Last Updated on May 5, 2023 by Suzy
We enjoyed a wonderful 6-day bucket list family holiday to London. Our 6-year-old had never been before so we wanted to fill our days with the ultimate things to do. On our last day, we had the most wonderful Alice in Wonderland-themed afternoon tea at the Taj 51 on Buckingham Gate.
Please Note – This afternoon tea has changed its name since our review to The Secret Garden Afternoon Tea. Luckily it’s still just as tasty and wonderful to look at.
The Taj 51 Buckingham Gates Suites and Residences is a 5-star hotel with service and staff to match. Our 2 bedroom suite was very comfortable, a great size and immaculately clean. Taj 51 is located just a short walk away from Buckingham Palace and a 5-minute walk from St James Park London underground station. You can read our review of the hotel here.
*disclosure. We were invited to review the afternoon tea at the Taj 51
The Taj 51 was once the home of Lords and Ladies. The suites and residences are in the most wonderful set of buildings and there is also the St James court hotel. They are set around a wonderful courtyard with a fountain and plenty of exotic greenery. It feels like a bit of the best of India has come to London.
Alice in Wonderland Afternoon Tea London
We have experienced quite a few afternoon teas before but certainly not a themed afternoon tea. We are big fans of the story of Alice in Wonderland and as soon as my son knew that we were going he excitedly asked every day how many sleeps until we were booked in. They do ask you to pre-book at least 24 hours in advance. There is a lot to prepare and they need to be ready for you.
We entered the room and my son let out a big Wow! All the tables were wonderfully decorated according to which afternoon tea people were having. We had a big Mad Hatter’s hat on our table, plus Alice in Wonderland-themed playing cards and the most wonderful crockery.
We were all handed a menu which listed all the delightful food that would be coming our way. Plus there was a big list of teas to choose from which is included in the price of £40. You can upgrade to include a glass of Prosecco for just £5.00 more. My Mum and I chose a traditional organic English breakfast tea each and the little one opted for hot chocolate, he got the most enormous pot of it!
We sat in great anticipation waiting for our food. It all sounded wonderful. My 6-year-old eyes visibly widened when it all arrived. We had all our food presented to us including a detailed description from our attentive waiter. We literally could not wait to start eating it all.
They have based the food on the story of Alice in Wonderland with sweet treats asking you to ‘eat me’ and ‘drink me’. There are the cutest little playing cards on some of the sweet treats, the Mad Hatters watch painted on a macaroon, marshmallows make the caterpillars mushroom and there are chocolate mousse teacups.
We started with our finger sandwiches which included tuna mayonnaise, cheese and tomato with redcurrant jelly, chicken and sultana on carrot bread and cucumber and cream cheese. All three of us declared the chicken sandwich as our absolute favourite.
Afterwards, it was time to move on to the scones. How do you eat yours? I love cream and then jam but my Mum prefers the other way round. There were three different types of scones – plain, chocolate chip and sultana. The chocolate went down very well with the little one and my Mum and I adored the sultana scones. The clotted cream and jam were divine.
The waiter had recommended that we drink the strawberry potion with the ‘drink me’ biscuit on top next. It was wonderfully sweet and tasted like thick strawberry yoghurt.
Finally, came the sweet treats that my son had been the most excited about. It was a feat in itself getting him to wait until the end. We were in awe of the craftsmanship and the thought that had gone into these miniature delights.
There was a pocket watch bubble gum macaroon which was certainly one of our favourites. A marshmallow caterpillar’s mushroom, Dodo’s watermelon jelly encased in white chocolate with a delicate edible flower on top (my favourite!). Plus a Queen of Hearts mango tart and a teacup made out of chocolate and filled with white chocolate mousse. We were in heaven. It almost felt a shame to eat such wonderful creations.
Our final treat was this wonderfully pink cake which was a layered jam sponge.
They also have a vegetarian menu. You can also purchase bespoke afternoon tea vouchers via firstname.lastname@example.org. The service and food were exactly what you expect from a five-star hotel. What an experience, one we will never forget I’m sure.