A trip to London to visit my sister took us to the Sanderson Hotel for Afternoon Tea.
I’m not very London savvy, but trailing behind my sister like a lost puppy, we rounded a street corner and she spread her arms towards an “office block”proclaiming we had arrived. Little did I know that this 1950’s grey exterior housed such an exciting West End Boutique Hotel and an even more exciting Afternoon Tea menu!
To commemorate the 150th Anniversary of Alice in Wonderland, the clever people at the Sanderson, invented a fitting Afternoon Tea menu. In preparation for this meal, one must NOT eat any breakfast, OR make any dinner plans; instead, allow your taste-buds complete freedom to savour the culinary delights on offer.
I hear there are good deals for Afternoon Tea on Mother’s day (*hint hint*) – Trust me, you won’t regret it!
- The Courtyard Garden allows for Al Fresco dining all year around. There is greenery, artsy things on the walls, and in the air, and you feel covered and warm, but also exposed to the elements in a protected way.
- The entire hotel has this really “cool” edgy type vibe (including the original marble bar that hosted runway models back in the day).
- The staff appeared a little fresh-faced (I think some were trainees), but despite a little lack of confidence, they served a busy room in a timely manner and were very attentive in keeping the teapots filled, and the free food refills coming.
- The teas were all inspired by Alice in Wonderland characters, and the loose tea leaves came in little glass perfume pots so that you could pick based on smell alone, or use the cards provided to describe the complex blends.
- The food was served in two separate courses, with the “finger sandwiches” served first (with unlimited availability – it’s hard to judge stomach capacity for later sweet items when the savoury sandwiches were so good).
- The “finger sandwiches” were far from traditional, and some were far from actual sandwiches. I feel I need to list their deliciousness one by one:
- Smoked salmon, quail egg and caviar scotch egg = petite, moist, perfect smokiness, and moreish.
- Ham and cheese croque-monsieur = more like a gourmet toasted sandwich, full of flavour, and crunchy on the outside, with a soft centre.
- Cucumber and cream cheese sandwich on lime bread = perfect cucumber slivers, enveloped by a thin layering of cream cheese, encased in green coloured bread; unfortunately, I can’t say the bread tasted like much, and was a slightly strange texture, but not unpleasant to the taste-buds.
- Crab and herb eclair = in theory, this eclair should be decadent, but I think it is a little too big on the plate, and it was a little dry to eat. Individually, the ingredients were a incredibly flavoursome (I super love crab), but the actual eclair pastry wasn’t quite right on the day.
- The scones were a perfect large size, and had a great rise and crack in the dough. Texture and taste were brilliant, and the jam and clotted cream that accompanied them were also delicious, and an appropriate serving size (I often have to request more of each when places are being stingy).
- The main Mad Hatter theme is with the “sweets”, and boy are they MADLY amazing!
- Sip the thick and creamy “Drink Me” potion and get hit by passion fruit flavours, both sharp and sweet and addictively sickening!
- Munch on the coffee-flavoured pocket watch macaroon
- Relish the deep red velvet ladybird (so moist, but light and cakey)
- Blue chocolate caterpillars (thick and fudgy)
- Mushroom marshmallows (exactly what is says on the tin)
- Oreo Queen of Hearts soldiers (crunchy biscuit with a soft centre)
- Butterfly banana bread (thick, dense, full of flavour)
- Carrot meringues (orange chewy meringuey carrot)
- Potted ice cream and crumble (with edible flowers!)
- From £48 per person
The Sanderson’s Mad Hatter’s Tea Party should be on every Afternoon Tea lovers wish list.
You will leave feeling a little queasy from the volume of food you have eaten, and also a little bit sleeping from the amount of sugar you have consumed, but the overwhelming feeling of JOY from having one of the BEST meals you’ve ever had will always win out!
My recommendations and tastes are my own. I gain no benefit from writing this review. Review based on experience on 1st October 2016.