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Afternoon tea, Hotels, Hotels - Design, Hotels - Luxury, London

Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea At Sanderson London

Mad Hatter’s Tea at Sanderson is one of the most inventive and popular afternoon teas in London.  I tried and loved the classic Mad Hatter’s Tea during a staycation at Sanderson and last week I was delighted to return and try the brand new afternoon tea, curated by Luna & Curious, who present the hotel’s super stylish gift shop.

The Mad Hatter’s Tea is served daily in the courtyard garden, but don’t be put off by the cold weather, as the terrace is fully covered and the powerful heater lamps keep it warm and toasty.

We started with a glass of Laurent-Perrier Champagne and selected our tea from tiny glass bottles filled with loose leaf tea to help you make a decision.  We went for a pot of fragrant Earl Grey and later tried a delicious pot of rhubarb and custard tea, which I would recommend for something a little different.

Our spectacular three-tier stand came laden with decadent, colourful treats and our lovely waitress explained the tea in detail.  The Mad Hatter also stopped by with a looking glass, naturally.

We started with a selection of sandwiches on flavoured breads inventively rolled with swirls of fillings including Smoked Cumbrian ham with wholegrain mustard, cucumber and chive cream cheese, cold smoked salmon and lemon butter and egg mayonnaise with watercress and smoked sea salt.

What I love about tea at Sanderson is that they ask about any dietary requirements or preferences before serving the tea.  With the previous tea, I was unable to eat the Chocolate Opera cake due to my allergy to coffee, so unexpectedly the chef made me a brand new coffee-free cake.  There is no coffee included in the new tea, but I was happy to be brought a plate of just Cumbrian ham and wholegrain mustard sandwiches all to myself.

Savoury scones served with herb butter, alongside the traditional sweet scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam, were a great addition and I loved the dainty, mini asparagus quiches.

Then, it was on to the sweets, starting with the ‘Drink Me’ Potion – a tiny bottle filled with three sweet, fruity layers of passion fruit jelly, creamy coconut and banana purée.  The melting mango cheesecake was enveloped in striped white chocolate in a teardrop shape, with a cool, creamy cheesecake filling, hiding a gooey yolk of fresh mango purée.  The ’Tick Tock’ traditional Victoria sponge featured sweet strawberry jam and vanilla creme packed densely between layers of fine sponge and iced with a clock design on top.

The matcha green tea and white chocolate mousse served in a chocolate tea cup was lightly whipped and the two flavours were a great combination.  By this point, I was almost delirious from the sugary treats, but still found some room for a scrumptious Carrot meringue served on a bed of pea shoots and a ’Strawberries and cream’ homemade marshmallow mushroom.

As covetable as the tea itself are the creative accessories.  Luna & Curious have created bespoke monochrome crockery specially for the afternoon tea with a carnival theme.  The menu is hidden inside a vintage novel – we were given The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins – so you can remind yourself of the flavours and get inspired with a few chapters of a classic.  The surreal, literary Alice in Wonderland theme continues with napkins wrapped with riddles and sugar cubes stacked inside a pretty ballerina music box.

Not to be overlooked is the fabulous Jelly Wonderland - fruit jellies made in Victorian jelly moulds and presented on a Philippe Starck cake trolley.  The colourful jellies are made with real fruit, so they aren’t overly sweet and have a more palatable texture than regular jelly.  I can’t think of another London afternoon tea offering this (only perhaps at a Bompass & Parr tea party), so Sanderson is leading a trend with its jelly trolley.  I particularly liked the green apple, blackcurrant and strawberry flavours.

The new Mad Hatter’s Tea at Sanderson is as imaginative, fun and memorable as ever.  It’s definitely more on the sweet side than most afternoon teas I’ve tried in London, so be prepared to leave in a sugar coma.  Down the rabbit hole of the Sanderson is the perfect place to spend an afternoon and let the clocks spin backwards.

Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea is priced at £35 per person.  Champagne afternoon tea with a glass of Laurent-Perrier champagne is £45 per person.

For more information and booking, visit:

Chérie City was a guest of Sanderson

All photos by Chérie City

Hotels, Hotels - Design, Hotels - Luxury, London

Townhouse Elegance at Flemings Mayfair

London is a city in constant change, but there’s something curiously traditional about Mayfair with its age-old tailors, gentlemen’s umbrella shops and dusty old arts institutions.

