It has been abso-blimming-lutely aaaaaages since I’ve been for afternoon tea. I think the monthly teas Jen and I did in 2015 spoiled me somewhat so I needed to take a break and see it as a special occasion once again. One of the many places still on my list though has been The Sanderson Hotel – not just for afternoon tea but for anything – it is one babe of a hotel. I mean not from the outside, it just looks like a boring concrete office block from the outside but inside… well inside is a different story. I mean just look at this reception area…
And the bar…
But afternoon tea is held in the Courtyard Garden – a true hidden secret for those in the know absolutely brimming with foliage and its own fountain. It’s the perfect backdrop for a champagne reception which is exactly what we were greeted with. (Real Perrier-Jouet bubbles none of that prosecco stuff 😉 )
I was there, along with blogging babes Erica and Claire, as a guest of Amara who have the most incredible collection of luxury homeware items that wouldn’t look at all out-of-place within the chic surrounds of the Sanderson itself! Just looking at the site makes me crave my own place in London so much instead of living in a shoebox of a room.
Unbeknown to me at the time Amara were treating us to the famous Mad Hatters Tipsy Evening Tea and I all but squealed with delight when I found out that we weren’t just there for drinks and nibbles.
The Tipsy Tea starts with a flight of cocktails; two hot cocktails in teacups – spicy mango syrup & Falernum rum infused tea and another infused with rhubarb liqueur as well as two mini martinis, usually dark chocolate & raspberry and espresso but the Sanderson team kindly replaced the latter with a lychee martini for me as coffee gives me migraines. The infused teas were insanely delicious I’m not sure I want to drink boring Earl Gray with my afternoon tea ever again and the martini’s certainly had a kick to them.
Of course with all that alcohol you need a serious amount of food to line the stomach so you can imagine my pleasure when this cake stand of delights was placed in front of me.
The savouries included a smoked salmon Scotch quail egg with caviar and cream cheese (so good I had two!), a stack of King of Hearts Parmesan croque-monsieur, a roasted vegetable tart and my absolute favourite tiny treat of the evening a Cornish crab bridge roll with dill, lemon, crème fraîche and avocado. *heart eyes emoji*
Followed of course by savoury scones with cumin seeds and Wensleydale cheese served with herb butter – I was a bit sceptical of these to be honest. I mean, what’s the point in scones without lashings of strawberry jam and clotted cream? But to be frank these were quite possibly the best scones I’ve ever tasted in my life. They’re quite dense and chewy but the herb butter compliments them in such away that they literally melted in my mouth. If I could go back for just these on their own I absolutely would!
But of course
afternoon evening tea is all about the desserts – and there were so many!! Hidden away in the grass (not edible just FYI) on the top-tier were some delicious Mad Hatters lost carrot and fennel meringues, deliciously soft Wonderland marshmallow magic mushrooms and little chocolate balls that reminded me of Ferrero Rocher (but I can’t find any info on this on the menu so who knows.)
A mocha chessboard gateaux (which I didn’t try cos y’know coffee), a Tweedle Dee lemon curd financier – incredibly zingy but quite heavy – a Mad March Hare vanilla pocket watch macaron and of course it wouldn’t be an Alice in Wonderland themed tea with out a tiny bottle of ‘Drink Me’ potion – this one was cinnamon, apple & peach and I was super sad that it was so small but actually on hindsight I couldn’t finish everything as it was!
It was the most wonderful evening of chit-chat and giggles (and the invention of the lycheeni!) and I cannot thank the both the teams from Amara and The Sanderson enough for their wonderful hospitality! The Tipsy Evening Tea starts from £58 per person including the flight of four alcoholic cocktails or you can upgrade to include champagne if you’re feeling fancy! You can check out Erica and Claire’s posts of the evening here.