts in the mouth, all washed down with Alice’s exotic fruits “Drink Me” potion this afternoon tea just gets curioser and curioser.

After devouring our savoury selection, it was time for the sweet treats, all creatively designed to keep with the theme, pocket watch macarons, playing card sandwich biscuits, marshmallow mushrooms, a chocolate and pistachio caterpillar as well of course scones!

Did the taste measure up to the creativity? Oh yes it certainly did, everything was delightful, we didn’t want to leave – Oh and I nearly forgot just as you think there are no more wonders in wonderland, a mini plant pot is brought to you filled with a chocolate and honeycomb ice-cream, topped with an edible flower, truly scrumptious.

From the courtyard garden, to the exquisite presentation, quirky extras and delicious taste – this is a fabulous afternoon, that everyone has to experience at least once before it disappears down the rabbit hole!


The Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea is priced from £48 per person and £35 per child (for children 4-11 years old). For reservations call 0207 300 5588 or email: restaurant.resuk@sbe.com