The name “Mad Hatter” was clearly inspired by the phrase “as mad as a hatter”.

I went with my closest friend to this Afternoon Tea, we wanted to do something special for our birthdays and decided to treat ourselves to Sanderson Afternoon Tea, this £38 +service was on the higher end of any other Afternoon Tea I’ve been to before, so I was expecting the bee’s. We wanted to go one which offered something different and this was definitely one that was different. 

When we were en route to the hotel, we thought we spotted it, it was a lovely structured building it looked beautiful, then we realised it wasn’t the Sanderson lol. When we found the Sanderson, both of us we really disappointed with the look of the front of the building. The decor of the blue horrible panelling looked really out dated and we were worried having spending how much we did on our Afternoon Tea that our experience was going to be a disappointment.

We arrived to some what total different look inside, it was quite unique reception area then I’ve seen before with bright colours and ornaments. We were seated in the Garden Area which was really tranquil, it was a lovely setting, I really liked the water feature and hammok seat.


We went on such a lovely warm day that we didn’t feel the cold, however I’m sure I would have, if it was cold day, they did have outdoor heating and we were told if we do feel cold they would put it on. After being seated by the waitress, we were given a glass of water which was nice start. My friend wasn’t keen on the place we were seated so we asked to be moved closer in. The waitress, had to told us she will need to look into it, but we didn’t see why it would be a problem really?? When she came back she did allow us to move where we wanted to be.

Placed on the marble tables, were tea cups, saucers, side plates, a book and a music box. Intrigued, we were, we opened the music box to find a number of sugar cubes placed inside. The book had the menu displayed inside. The cups, all had a theme, ours were designed with images of acrobats. I loved the menu inside the book, the books were all old and I’m sure ours was from a library too!


We then changed to a waiter, who came over with these cute little glass bottles filled with four different tea leaves. We got to choice from Strawberries and Cream, Mint Choco Chip, Rhubarb & Custard and Apple Pie. They all smelled so amazing, I decided to try the Strawberries and Cream and my friend the Mint Chocolate Chip. The waiter rang through the menu item (we subsuited our menu for one which was suitable for Pescitarians). 


When the tea arrived it was in quite a big teapot, I allowed my tea to diffuse. There was a big difference between the smell compared to the taste, maybe I needed to let it diffuse more but it tasted very watered down to me. I tried my friends mint tea but that was similar bit washed down. I’m not really a fan of fruit teas and neither is my friend so maybe criticised them a bit too much. I then asked for a latte, I do like my coffee over tea unless it’s proper Indian Tea.  


When the food arrived it looked really amazing, there was a lot of different colours, sizes, shapes, texture, it was truly different experience. I was eager to get on with my munching…I started with the sandwich. I really love smoked salmon but the bread it was encased in wasn’t that great, it was heavy and didn’t have an amazing taste. I’m not a fan of egg sandwiches, I don’t eat them but I tried this one and it was amazing, this was the best sandwich from the menu. I really don’t like the idea of cucumber sandwiches, that tradition for me should be out now, I didn’t particularly like that sandwich. 

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I went on try the mini broccoli quiche, I enjoyed this, there was flavour there and the pastry was not overdone. Surprisingly the one item wasn’t keen on was the goats cheese scones was one of the best savoury scones I couldn’t taste the goats cheese at all. I despise goats cheese, just a horrible yuky taste.


I tried the sweet apple and cinnamon scone with a good dollop of cream and jam but I didn’t think they were anything special, they were quite dry, I’ve had far better. The Genoese sponge which was really nice and looked amazing the detailed layers all looked perfect and the clock draw on top made it fit in with the theme. Ooooo the raspberry drink, that was so fruity and tasty and the cute medicine like bottle it was presented in was so original.  


The one dessert, that really amazed me and was worth the whole experience was the ‘Melting Mango Cheesecake’. It was encased in a multi coloured striped print. I’m not really a fan of white chocolate, so the taste was a bit too sweet, but whilst I was eating it, I noticed a small yellow ball that was squidgy. I told my friend what’s this???…I broke into the ball and to my amazement the lovely yolk coloured liquid oozed out from it! it was amaaaazing!…it left me in such a surprise and I thought how did they make it??? It was truly the mad hatter experience I was expecting.


Moving on, I wasn’t too keen on the carrot meringue it looked effective but it was quite sweet. The Matcha tea cup, looked really amazing, the presentation was great but I found it quite bland and I thought yet another mousse like dessert like the mango cheesecake. I would say I really enjoyed the the chocolate (caramel, I think it was) truffle, it was really yummy. It was quite rich so one did suffice.

I would like to thank my friend for sharing the experience with me and taking all the photos :).

Overall I did really enjoy the experience, it was unlike any other afternoon tea I’ve been too. I would say I have a very sweet tooth but I didn’t manage to finish all the sweet items as I found them overly sweet. I enjoyed the savoury items a bit more. There was so much food, I would advise going early but not having any breakfast. I gave this a high rating due to the amazing dessert and the experience but didn’t give it that extra star due to the overly sweet desserts.

Overall: ★★★★☆Website: Sanderson Hotel