Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at Sanderson

I’m definitely not a regular for afternoon tea. I’ve only recently been able to get my head around the concept of brunch. It’s all a bit of a weird timing, isn’t it? As a creature of habit, brunch and afternoon tea alike bring to the surface an array of questions. Do you eat breakfast? Or lunch? How tipsy is acceptably tipsy, when sitting in your Sunday finest, sipping a herbal tea in the other hand and surrounded by scones?
I will admit that I have a good deal in common with the Duchess of Bedford, who invented the concept of afternoon tea in 1840 as it is said she consistently felt peckish around 4pm and couldn’t endure the long wait between lunch and dinner; (when am I not hungry). Plus, when am I equally not up for trying new things (I definitely survived a lot more adventurous struggles whilst travelling last year), so afternoon tea seemed like a small feat.

As you can see from the pictures, I was running on about three hours of sleep after a pretty heavy night prior. Still smiling though. The afternoon tea at the Sanderson is, as you can see, Mad Hatter themed. The dishes are black and white and quirky, the teapots wear their own little hats, and a tiny ballerina spins for you in the sugar box. You have to give it to the Sanderson, the aesthetics are impressive. Brightly coloured mushroom marshmallows top your cake stand, with matching jam of hearts, and chequered chocolate pieces. All very Alice.

All nibbles on offer have quaint names, like tweedle dee lemon curd financier, and Alice’s cinnamon, apple and peach ‘drink me’ potion.
Unfortunately, style definitely took over substance on this occasion.
Whilst the sweet pieces were pleasant, they weren’t mind-blowing. The savoury sandwiches were a letdown (both surprisingly soggy and stale at the same time). I did give my preference as vegetarian at the start, but somehow a small caviar sandwich still managed to slip its way on to my cake stand – in turn, the waitress was lovely and apologetic, and brought out free bubbles (normally 10 extra). The herbal tea selection was probably the highlight, all displayed on fitting card decks.

At £48 per person, the Sanderson provides a quirky visual afternoon out, but I wouldn’t choose to back, as after all, accompanying the Duchess of Bedford’s 4pm stomach rumbling – you are there for the cake, and the cake wasn’t amazing. Nonetheless, I’m glad to have ventured out for my first afternoon episode, and am thrilled to have found a sophisticated afternoon venture in London on which to continue blowing my student budget.

Sanderson Hotel
50 Berners St
Fitzrovia
W1T3NG
London
12.30 – 4pm mon-sat
1 – 5pm sun

FALSE LASHES

I promise I’m not turning into a beauty blog. For one, I’m not entirely sure who would take style tips off of me. My wardrobe consists of a mass of gym leggings, pink (faux) fur coats collected off eBay for a fiver, and piles of cat socks. I don’t think my fashion tastes will be gracing the pages of magazines anytime soon (although I’m still desperately waiting for someone with a camera to hit me up in the library for the tab’s best dressed).

Nonetheless, my areas of expertise do indeed contain a fair few ventures into beauty products. I’ve experimented with five years worth of fake tan, been through numerous trends involving coconut oil in pretty much every way, shape or form imaginable, and thought I might as well bestow last year’s findings on false eyelashes on my small readership.

I suppose it was just sort of a weekend impulse. I’ll hasten to add that prices for anything in London seem to soar, be it your avocado or your eyelashes. Salons will charge £70-£100 easy, whereas £20-£50 seems pretty much standard elsewhere. That being said, I’m not adverse to traipsing Gumtree and taking myself off to strangers’ <i>salons</i>, which usually involve letting yourself into the backdoor of some sharehouse, making your way past a horde of yapping pugs, and settling down on someone else’s bed whilst they apply your lashes and tell you about the weather.
The lashes take between 40mins – 2hrs to apply, and are stuck on to your own eyelashes with some very resistant glue.

To quote Berocca, false lashes will make you feel like you, but on a really good day. They take out the tiring application of winged eyeliner (at least in my case, an exhausting task for my perfectionism), and the woes of lumpy mascara. I woke up after running around all night at a festival, still coated in glitter, but looking vaguely fresh.

Despite all the benefits of having false lashes on, I will now warn you that after 5 months of wearing set after set of infills, my own lashes were somewhat wrecked. Half had been pulled out, the other half looked fried and broken. Every beautician will give you different advice on whether or not to wash them with makeup remover, Q-tips, whether or not to brush them daily or not at all. I bounced between various methods of care and did (after a particularly bad set) pull out a good few of my own lashes, so do carry some of the blame. One way or another, I couldn’t apply mascara decently for a good 2 months after giving up on lashes.

My verdict in the end is a mixed review. Probably a good idea for a short holiday or big occasion, if you want to fall out of bed like a fresh-faced goddess and convince your loved one that you don’t look like the Grinch first thing. However, half a year of experimenting with lashes has taught me against them after sacrificing everything underneath.