It is a daydream of many Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland fans to be a guest of the Mad Hatter at one of his delightfully chaotic tea parties and to bring chapter seven of Lewis Carroll’s classic novel to life. Full of cakes and riddles, but minus the quarrels, Sanderson London is now inviting everyone to “tumble down the rabbit hole” at their Alice in Wonderland-themed Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea.
The adventure starts in their open-air Courtyard Garden and with a little imagination, you could easily be seated at a table set up under a tree with a Dormouse, a March Hare, and a Mad Hatter to keep you company.
This Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea is more calm than chaotic and with riddles wrapped around the napkins, you could spend the afternoon puzzling over the question “Why is a raven like a writing-desk?” The menus are hidden inside vintage books and the black and white tableware, designed by Luna & Curious, is fantastically theatrical, charmingly whimsical, and entirely fitting of the Alice in Wonderland theme.
Unlike Lewis Carroll’s Alice, you won’t shrink to a height of 10 inches after consuming the contents of a small brown apothecary bottle labelled “Drink me”. While not a true magic potion, a foamy mixture weaving together the flavours of passion fruit jelly and coconut panna cotta certainly tastes like it could be.
Tea aficionados will be happy to choose between blends like strawberries and cream, rhubarb and custard, and apple pie, and surprised to find that the sugar cubes needed to sweeten their cups are inside a music box that once opened, plays the tune of Somewhere Over the Rainbow.
The sandwiches are colourful but the Mad Hatter desserts are truly mouth-watering. A miniature ‘Tick Tock’ Victoria sponge clock, strawberries and cream mousse, and ‘Jelly Wonderland’ – vividly coloured fruit jellies made in Victorian jelly moulds – will be hard to resist. So don’t, and instead indulge your inner Alice and tumble down a very sweet rabbit hole.