Mayfair has remained defiantly eccentric and there are only a handful of West End hotels where you can experience such character and charm…

Established in 1851, Flemings Mayfair is a real hidden gem – an elegant boutique hotel spread across six Georgian townhouses on the whimsically named Half Moon Street.

Tucked away on a peaceful semi-residential street, Flemings is just a short walk from bustling Green Park, the beautiful shopping arcades and gentlemen grooming shops along Picadilly.

On arrival we were met by Branca Sabbagh, the formidable Guest Services Director, who showed us to our room, which she had personally selected for us.

Our room was magnificent – spacious and beautifully designed in an palette of pearlescent beige, cream, ice green and purple, with accents of silver and glass.

Waiting for us on the table for each of us was a delicately wrapped gift of handmade biscuits with a welcome note.

This was a lovely touch, especially when we saw during our tour of the rooms that every guest receives such a sweet welcome.

Our room had all the comforts that you would want for a home away from home – tea and coffee making facilities, a writing bureau, plenty of comfy seating, lots of storage space, a large flat-screen TV, and a stack of lifestyle magazines to work through.

The king-size bed was heavenly with sumptuous linen and despite the central London location, we had a very peaceful sleep with very few disturbances.

The bathroom was large and covered entirely in marble, just like the traditional London palace hotels.  We loved having the luxury of a separate bath and walk-in shower.

The bathroom was furnished with plenty fluffy towels, embroidered Flemings bath robes and slippers and bathroom spa products by Gilchrist & Soames – very fitting for a Mayfair hotel.

The warm, dimly-lit corridors at Flemings are lined with stunning black and white photographs depicting ‘the good life’, from screen goddesses in Hollywood to summer in the Mediterranean and legendary movie scenes.

A counterpoint to the contemporary design of the hotel is a beautiful, traditional stained-glass window, commemorating the opening of the hotel.

After settling in, we headed downstairs for a quick tour of the restaurant, salon and bar areas followed by an exquisite afternoon tea in the front room.

We ordered pots of Earl Grey and Darjeeling second flush tea from the extensive tea menu and worked our way through the cake stand of delights, starting with delicious finger sandwiches.

We munched on warm scones with clotted cream and jam, victoria sponge cake and a delectable range of mini pâtisserie, Primrose Bakery cupcakes and chocolate truffles.

The front room is so relaxing and homely that we made ourselves at home (albeit a much prettier home) and stayed for most of the afternoon.  Staff left us to our own devices but came in every so often to top up our tea and offer more hot water.

Flemings has strong links with the Flemings art collection and features a piece of art from the collection in the front room every month.

In the evening we strolled into Soho for dinner at one of our favourite Japanese canteen restaurant, OSatsuma.  The Chicken Katsu Curry (£8.50) is slow-cooked and comes in a massive china dish with steamed rice, a soy and ginger side salad and a pot of miso soup.

In the morning, we headed down to breakfast and were greeted by the lovely Darren, Food and Beverage Manager, asked us about our stay and the afternoon tea before showing us to our table.

The continental breakfast breakfast is simple, well-considered and of excellent quality.

We enjoyed a large pot of fresh coffee and ordered Eggs Benedict and a Cheese Omelette with toast from the cooked menu – both delicious.

Everything was beautifully presented and it’s lovely to have breakfast in the restaurant.

After we reluctantly tore ourselves away from the room, we had a tour of the guest rooms and luxury apartments with Branca.  There are various colour schemes and rooms are carefully selected to be compatible with each guest’s requirements and duration of stay.

The apartments are mostly used by families staying in London for a number of nights and have a more traditional design than the contemporary hotel rooms.

What sets Flemings apart from other bijou townhouse hotels is the warm, familiar service.  Staff are as attentive as you’d expect, but they make a point of remembering guests and building a rapport during the stay.  The head staff are visibly proud of Flemings as though it were their own home and to see this dedication is something very special.

Flemings Mayfair is ideal for a first-time stay in the most charming part of London, a romantic getaway or an indulgent shopping weekend.  Not only a stunning, design-led hotel, Flemings has such character and a warm atmosphere that you might never want to leave.

Take a look inside…

For shopping, afternoon tea and cultural breaks at Flemings Mayfair, visit:

Chérie City was a guest of Flemings Mayfair