A Mad Hatter’s afternoon tea party in London

Mad Hatter Tea

Teatime in Wonderland by Coralie Grassin

Afternoon tea is an art form which people have taken pleasure in for centuries. We’ve given it a whimsical twist with our own Mad Hatter themed tea party. Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice and Wonderland, this experience comes complete with jam tarts with hearts and an intriguing ‘drink me’ potion.

We invited some of London’s most prominent bloggers (who also happen to be partial to taking afternoon tea) to sample our sweet treats. Fall down the rabbit hole with us and find out what they made of it all…

The inspiration

“Take some more tea,” the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly.

“I’ve had nothing yet,” Alice replied in an offended tone, ‘”so I can’t take more.”

“You mean you can’t take less,” said the Hatter: “It’s very easy to take more than nothing.”

― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

From the Mock Turtle singing about soup to the bonkers afternoon tea Alice takes with the Mad Hatter (for whom it is always tea time), Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland is full of references to food, giving our pastry chef plenty of inspiration…

The bloggers’ adventure

The bloggers were ushered into our cellar, where they feasted on an array of Alice in Wonderland themed treats.

They were given a masterclass in cocktail making by our expert mixologist Adrian Murfin and an exclusive tour around the hotel before rounding off their evening with an early Easter surprise: a mad dash around our cellar trying to find the Easter eggs we’d cunningly hidden!

Components of our Mad Hatter afternoon tea

Alice’s wild and wonderful journey all begins when she tumbles down the rabbit hole and happens upon a bottle curiously labelled ‘drink me’. Alice drinks the liquid and is instantly shrunk, making it impossible for her to get out. Our bloggers didn’t shrink in size, thankfully, but we certainly took them on a culinary adventure equal to Alice’s own…

Jam tarts with hearts

For the Queen, “The rule is, jam tomorrow and jam yesterday – but never jam today”. Thankfully, every day is jam day at The Royal Horseguards. Our jam tarts with hearts (fresh raspberries sandwiched between sugar biscuits with a heart design) went down a storm.

‘Eat me’ cakes ‘and drink me’ potions

The Mad Hatter would have approved of our layered bubble shots and miniature cakes, an essential component of any afternoon tea.

Earl Grey and white chocolate tea cup

This dainty pastry conceals a delicate Earl Grey flavoured centre with fragrant bergamot notes and is topped with a white chocolate tea cup.

Chessboard Battenberg cake

Our chessboard Battenberg cake takes inspiration from the surreal game of chess Alice plays with the Red Queen in Through the Looking Glass.

White rabbit coconut cupcakes

These moreish cupcakes are a nod to the White Rabbit Alice follows down the rabbit hole at the start of her adventure, leading her into a strange new land.

Clotted cream scones

While we like to be inventive, some things should never be left out of an afternoon tea — namely freshly baked scones with Cornish clotted cream and fresh English strawberries.

A pocket full of thyme torte

These sweet little pastry cases contain an unusual blend of chocolate and thyme in keeping with Alice’s sense of adventure.

What the bloggers said

Jo, who pens the A Glimpse of London blog, declared: “Forget the Ritz girls (and boys) this is the afternoon tea party that will tickle and sate all your senses”.

Laura from This City life London called us “a great new London discovery” while ‘Lanky Girl’ of The London perspective said she “felt a little like Augustus Gloop scoffing my face with chocolate pastries and guzzling on.”

Meet our pastry chef

All the pastries were created by our resident pastry chef, Joanne Todd.

Having trained in Michelin star restaurants for years, Joanne specialises in creating innovative and visually stunning edible treats and has even been awarded a prestigious Award of Excellence by the Tea Guild for her creations for the Royal Horseguards Hotel.

Joanne recognises the crucial role that the right crockery plays in enhancing the afternoon tea experience and even helped shape the design of the bespoke crockery used on the evening herself.

What is your favourite part of an afternoon tea? Let us know if you enjoyed our special Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea by leaving comment for us below.


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