Wednesday 15 May 2013

Mad Hatter's Afternoon Tea - Sanderson Hotel, London

Dear readers,

As one may have noticed, I am a great fan of Afternoon Tea! I love having a selection of different treats, which I can nibble in whichever order I please. However, many Afternoon Tea menus are similar, so, whenever I come across a different menu, I have to try it!

Firstly, we were given a selection of interesting teas which we were allowed to smell to make a choice on our selected brew. These included Mint Choc Chip, Apple Pie, Rhubarb and Custard and Strawberries and Cream. I chose a Strawberries and Cream tea, which had a pleasant subtle sweetness.

The quirky crockery
perfectly matched the innovative and unusual menu - mine had a zebra on a circus pedestal!

The top tier of the platter held a small carrot meringue on a bed of pea shoots and 'strawberries and cream' marshmallows mushrooms. The carrot meringues were a great idea, but they didn't taste of much. The marshmallow mushrooms were also a great idea but were a little too sweet to eat them all. As I've mentioned previously, I think that marshmallows require a little tartness as their high sugar levels can make them too sickly-sweet to eat!

The second tier consisted of a 'Tick Tock' traditional Victoria sponge cake, a melting mango cheesecake and a matcha green tea and white chocolate mousse served in a dark chocolate teacup. The Victoria sponge was light, creamy and delicious. The melting mango cheesecake was a little disappointing; it had a runny mango centre (like an egg yolk) which was held by an almost-crunchy gel coating. The mango sauce was not tart enough to sit well with the white chocolate flavoured cheesecake. It was too sweet and it had no crunchy base for contrast, either!

The matcha teacup was a quite a treat. The mousse was light and fluffy with a little tickle from the popping candy on top! The last sweet included the famous "drink me" potion. This consisted of 3 layers including a passion fruit jelly, coconut panna cotta and an exotic fruit foam. This was a fine fusion of tropical flavours which was far too small a portion!

The savoury treats included four sandwiches, a savoury olive scone (there was also a sweet fruity scone) and two mini quiches. The olive scone went fabulously with the herb and garlic butter on the side! I used two sides of jam and cream on the fruity scone. The sandwiches, each made with different types of bread, were quite impressive. They were rolled up to look even prettier (see photo below). The sandwiches included smoked Cumbrian ham with wholegrain mustard on sun-dried tomato bread, cucumber and chive cream cheese on spinach bread, smoked salmon and lemon butter on rye bread and egg mayonnaise with watercress on lemon bread. Each sandwich was packed with flavour. I would have definitely ordered more if I had had room!

We'd almost forgotten about the Jelly Wonderland course by the time we had finished everything else. We were very full by this point but we just about found room to try all of the jellies. There were raspberry, pear, green apple and mango and chilli jellies. We tried them all but we only really liked the green apple jelly. The others had very weak flavours and all of them had an unpleasant grainy texture.

Overall, it was a great escape down the rabbit hole with some fun and interesting treats. I would definitely recommend it!