The Delight of Alice in Wonderland
The Mad Hatter’s afternoon tea in London was high on my London bucket list. There are few children’s books which capture the heart of adult audiences like Alice in Wonderland. The book today is translated into countless languages and continues to delight the hearts of millions. Readers flock to the idea of escaping monotonous, everyday life to slay jabberwockys and save kingdoms.
Lewis Carroll is the author and wrote the book in the 1800s. The star, Alice, is based on Alice Liddel a small girl with whom he was acquainted. Alice in Wonderland features all the sorts of concepts that dreamers of any age appreciate. There is nonsense language, psychedelic imagery, and a marvelous cast of interesting characters. There is the hookah smoking caterpillar (Absolom) and the ethereal Cheshire Cat. There is the fearsome Queens of Hearts who instills terror in all of the subjects in Wonderland.
One of the most intriguing characters of the book is the Mad Hatter who often seems to be hosting outlandish tea parties of sorts.
This story is an absolute delight. I love the world that Carroll has created. Being a first timer to London, I knew that I couldn’t miss the opportunity for afternoon tea. After combing through possible venues for such an affair, I found the perfect one. I immediately booked a table for three at the Sanderson hotel. Why? Sanderson Hotel offers a Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea in London!
Arriving to Wonderland
The whole day preceding tea had honestly been a busy, blurry, rush. With a late start to the day, we spent most of it RUNNING to Westminster Abbey, and trying to pack in every sight within the cathedral before our tea reservation. In Alice in Wonderland, there is a character whose name is simply the White Rabbit. He is always rushing everywhere, feels late, and is frequently commenting on there being “no time.” I think we felt a lot like him throughout the day and arriving to tea. Perhaps we were subconsciously method acting for our tea date.
All stress subsided once arriving inside the Sanderson hotel. We were indeed instantly transported to Wonderland. There is both and indoor space for tea and an outdoor courtyard. Little decorative touches like pink flamingos, a decorative garden swing, and beautiful flowers give the experience a girlish and far away feel.
As a literature nerd I was literally GIDDY that vintage books hiding tea menus were left on the table. It’s little touches like this that will make every Alice in Wonderland lover enthralled with the experience. You’ll get the opportunity to see which treats will accompany your tea when you “read” the book. My cousin has some dietary restrictions and the staff was very accommodating at subbing some items. There is also a list of cocktails, of course themed, from which to choose.
Tea and Booze
The tea pots are made to look like the King and Queen of hearts and even are adorned with paper crowns. We were given adorable glass viles with loose leaf tea to “sample.” You get to read the descriptions of each and pick the one that appeals to you. Choose wisely!
Champagne is available to accompany tea and we decided to treat ourselves with some rose. Be warned the price of the ‘champs’, as well as the entire experience will make a “rabbit hole” out of your wallet for sure.
The Cutest Treats in the World!
The treats served at tea time are all entirely Alice in Wonderland themed. Each design and concept is perfectly executed I might add. The white rabbit is represented with vanilla macarons beautifully designed as pocket watches. I found myself wondering how the hell they pulled that off! The King of Hearts ham and parmesan croque monsieur is a great savory treat. Other favorites of mine were the mocha chessboard gateau, chocolate and raspberry blue caterpillar, and the Queen of Hearts rose and strawberry jammy dodgers. Remember, all of this is a fraction of what is served!
For traditionalists, scones with Cornish clotted cream and fruit jam is served, of course.
The Wonderland marshmallow magic mushrooms were not just a great sweet, but a true work of art!
Everything gets washed down with Alice’s exotic fruit “Drink Me” potion which is carrot meringue flavored.
What I Learned
Despite the cost, I was really wowed by this experience! The small details attention to details from the organizers and chefs really left me impressed. The Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea in London truly mirrors all the joy and excitement of reading the book itself. For anyone who is a fan of Alice, or just whimsical experiences, I cannot suggest this experience enough.
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