Saturday, 29 August 2015

The Mad Hatters Tea Party

There are two meals I love more than any other. “But that means there is only one meal you don’t like?!” I hear you cry! Wrong my friends, introducing my favourites:

Brunch and Afternoon tea. 

The finest two meals that you ever did see.

I’m a self confessed nibbler. I’m the person who orders last at a restaurant, just so they can make sure they don’t have the same thing as anyone else, and then asks everyone else if I can “just try a tiny bit?”

It was only natural therefore, that when my man took me out for a surprise birthday treat, Afternoon tea ensued.

We’d had a lazy morning and I’d been instructed to pack an overnight bag with something for a “nice dinner”. (I know right? Boys have no idea when it comes to outfits - so unhelpful!) 

We hopped on the train and as we were whisked towards London I was given my first clue of the day.

Possibly the most adorable card ever? Well not quite, but it’s close! It got me guessing and firing questions across the carriage before my man said through laughter “why don’t you just open it?” 

Afternoon with a twist at the Sanderson could only mean one thing, the Mad Hatter was joining us for tea. Full of anticipation we spent the next half an hour predicting what the food would be, how there would be a twist, and strategically planning the order in which to eat so that we could try everything*.

*For those of you who are not Afternoon Tea connoisseurs such as myself, let me tell you, working your way around the offering and trying everything is an art. You want to have managed to try everything, whilst still being able to walk off at the end (as opposed to being rolled like a giant bowling ball).

We arrived and show the the table, which did not disappoint!

The beautifully laid tables were adorned with incredible crockery by Luna & Curious who had designed the sets specifically for a “down the rabbit hole” feel.

The menu was hidden in an old vintage book, the type that has that old book smell (if you don’t know that smell, I insist you run to your local library/grandparent/bookshelf and dig out the oldest, brownest book you can find and give it a good sniff. You’re welcome)…

… and the Tea flavours we served up as smelling salts.

I went for the Mint Choc Chip and he went for the Strawberries and Cream. Point of note: if you don’t like sweet drinks, don’t drink the tea!

They were served in the most incredible tea pots and whilst we waited for it to brew, out came the champagne - it was a birthday after all!

We cheers'd (if that's a word?) and sipped waiting in eager anticipation for the feast to arrive. It's safe to say, we were not disappointed. The layers of weird and wonderful looking things had me reaching straight for the hidden menu to remind myself what deliciousness we had in store.

I opted for the most mysterious first, with the simply names "Drink Me" potion. 

It was delicious.

Whilst I was busy formulating the next plan of attack, the boy had whipped over half of the sandwiches off the stand and onto his plate and subsequently into his mouth. So I thought a different approach was needed. The take-one-of-everything-and-try-and-taste-it-all-at-one approach.

The Victoria sponge was incredible. New goal: make layers like they do at the Sanderson

The Green Tea and White Chocolate Mousse - in an edible chocolate teacup no less - was a personal favourite...

... beaten only by the Melting Mango Cheesecake. I didn't snap the "before" photo (naughty blogger) but I did get the "during" and "after". 

If you get the opportunity to try this devilish little treat, tread carefully when chopping into it. If you ease down through the melt-in-your-mouth cheese filling, you'll come to a hidden yolk.

See it hiding there? When you're ready, POUNCE!

The scrumptious mango goo comes oozing out (good word, ooze) so be sure to have a forkful of cheesecake ready to mop it all up, you don't want to miss a drop.

We chatted and laughed and re-stocked the sandwiches (twice) before the clock struck 2.30 and we had to leave.
The more astute of you (not me at the time) will be thinking that 12.30 was very early to be having an Afternoon Tea and you'd be right. We had a train to catch, the Eurostar no less, but thats a story for another time.

If you want to have your own Mad Hatter's Tea Party, you can find them at The Sanderson.

I'll leave you with a riddle, it's a good'un. It was on the napkins.

 The boy took a while to figure it out but I'm very clever so I got the answer within 2 minutes (and/or used google because I had no idea what the answer was).

"The more you have of it, the less you see it. What is it?"

CB x

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