Step into London and you wander into its storied past, filled with foggy streets reminiscent of Jack the Ripper, warm pubs inviting images of Charles Dickens having a political debate, and corner shops quirky enough to potentially be owned by someone as Mad as a Hatter.
What I discovered while planning an upcoming trip not only took me by surprise, but had me longing to pack my bags for a more permanent stay. Welcome to England, where storybooks come to life in the most unusual of ways.
At the Sanderson Hotel, guests are invited to plummet down the rabbit hole with the promise of a Wonderland Tea awaiting on the other side. Set among flowers that seem to whisper with gossip and stories of guests long past, the Courtyard Garden is the setting of an afternoon tea with Mr. Carroll himself in mind.
Of course the Queen of Hearts will have Teacakes made in her honor – red and white of course, in White Chocolate and Strawberry. Tarts are topped off with pocket watches, inviting you to forget the time and taste your way through the event. The Cupcakes crackle in your mouth, Lollipops go from hot to cold once licked, and one particular version may just explode after the first taste. Is this Wonderland or a concoction of Willy Wonka? Perhaps the two are in fact one and the same.
No English tea would be complete without sandwiches, and Sanderson’s versions have yellow and green breads for an added touch of “Nothing being as it should be.” To bring you back to reality (if you want to go back, that is), they’ve baked traditional scones with clotted cream for guests to nibble on, as well.
Perhaps the most surprising and wondrous of all is the price, at only 20 Euros per person. I know I’ll be joining my very own Mad Hatter for this event – to embark on a culinary journey that may take us through the looking-glass and into a gastronomical fairy tale.