All this talk about themed afternoon teas on the Tea With Me and Friends blog has made me think about the afternoon tea that we took our mum to on Mothering Sunday this year. As some of you will know, our obsession with afternoon tea all began with us taking Mum to The Savoy for afternoon tea on Mothers Day several years ago. This tradition has continued and we have taken mum to lots of different hotels for this annual treat - usually they are all very traditional.
This year however we decided to take mum to a slightly different afternoon tea....we took her to the Mad Hatters afternoon tea at The Sanderson in London. Now you may have already seen photos of this afternoon tea, it is a very popular tea to indulge in and photograph...if you have seen any photos you'll know its not exactly traditional.....
|Mad Hatter Afternoon Tea - photo from the Sanderson website|
The Mad Hatter afternoon tea is beautifully presented, it's very colourful and creative. We enjoyed the way the menu and sugar cubes were presented on the table, in fact the whole tea was styled rather well.
|One lump or two?|
The various fruity teas on offer to accompany our Alice in Wonderland themed afternoon tea were presented to us in small glass bottles - allowing us to see and smell the tea before picking our favourites to sample. Again, this was a nice touch - although as mum discovered those little bottles are very easy to knock over!
|A novel way to present tea leaves!|
The Sanderson website says that this tea will evolve and the flavours will change seasonally, and so please remember this is a trip down memory lane....this is what we enjoyed in March 2013.
Once we'd make our tea selections we started on the savoury plate...which on first sight was as far from traditional finger sandwiches as you could get!
|Afternoon tea savoury selection|
The fillings however were fairly traditional with smoked salmon, cucumber and egg mayonnaise all featuring. The main difference was the fact that the sandwiches were rolled and they had different breads including a dark rye and a spinach bread. We also had a mini quiche of the day, which in our case was mushroom.
If I am honest I didn't really like the rolled sandwiches, they look interesting - but they were rather large and the texture was quite squidgy (never a good thing when it comes to sandwiches!).
We then moved onto the scones, as well as traditional sweet scones there were also savoury scones which were served with garlic and herb butter. The herb butter was very off putting however, and left a very distinctive flavour in your mouth - not the best mid-tea experience.
Finally we made it to the weird and wonderful selection of sweet treats...and there was plenty of choice....
|The top tier of the afternoon tea stand - toadstool anyone?|
On the top tier we had carrot meringues served on a bed of pea shoots, along with some homemade strawberry and cream marshmallows (in the shape of toadstools).
|A riot of colour - the Mad Hatter afternoon tea sweet treats!|
We also had "tick tock" cakes, which were Victoria sponge cakes in disguise, green tea and white chocolate mousse served in a chocolate cup and melting mango cheesecake.
There were an awful lot of different flavours and textures going on during this afternoon tea....and it makes me think that maybe it is a little too creative. The traditional Victoria sponge cake wasn't the best that I've sampled and I think this might have been a case of style over substance....but this is just my humble opinion. Saying that I did enjoy the melting mango cheesecake, which was wrapped in patterned white chocolate and the homemade marshmallow was very good.
At this point we still had two more treats ahead of us....as Lorna is demonstrating below we each had a "Drink Me" potion to enjoy......
Plus there is the "Jelly Wonderland" to be explored...this is a cake stand full of fruit jellies that you can help yourself too.
The Mad Hatter afternoon tea is served daily between 12:30pm - 5:30pm and will cost you £38 each for a standard tea or £48 each for a champagne afternoon tea - making this afternoon tea a bit of a treat.
We all thought that this tea and the style of the experience was quite impressive, but unfortunately some of the items left us a bit cold. We also didn't have the best service on the day we visited, but I don't want to dwell on that too much. If you are looking for a completely different afternoon tea experience, then this will probably satisfy - you definitely will not find these sweet treats anywhere else!
Have you tried this afternoon tea? What did you think? Leave us a comment below...we'd love to hear your thoughts too.
Have you voted in our poll yet - we want to know what you think about themed afternoon teas...do you love them or are they not your cup of tea? Vote now before the poll closes!
Thanks for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna