Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea in London

Courtesy: Afternoon Tea

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!

Sanderson Long Bar. Courtesy: Booking.com

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.

Pocket watch vanilla macaron served at the Sanderson hotel Mad Hatter's afternoon tea in London
Pocket watch vanilla macaron

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. 

A photo of the outdoor garden section of the Sanderson hotel's Mad Hatter Afternoon Tea in London.
The whimsical setting for Mad Hatter Afternoon Tea in London at the Sanderson hotel. This is the outdoor garden patio. Notice the pink blankets on chairs, flower swing, and flamingos in the back!

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! 

Small glass viles of looseleaf tea are available to choose from at Mad Hatters Afternoon tea in London
Choose your tea! Everyone gets their own pot filled with their choice of tea.

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. 

A glass of rose champagne accompanies tea and treats at the Sanderson hotel's Mad Hatter Afternoon Tea in London
Opted for the rose’ add on at Mad Hatter Afternoon Tea in London at the Sanderson hotel

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!

Incredible themed treats at the Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea in London!

For traditionalists, scones with Cornish clotted cream and fruit jam is served, of course. 

Warm scones with Cornish clotted cream and fruit jam is served. Don’t worry, traditionalists!

The Wonderland marshmallow magic mushrooms were not just a great sweet, but a true work of art!

Marshmallow magic mushrooms served at the Sanderson hotel Mad Hatter Afternoon tea party. The mushrooms are pink and white and served under a black and white striped tea cup filled with grass.
Marshmallow Magic Mushrooms…swoon. Check out the blue caterpillar to the right as well!

Everything gets washed down with Alice’s exotic fruit “Drink Me” potion which is carrot meringue flavored.  

A small glass vile of Drink me, carrot mereingue juice served at the Sanderson hotel's Mad Hatter Afternoon tea in London. It is orange, very small, and has a red and white straw
“Drink me”

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.

Three friends sitting at a table enjoying the Mad Hatter's tea in London
My friend Abe, cousin Nina, and I at the Mad Hatter Afternoon Tea in London

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9 thoughts on “Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea in London

  1. We love to splurge on Afternoon Tea when we travel. How fun to do an Afternoon Tea with such a fun theme as the Mad Hatters tea. I love the serenity I sensed fro the Sanderson Hotel. Even though it is expensive, I do love a little bubbly with my tea experience. There looks like a great selection on the tea trays. I might not be sure where to start. We will definitely need to try this on our next visit.

  2. I am craving for those sugary treats right now. It has been ages since I last had a good pastry. Sampling of those tea leaves is such a fun thing to do – they do have some quirky names from the book. I love how they have taken the characters onto the glassware. The ambiance of the place is also, quite cosy and yet at the same time fun!

  3. I love afternoon Tea when I travel because its so fun! Yours looks great experience.The atmosphere at alice in wonderland looks so relieving ; I loved the tray and Crockery so much- its so fun. I can feel how much you enjoyed Wonderland marshmallow magic. I would definitely try this place in London.

  4. I had no idea about this place. It looks great, like in a fairy tale. The porcelain is so elaborate and beautiful that you want to drink a cup of tea and eat a delicious cake. Next time when I go to London, I will visit Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea in London!

  5. This is so cool! Bookmarking it for the future! I loved the pot with the king on it. Looked really cool. What I wouldn’t do for some clotted cream right about now either!

  6. Alice in Wonderland is one of my favorite books as well and I think it is for most of us. And if I ever had a chance of attending anything like Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea, I would be running like White Rabbit to be there! The Sanderson Hotel looks great and with all the tea, champagne, scones and snacks, I guess it has been a worthwhile experience.

  7. This whimsical setting for Mad Hatter Afternoon Tea in London at the Sanderson hotel really looks beautiful and truly a wonderland. Good to know that it is in the outdoor garden patio. I loved that pink blankets on chairs, flower swing, and flamingos in the back which makes the place very dreamy and straight from the wonderland settings. I am drooling over pocket watch Vanilla macroon.

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