Friday Afternoon Adventures
Sometimes the weekend starts a little sooner than anticipated. We’ve disappeared down the bunny hole to a Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea Party in Sanderson. The hotel where larger than life Philippe Starck first played with surreal scale in London – a pair of sofa lips swears to swallow us in reception – is just the setting to celebrate the sesquicentennial anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s classic novel. This really is hard work as we’re with three lawyers, an investment manager and a banker. Beats the boardroom. Sugared almonds over Alan Sugar.Everyone should eat and drink and find satisfaction in their work. We will not set out every jot and tittle of our dilettantish ponderings, save to remark on the curiouser and curiouser culinary revelations as we peak over the palate piquing afternoon tea. “EAT ME!” shrieks the goat’s cheese croquet monsieur and white crab éclair and cucumber and cream lime sandwich and smoked salmon quail’s egg and caviar scotch egg.
“DRINK ME!” screams the White Rabbit Tea infused with white grapefruit, white chrysanthemums and vanilla. The afternoon turns tipsy topsy turvy after a glass of Perrier–Jouët. A Sanderson Cocktail – an imaginative melange of lychee juice and lime laced with melon liqueur, Aperol and Beefeater Gin – magically transports us into early evening.
Sitting in the canopied Enchanted Garden of Sanderson, we’re cosily oblivious to the monsoon unfolding overhead. Amidst carousels and birdcages, we’re like the Cheshire Cat who got the cream (clotted with raspberry preserve on fluffy scones. When Alice in Wonderland ate the cakes, they made her smaller. We live in hope. Perhaps we’ll have just one more chocolate coated coffee flavoured pocket watch macaroon. And another Queen of Hearts Oreo cookie soldier stuffed with strawberries. Maybe the last red velvet ladybird cake. Rude not to. The cake of good hope. Mondays are for martinets. Life is the cards you’ve been dealt.