Who can resist a good Groupon voucher? Certainly not me and my mam. So, when a voucher for Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea at How Do You Do in North Shields (formerly the Wooden Doll) popped up we knew we had to give it a go.
With views of North Shields marina, Tynemouth and South Shields all visible from the panoramic windows in the far side of the building where we were seated, we were off to a very good start. Food with a view is always a bonus!
With the voucher was the option for an alcoholic beverage of our choosing, from a basic selection; this consisted of a strawberry and basil gin cocktail, a ‘Fog on the Tyne’ mocktail, or a glass of prosecco. This was alongside the tea and coffee traditionally served.
First our drinks came out, then shortly after the food arrived, displayed in a semi-structure bird cage and a lawn box. On paper, the concept is rather peculiar but in practice it totally worked – especially when it’s named the Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea!
Sandwiches were nice and fresh – no dry bread or stale produce here. With the two fillings being the northern traditional ham & pease pudding or a cucumber and cream cheese, I was slightly surprised at there being no a third option. Although, this did mean a whole set of sandwiches was on our serving instead of a few of a lot of fillings on multiple afternoon tea stands. So from the kitchen point of view this does make sense as all sandwiches are fresh and not waiting for another set of customers.
The choice of scones were fruit, cheese or chocolate – mam opted for fruit while I of course went for chocolate. Now, if you’ve never had a chocolate scone before and have a substantial sweet tooth you must give them a go. No butter, just jam and/or cream smothered on. Delicious!
Now, onto the sweet treats. With a mixture of cakes, candies and chocolates the sweet collection was certainly a twist on the traditional. A miniature slice of Victoria sponge with a red heart on top reinforced the Wonderland connotations of the meal, along with a small bottle of pink lemonade – very much a Drink Me that Alice would have approached in her journey. The macaroons were nice and crispy, as was the top of the brownie – although I’m all about a gooey brownie and I could have done with just a little more going on in the centre.
A shot glass sized Eton mess added to the whimsy while a scattering of ‘chocolate stones’ (think Minstrels in funny shapes) gave the garden box it’s finishing touch. There were some traditional twirled candy lollipops on the board but unfortunately they just didn’t take our fancy, but they did completely add to the overall aesthetic!
Whilst not being completely blown away, I could definitely appreciate this Wonderland twist on a very traditional British dining experience.
What sort of themed dining experiences have you tried or plan to? Let me know in the comments and inspire me!
Disclaimer: The product in this post and post content was neither gifted or paid by Groupon or HowDo You Do