To keep the Alice in Wonderland magic alive just a little longer, I’m gonna tumble down the rabbit hole once again, and take you on a trip to the wonderful world of afternoon tea at the Sanderson Hotel in London.
Upon our arrival at the table, the first thing I noticed was the circus themed bespoke crockery created by the design collective Luna & Curious; each guest had a different set of perfectly matched plates, tea cups and saucers.
The menu is hidden in the middle of a vintage book, the sugar is kept in a magical music box with a ballerina that dances to the tune of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” once the box is opened, and the paper napkin rings are each adorned with a different riddle for the guests to solve. Mine was: “What has a head, a tail, is brown, and has no legs?” Can you guess what it is?
The concise tea selection is presented at the table in miniature glass vials for guests to sample the aromas of each blend before ordering, and the teapots housing your selected tea variety are painted with kings and queens and each adorned with a cardboard crown.
Once the cake stand with all the colourful sweet and saucy treats arrived jaws dropped in awe. The dainty sandwiches, classic scones and whimsical desserts couldn’t have been presented more beautifully. The whole table was a true feast for the eyes.
While the sandwiches and the sweet double chocolate scones were absolutely fantastic, the desserts, I was so looking forward to sample, failed to impress. Everyone who knows me is aware of my humongous sweet tooth, but Victoria sponge, mango cheesecake and co. couldn’t quite bring me the satisfaction I had anticipated.
The service was ok, not great, and the atmosphere wasn’t as relaxed and serene as it should be for afternoon tea – space was tight, it was way too loud and crowded and we were sitting on ridiculously high stools as opposed to comfy armchairs. Considering the price point of £38 per person I definitely expected a bit more comfort, better service and tastier desserts.
While I had a great afternoon at the Sanderson – due to excellent company – I don’t think I will return for afternoon tea. If you fancy treating yourself to a truly relaxing and delicious afternoon tea, I suggest you look no further than the Four Seasons. The menu is much more extensive, the price a little lower, the atmosphere so much calmer, and the service nothing but excellent.