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Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea at the Sanderson.
The Sanderson Hotel (London)
Member Name: garymarsh6
The Sanderson Hotel (London)
Advantages: Quirky and fun.
Disadvantages: Expensive probably not suitable for children.
Mad hatters tea party.
This is a review of the Afternoon tea and not of a stay at the hotel.
Visiting London with some friends I was looking for an unusual venue to take them for afternoon tea. I wanted something that would be fun and at the same time something that would give them something to remember to go home with that they could talk about. After looking around a bit I came across the Sanderson hotel who offer an Afternoon Tea with a difference. The mad hatter's tea party!
I should imagine there are not many people who have not heard of Lewis Carols 'Alice in Wonderland' and 'The Mad Hatters Tea party' and thought that this would be an ideal treat to remember on our memorable day out in London.
I rang the Sanderson hotel and made a reservation. The lady I spoke to was very helpful and accommodating. She took the booking and asked if I would like to receive a telephone call to remind me on the day I told her that it was not necessary. Within minutes of putting the phone down I received an email confirmation so I was quite impressed with this.
The Sanderson hotel.
The five star Sanderson hotel is quite a trendy place just off Oxford Street and is 'The Place' to see and be seen being frequented by younger and hip clientele. Although I say younger clientele obviously that did not include us however that being said we were sincerely welcomed by all the staff. Not that our group are ancient the majority of clients were perhaps in their 20's early 30's. It is very easy to get to from Oxford Street and the nearest tube station is Oxford circus. The hotel is part of the Morgan group of hotels.
The building has been converted from an office block into a swanky modern minimalist hotel. However from the outside it looks rather uninspiring and not that interesting being the former head office of the Sanderson and sons wallpaper manufacturing company. It is now a listed building. Entering the foyer and straight ahead of you is a Mae West sofa by Salvador Dali which are a massive pair of red lips to the left is the check in area whilst to the right is the long bar which is a hive of activity where those hoping to pick up a date are able to pose and drink with their overpriced drinks and cocktails. (£12.50 a shot!) Along the windows are net curtains that swish around in the breeze interspersed with mirrors and funky furniture and chairs including the longest chaise long I have ever seen.
Just beside the long bar is the Alfresco garden courtyard which is outside but under cover with water features in the centre. The perimeter is decorated with greenery and as the evening drew in candles in glass jars were lit and placed strategically around the courtyard. Afternoon tea is taken in the Courtyard in an outside garden that is covered with a see through marquee cover. As it is outside there are patio heaters placed in strategic places ensuring that you do not feel cold at all.
The afternoon Tea.
We were shown to our table and introduced to the menu. We were offered a glass of champagne or a cocktail which was included in the tea price. The champagne on offer was Laurent- Perrier Brut NV but we decided to go for one of the cocktails. We all chose Appry N' Jazz which contained Jasmine infused vodka, apricot brandy, cranberry juice and apricot jam.
We were asked if we would like our tea with our tea or after we chose to take it after the tea and enjoy the cocktails with it.
The finger sandwiches were called Rainbow coloured finger sandwiches.
Yellow Saffron bread filled with Ham and mustard.
Green Spinach bread with Smoked Salmon and cream cheese.
Red Beetroot bread with cucumber and black pepper.
Brown bread with egg mayonnaise and cress.
They were presented nicely on a little oblong white dish and we helped ourselves to them whilst we were drinking the cocktails. Each one of them was quite tasty and I preferred the Saffron and Spinach bread as they complemented the flavours of the fillings. We were given another plate of sandwiches once we had devoured them.
The waitress brought the three tiered cake stand which contained the following.
The bottom plate!
There was a little brown bottle with a little label hanging around the neck of the bottle with the words drink me! We were told to take three sips of this. Inside the bottle were three very tasty little sips of drink. The first taste was of passion fruit jelly which was really fruity and tasty. The second sip was coconut pana-cotta which was really creamy and tasty. The third and final sip brought what was described as an exotic foam this tasted nicely of Vanilla.
A Strawberry coloured heart with the words EAT ME inscribed on it. Inside the casing was a beautiful soft and smooth tangy strawberry mouse which was really lovely to eat and absolutely divine. The outer casing was made with chocolate.
Next on the lower plate was the Chocolate opera Rabbit's clock with the numbers around the edge and a squiggle of yellow icing for the hands of the clock. This cake was a layered chocolate and coffee sponge cake. It was quite tasty but not really to my liking I guess because it was in contrast to the Strawberry heart being less sweet.
The top plate with a cup holding the lollipops.
The next little delight was a Blueberry Lollipop which was supposed to turn your mouth from hot to cold. I think it was supposed to have some exploding sherbet type covering but to be honest it did very little for me and felt neither hot nor cold. We were all a bit puzzled by this one.
Hazelnut Praline ice-cream lollipop.
We were told not to bite into this but to place it on the tongue whole. Once you sucked the lollipop it explodes in the mouth releasing the melted ice cream. This was really tasty and nice.
The middle plate.
This contained two types of scone. One fruit and the other plain. These were in my opinion the best scones I have ever tasted. They were really tasty and just so moreish. They were accompanied by a little pot of strawberry jam and a dollop of clotted cream that were served on individual mini ladles. IF I were to be honest these were far better than the little cakes and novelty bits we had just eaten however they were fun things and were certainly something to talk about.
Finally we ordered our tea.
There are three types of Black tea you can order.
Classic. Assam, Darjeeling and Sri Lankan Uva.
Earl Grey Sri Lankan Uva, lemon peel, orange blossom and bergamot.
Rooibois Rooibois, Lapsang souchong and Cinnamon.
Or Herb teas.
The afternoon tea was quite a novel idea the food was nice and tasty, the atmosphere was fun, the staff worked really hard and were very attentive ensuring that we were well looked after. All in all I thought it was a very pleasant experience. Our friends really enjoyed it too which was an added bonus. The restaurant manager kept coming to see if we were happy and if there was anything else that we wanted. He was an exceptional employee and even offered us an extra cocktail on the house. Although the tea was booked initially for a two hour slot he told us to take our time and in fact we were there for nearly four hours. The toilet facilities were excellent although the ladies complained that there were only two cubicles available which bearing in mind they are upstairs and shared with the long bar they seem a bit inadequate because I understand they had to queue. The hand basins were sat on a crystal and glass looking table so were quite modern. They were exceptionally clean.
The price was £35 a head and in total the bill came to £156.98 including service charges.
Would I recommend it?
Yes most definitely if you are looking for something that is something out of the ordinary, something quirky and unusual. I probably would not go there again as I have had far superior but traditional afternoon teas although I would definitely recommend it for a fun or special afternoon. There were what appeared to be a couple of parties of girls presumably on a hen do. They were not raucous or disruptive and there seemed to be others there celebrating birthdays. Overall we had a really nice time and I would recommend it for a special occasion although not for children as it is more an adult venue.
The Sanderson Hotel
50 Berners Street
Telepehone 0207 300 1400
There website can be found at:-
Summary: An unusual and unique way to spend an afternoon.