Newest Review: ... a Louis XV armoire and hand carved African furniture. To the right is the large bar, called the Long Bar. We were whisked straight thro... more
The Mad Hatter's Afternoon Tea - truly a delight
The Sanderson Hotel (London)
Member Name: AlmshoeRachy
The Sanderson Hotel (London)
Advantages: Amazing food and well thought out
The Sanderson Hotel is a five star hotel in central London which is part of the Morgans Hotel Group. The hotel was constructed in 1958 as the head office and show rooms for the Centennial Birthday of Arthur Sanderson & Sons, a company manufacturing wallpaper, fabrics and paint. In 1991 the building was listed as a Grade II building by the English Heritage Commission. In April 2000, the hotel was opened after a lengthy and expensive refurbishment.
A friend and I decided to go for a nice posh afternoon tea somewhere, and after a bit of research, decided on the Mad Hatter's Afternoon Tea at the Sanderson Hotel, the idea obviously coming from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The blurb for this is 'guests are invited to tumble down the rabbit hole and enjoy the wonderful world of our Mad Hatter's Afternoon Tea'.
The hotel is easy to get too, about equidistant between Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Circus tube stations. Upon arriving at the hotel I was surprised at the drab looking exterior. It is definitely nothing special to look at. Upon opening the main doors though, it is very different! The main foyer is huge. As soon as you walk in you are confronted by Salvador Dali's large red lip sofa. To the left is the reception desk, and the large area in front of it is filled with a variety of chairs to sit in, including a Louis XV armoire and hand carved African furniture. To the right is the large bar, called the Long Bar.
We were whisked straight through here to the Courtyard Garden where the afternoon tea is served. It is a nice tranquil setting, with trees, fountains and a 'reflective pool'. There are a lot of tables in there, but not too close together so could still be perfect for an intimate get together.
We were seated at a table, and asked if we would like tea or coffee, with quite a variety of tea to choose from. We were then brought a glass of champagne to drink whilst we waited for our spread!
As a special addition when we were there, we were also asked to choose a key out of a collection in a top hat. Once we had finished our tea, we were to take this key to the gift shop to see if it opened the chest which contained a prize, such as a night's accommodation, or dinner for two in the restaurant.
All the food was brought out together, displayed beautifully. We went through the menu and ate according to the order on there.
To start with, we had Rainbow coloured Finger Sandwiches. There was Ham & English Mustard on yellow saffron bread; Smoked Salmon with Cream Cheese on spinach bread; Cucumber & Black Pepper on beetroot bread and Egg Mayonnaise & Cress on brown bread. There was enough for one each, and they looked fantastic - such a colourful plate!
Next, there was the 'Eat Me!' - a Queen of Hearts Strawberries and Cream Mousse - a delicious pink heart shaped mousse encased in something that tasted like strawberry white chocolate. It had Eat Me piped on it in white.
Here we had to change from the schedule, as one of the two delicious lollies we had contained ice cream, and was steadily melting, so we had to eat it quickly! It was a Hazelnut Praline Ice-Cream Lollipop - a small, bite sized treat that did as it was claimed to - explodes in your mouth in a single bite. Its also has popping candy in which was a lovely surprise!
After this, we went back to the order on the menu and we had 'Drink Me!' It was small brown bottle with a little tag round its next, saying 'Drink Me' with a tiny straw sticking out of the top. This was the highlight of the whole spread. It was thick and quite difficult to drink through the straw, but was an amazing combination of Passion Fruit Jelly, Coconut Pana-cotta and Exotic Foam. We both decided that was our favourite!
Next was the Chocolate Opera Rabbit's Clock - a lovely light layered coffee and chocolate sponge cake covered in chocolate, with the 12, 3, 6 & 9 piped on the top for the clock dial!
After this, a Blueberry Lollipop which it claims will turn your mouth from hot to cold. It did. I have no idea how, but it really did! It was quite magical!
We finished this off with two scones a piece - one plain and one fruit, served with a little pot of jam, and a large dollop of clotted cream with a lovely cup of tea!
The whole thing was so cleverly done and well thought out. It tasted delicious and looked fantastic. Although the hotel did not look that great from the outside, it is easy to get to and quite a little haven of peace in Central London inside the Courtyard Garden. There was more than enough food for both of us and we both left feeling full and content! Unfortunately neither of us won one of the prizes, but the gift shop is also well worth a visit - small but very well laid out with lots of stuffed animals!
The Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea cost £35 including a glass of champagne. Extra glasses were offered at £12.50 each! If you wanted to order any more sandwiches, scones or cakes, these were charged at £4 per item. There is also a service charge of 15% added to the bill! It is not a cheap afternoon, but for a special treat, it is definitely worth a visit!
It is served from 2:00 PM-5:30 PM Monday to Friday, and 1:00 PM - 5:30 PM on Saturday & Sunday.
The Sanderson Hotel
50 Berners Street
Telepehone 0207 300 1400
For more information please see the Sanderson Hotel Website.
Thank you for reading my review - I hope you enjoyed it!
Summary: A lovely treat for someone special