Life doesn’t get much better than when you’re sat out in the sun in the garden of one of London’s most fabulously surreal hotels, sipping on peppermint and chilli tea with a cake in the other hand. The Sanderson hotel is undoubtably one of the most wonderful hotels in London and with its true ‘escapism’ feel, you wouldn’t think you’re actually only a stones throw away from Tottenham Court Road and London’s busiest shopping streets. The hotels design and concept is another level of eccentricity.
Last week, I had the pleasure of taking a fashion client to Sanderson, where they have created a Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea. As with many amazing places in London, I learned of it completely by word of mouth and recommendations from fellow fashionistas.
At the Sanderson, design collective Luna & Curious take guests on a fantastical feast with a carnival themed Afternoon Tea served on bespoke crockery. The beautiful white sets with cute little black themed designs are enough to bring any enthusiastic diner (who likes to thieve Jamie’s Italian napkins, Starbucks cups etc) into addiction sweats. The tea is a delightful mix of British food and more flavoured tea than my brain could take – how on earth can you choose between cherry bake-well flavour or chilli chocolate? Well, the good news is that tea is unlimited so try as much as you like!
When seated, we were handed a menu which is hidden inside a vintage book (this is so cute), and linen napkins wrapped with a riddle, thereby beginning the theatrical afternoon. Each tea blend is presented at the table so guests can sample the aroma of every variety from miniature glass caddies. Tea can be sweetened from a magical music box containing a ballerina dancing on top of the sugar, which will serenade guests to the tune of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” once opened. It reminded me so much of being a little girl with those little blue jewellery boxes full of plastic beads.
Teapots are adorned with kings and queens and sandwich plates feature zebras, birdcages, carousels and ticking clocks play host to wondrous fare – all completely mad! Dainty sandwiches on homemade bread including the smoked Cumbrian ham (not for me I’m Jewish) with wholegrain mustard on sun dried tomato bread; and cucumber and chive cream cheese on spinach bread. There are classic home baked savoury and sweet scones with herb butter and fruit preserves – obviously being a piggy I skipped the sandwiches and headed straight for the scones – the herb butter is to die for.
The whimsical theme continues with ‘strawberries and cream’ homemade marshmallow mushrooms (you have to see them to believe them); a carrot meringue served on a bed of pea shoots (this breaks into a powder when it hits your tongue, it’s so bizarre); a ‘Tick Tock’ traditional Victoria sponge clock (this I couldn’t manage after eating so much) and a melting mango cheesecake coated in rainbow patterned white chocolate – obviously this I had room for.
With attention to detail so extreme and at just £38 per person, this is an absolute must have to do in London. It makes the perfect gift for sisters or mothers too. There was even a mini baby shower going on when I was there!
Sanderson Hotel, 50 Berners Street, London, W1T 3NG
Hours of Operation
Monday through Saturday, 1PM until 4PM
Sunday 1PM until 5PM
Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day & Easter: On these days, afternoon tea will be priced from £48pp for special themed packages, please speak to the Reservations Team for further details.