Last Updated on November 25, 2017
A festive take on the Mad Hatter’s Tea, Sanderson London:
Regular readers of London-Unattached may have noticed that I love afternoon tea. Sanderson London has been running their Mad Hatter’s afternoon tea for some time now, although it has evolved over time. This year they are introducing a Christmas variation, the Mad Hatter’s Christmas Afternoon Tea, which, just to celebrate the season, you can enjoy with a glass of Laurent-Perrier Champagne.
There’s still the Mad Hatter theming – quirky china, little pots of different blends of tea to choose from, a jewellery box with a ballerina acting as a sugar pot and the menus neatly displayed in vintage books. But as if by magic in true Alice in Wonderland style, the tea itself is transformed.
The seasonal savouries have a definite Christmas theme. We enjoyed a delicious tiny Croque Monsieur made with slow-cooked turkey breast, smoked applewood cheddar and spreadable goats cheese. A Cornish brie and black pepper on parmesan cheese toasted sandwich. My favourite was a simple triple cooked pork cocktail sausage wrapped in parma ham and there was also the same bridge roll filled with crab, lemon and dill creme fraiche and dressed with avocado puree that you’ll find on the main menu. Not a bad way to start the tea – and even better with a glass of Laurent-Perrier Champagne to wash it all down.
Next up, freshly baked scones with Cornish clotted cream and strawberry jam. There was one each of the larger kind of scone – a good way to ensure a nice crisp exterior and a soft fluffy inside and they were served warm, wrapped in a napkin.
Two tiers of pastries and sweets, plus a little topknot of grass containing yet more sweet delights in the form of marzipan carrots.
We worked our way up through the delicious and beautiful vanilla pocket watch macaroon, the chocolate and coffee gateaux made from espresso coffee soaked sponge cake layers with chocolate buttercream and carefully glazed to create a chess board, on which was a silver coated 70% chocolate chess piece. I loved the tiny lemon drizzle financier, a baked lemon and almond cake topped with confit lemon zest and dusted with ‘neige decor’ (aka icing sugar snow).
We both found the ‘drink me bottle’ a little hard to eat through a straw – apparently, it is intended to liquify as it gets warmer but in our case that didn’t really happen – winter must have got in the way. It tasted delicious though with a mixture of three flavours of white peach, cinnamon and orange blossom! We loved the old-fashioned Jammy Dodger heart too, a sable type of biscuit shaped in a heart, with a white chocolate and strawberry ganache and homemade strawberry jam.
The tiny snowman is actually made from white peach marshmallow, though he looks as if he might be a meringue and the yule log, one of my favourite treats, is a cocoa-infused pistachio fondant. These are sweet and perfect mouthfuls that to me are exactly what makes an excellent afternoon tea. I was impressed that the new head pastry chef managed to create our tea tower outside of normal service – as a preview for us. And I’m looking forward to seeing what she does next.
Meanwhile, the tea party wasn’t quite over. As with the Mad Hatter’s Tea, there’s a surprise element at the end in the form of a tiny pot of chocolate soil covering a passionfruit ice, topped with honeycomb and an edible flower.
All in, I loved the Sanderson Christmas Afternoon Tea and thought it was an excellent seasonal variation. Our version was a preview so may differ in detail to the one which is launched later this year.
If you want to try for yourself it’s something to save up as a Christmas Treat because you can only get it on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Or there’s an evening version, the Tipsy Evening Tea, which runs every evening from 27th November until 7th January from 7 pm until 9 pm and comes with an extended menu. What better way to relax and celebrate?
The Christmas Afternoon Tea is priced at £58 per person with a glass of champagne or £68 for the tipsy evening tea with a flight of cocktails. For more information or to book .
Mad Hatter’s Christmas Afternoon Tea
50 Berners Street
London, W1T 3NG
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Disclosure: We were invited to review as guests of Sanderson London, all comments are editorially given.