On my 50 things before I turn 50 I had stated that I wanted to go to an Alice In Wonderland party.
I have no idea why this was so important that it made it onto my list, apart from the fact that I have always loved the stories of Lewis Carroll and how better to celebrate than with an Alice themed adventure.
Little did I know it was going to happen sooner rather than later!
My birthday was the 4th of July and when I saw my sister and brother in law, their present to me was a trip to London to attend an Alice in Wonderland Afternoon tea in Fitzrovia.
Also attending would be the husband, Baby Bear, Little Chick, Mum, Twiglet and of course my sister in law. What a party is was going to be!
The experience is held at The Sanderson Hotel and features everything from pocket watches to drink me potions, so I was suitably excited when the day came to go along and experience it all.
Now as this is a serious affair, it states that Fancy dress is not allowed. It doesn’t state that a dress that is fancy isn’t, so I popped on my Pin Up Girl Clothing Ella dress in Wonderland print and I was all set!
This is one of my favourite dresses, emblazoned with Cheshire cats, Alice, white rabbits, potions and biscuits. Of course I had to wear it!
We hopped on the London bound train which was due to get us in around lunchtime. We had arranged to meet up with Angela and Twiglet at the closest tube station.
Travelling along to Tottenham Court Road which was about a ten minute walk from the hotel, I was getting more and more excited. I couldn’t wait to try all the wonderful creations that I had viewed online.
My sister text to say they had arrived so we hurried along and were soon outside The Sanderson Hotel. We were shown through to an outdoors section where Afternoon Tea is served. Parasols, Heaters and even blankets were available for inclement weather, though thankfully it was a lovely day.
Our waiter came along and told us about the Experience, talking about the different tea and that the cake tiers would be delivered shortly. He asked if anyone had any specific dietary requirements. I knew that quite a lot of the cakes/desserts were chocolate based and as I can’t bear anything like that, I asked if it was possible to have no chocolate on mine. He told me that it would be no problem.
He went off to collect the first of our experiences. A Gin and melon based cocktail which was quite refreshing, although strangely not really to my taste. Everyone else seemed to really enjoy it though.
On his return he advised that the menu was to be found inside an old book.
We all took turns having a perusal, and it was time to choose the tea we wished to drink. On the table was a little dish with 5 different glass vials containing tea leaves. Each vial had a name label, and there was a little set of cards explaining what each tea contained.
Each vial had a name label, and there was a little set of cards explaining what each tea contained.
We decided to get a pot of each variety so we could have a try of them all. He returned with several lovely teapots featuring a King and Queens Head design, topped with a black paper crown denoting what flavour was inside!
Then the cake tiers starting arriving. The bottom layer held the savoury items, the middle was cakes, the next had chocolate and marshmallows and the top had grass which hid a little surprise.
I opted for the White Rabbit tea, which was poured and I tucked in. The kitchen had done a great job and had substituted a couple of my items, which I really appreciated.
First on my list to tea was the little square toasted cheese and ham triple sandwich. Delightful!
Then cucumber and cream cheese on pesto bread. Strangely wonderful
A crab roll with avocado mayonnaise was next. Pretty good.
Then there was a little Scotch Egg. This was where I should have read the menu properly. I took a huge bite, only to find out that the filling around the egg was not the usual sausage meat, but salmon. Which I hate. I am slightly ashamed to admit that I had to spit it out into my napkin, discretely of course!
Also on the lower layer was a glass vial with the famous “Drink me” label on it. The waiter had told us it was three different liquid gels, Cinnamon, White Peach and topped with Orange Blossom. I have to say it was pretty amazing and a very strange texture to drink. I loved it though!
Moving up to the desserts, I opted for starting with my Queen of Hearts Jammy Dodger first. It was soft and buttery and the jam filling was divine.
Then it was the turn of the Little surprise. A carrot meringue hiding in the cup of grass. Tiny but very tasty.
The rest of the family had a chocolate chessboard gateau which had been swapped for a vanilla gateau for me. It tasted lovely, but the chocolate one definitely won on looks and design.
A lemon curd sponge was next which was lovely and tangy and really hit the spot.
I had saved the best bit for last. My favourite; Macarons. This was in the design of the White Rabbit’s pocket watch, was vanilla and had a little malteaser like bauble oh the top. And it was FABULOUS.
The final top tier had marshmallow toadstools and blue chocolate caterpillars. Mine had been swapped for a jelly bug which was lovely and fruity.
By this point I was starting to get very full, however there were still scones with clotted cream and jam to finish. It really was a tough task. In fact, the hotel actually boxed up quite a few of the desserts that we had not been able to manage for us to take home.
We sat relaxing for quite awhile over more tea and it really was a lovely chilled afternoon. The whole experience took a good couple of hours and was enjoyed thoroughly by everyone.
Before we left, the waiter brought out one last surprise. Hazelnut Ice cream with a salted caramel centre, topped with Oreo crumb, honeycomb and edible flowers. All served in flowerpots with wooden spade spoons. So pretty and very tasty too!
Sadly it was time to leave and even worse the girls wanted to go to Primark on Oxford Street……
Oh well, I guess we can’t have it all!
Till next time,