In five weeks time one of my very best friends in the world Charlotte will be marrying her childhood sweetheart in Cambridge and I will be Maid of Honour and sobbing happily into my glass of prosecco. Now a wedding requires a Hen Do of course, and myself and my other best friend in the world Jara were determined to organise a send off to remember.
For the first part of a Hen Party when all the mums and nans are about an afternoon tea is perfect for sitting and gossiping and reminiscing and planning. We didn't want just any old afternoon tea though - we wanted something memorable! Enter the Mad Hatters Tea Party at the Sanderson Hotel...I've been wanting to go for FOREVER.
As you walk into the Sanderson Hotel foyer you kind of feel like you've fallen down the rabbit hole already, there's quirky furniture and whimsical decoration everywhere - perfect for examining (and using for photo opportunities) whilst you wait to be seated.
Once you're actually at the table everything is perfectly crafted to deliver the theme at all times, from the menu hidden inside a classic book to the sugar cubes nestled in the old fashioned jewellery boxes. The crockery is beautiful and decorated with all kinds of different things from birdcages to zebras apart from the teapots, which all feature rosy cheeked faces and a paper crown.
You'd be forgiven for assuming that this was a tea of style over substance but you'd be dead wrong - we were soon all ooh-ing over the little colourful swirls of sandwiches in gorgeous flavours - the salmon on rye was a favourite but I did have a soft spot for the ham and mustard on tomato bread. The savoury quiches and scones hit the spot too - a nice departure from the average afternoon tea which often doesn't quite get the ratio of savoury to sweet spot on.
But lets be real here, you came to hear about the dessert portion. Guys - it was gorgeous. My personal favourite was the clock shaped victoria sponge which was made up of tiny little layers of fluffy cake with bursts of jam and a hint of what tasted like white chocolate. Another crowd pleaser was the mango cheesecake which was more of a mousse surrounded by white chocolate and filled with a runny 'yolk' of some kind of mango sauce...
Two and a bit hours of laughing and chatting and eating and drinking flew by too quickly and we were soon brushing the crumbs off of our laps and heading for the exit. What a fab start to the hen party weekend - I can't recommend it enough!