The afternoon tea was inspired by the classic children's story Alice in Wonderland. Upon sitting down at our table, we received our menu, hidden in a vintage book. Then we were given a choice between standard teas or their special blend of teas, including mint and chocolate, strawberries and cream, rhubarb and custard and apple crumble; these were served in teapots adorned with kings and queens, clocks, birdcages and carousels to reinforce the fantasy element of the event. Dainty rolled-up sandwiches were then served along with savoury and sweet scones with by herb butter, clotted cream and fruit preserves. Then came three tiers of beautifully presented goodies. This is where the impressive culinary whimsicality could most be seen. We enjoyed carrot meringue, Victoria sponge, melting mango cheesecake, and green tea moose with popping candy. A particularly fun treat was the 'Drink Me' bottle, containing 3 layers of different flavoured panna cottas drank through a straw, giving you the opportunity to taste each layer of goodness. After this you are invited to help your self to the 'Jelly Wonderland', offering a selection of homemade jellies. Then my mum had the moment she was dreading, a small slice of cake was brought out with a candle on, signalling the start to a loud chorus of "happy birthday to you...". Feeling well and truly stuffed, we then headed to the bar to try some of their interesting cocktails. I ordered a 'Deluxe Mojito', topped up not with lemonade, but champagne (you can imagine how deadly that would be). After this, feeling slightly tipsy but very satisfied, we made our way home.
I would definitely recommend the Sanderson's afternoon tea, which offers a break from traditional and expected high tea served at most prestigious hotels and adds a lot of fun to the occasion. Even if you are not a fan of high tea, I would still encourage a nose around the hotel as the decor is unreal!