Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mad Hatter's Afternoon Tea

As Henry James once said "There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea" and this weekend I was lucky enough to engage in this time honoured tradition at the Sanderson Hotel.
At the Sanderson they offer a Mad Hatter's Afternoon Tea...and no there is no need to go down a rabbit hole in order to try it....although, that could be fun! The venue is certainly conducive to whiling away the hours with chat and cake, you can enjoy tea in the lovely courtyard garden which is light and airy with a zen garden theme.

The afternoon starts in style with a glass of champagne or a cocktail...it would have been rude not to partake, so I had a refreshing raspberry concoction.

There were many delights to try and the menu is full of twists on a traditional afternoon tea. To start us off we had rainbow coloured finger sandwiches and then scones that were light and fluffy, and of course they were accompanied by the obligatory clotted cream. There wasn't a massive selection of teas to enjoy with the scones but I had a peppermint tea and was also offered the choice of peppermint tea with chilli...which I declined! One particularly eye-catching tea choice was a dried flower which when covered in hot water, slowly opens out.

After that it got 'curiouser and curiouser'. My favourite touch was the Drink Me bottle, a little bottle where the flavours change the further you get down...it's a test for the tastebuds to see if you can identify them. We made our way through  passionfruit jelly, coconut panacotta and apple pie...simply delicious and very clever...sadly I didn't shrink when I tried it...in fact eating afternoon tea probably had the opposite effect!

So what about the most important part of any tea...the cakes! Well there were individual chocolate cakes designed to look like pocket watches, along with an 'Eat Me' Queen of Hearts cake containing a strawberry and cream mousse.
And if that wasn't enough we also had lollipops which turn your tongue hot or cold depending on what side of the lollipop you lick, as well as hazelnut praline ice cream pops, which we were advised to eat all in one go...and yes there was popping candy involved!
Overall, a lovely tea which I would highly recommend, the staff were very friendly and the food delicious! :-)

19 comments:

  1. Perfect timing - I've just been asking around to see if it's worth going. Everyone so far has given me a positive review and now I can add yours too :) It looks really fun and cute!

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  2. That looks amazing what an unusual twist they have put on things too. Must try to get there! Thanks. x

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  3. Wow I love the tea how amazing but the lollipops really caught my eye I would love one of those!

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  4. Sounds like you had a great time! The drink me bottles are too cute. The spread looks delicious.

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  5. I totally agree with Henry James - I love afternoon tea and this looks perfect - how lovely! I really like the cake stand too :)

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  6. It looks amazing! I would definitely enjoy that. The lollies look incredible and very Heston Blumenthal! xx

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  7. Glad you enjoyed it, Laura! Interesting to see it hasn't changed a bit, I went about a year and a half ago for a friend's birthday - it seemed an appropriate treat for her as her name is Alice! I wondered if they would have changed any of the elements but I guess they are so good there's no need to alter it. I wonder how many people go back a second time though?

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  8. This looks amazing, I'm jealous. Nothing beats afternoon tea =]

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  9. All looks so lovely! Or beautiful I would say. I love afternoon tea, a great British tradition to be proud of XX

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  10. I love it! I wish I was there, the bottle is indeed clever what a wonderful idea! We do love our afternoon tea : )

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  11. I like this post! So elegant...!

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  12. A delicious and inventive afternoon tea. I love it

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  13. It really was delicious!!!

    Ros you should definitely go!

    Caroline...it seems not much has changed but I think I read somewhere that they do change the flavours in the drink me bottle...maybe to keep people on their toes!! :-)

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  14. Wow, what an adventure. Think I need to get along and experience this myself. Thanks for writing it up. The cakes look amazing.

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  15. What a delightful idea for tea. Love it. Must give it a try as it all looks divine!

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  16. My sister treated me to this just before Christmas and I loved it just as much as you did - the drink me bottle was definitely my fave treat of the day too! I loved the quirkiness of all the little treats! did you have any luck with your special key at the end of the meal?

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  17. That looks like so much fun and delicious. My nana goes to high teas a lot at this one hotel in Oregon, its only a couple of times a year but she loves it. I hope I can attend one sometime.

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