Afternoon Tea at Tea Studio, Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

London, UK
April 2016

The Tea Studio is a boutique that sells loose leaf tea, tea ware, art, and also hosts events.  Located in the London Docklands, it is an 11 minute walk from the East India DLR station.

At first, the walk from the station is a little confusing and not that scenic until you get to Trinity Buoy Wharf (you are walking next to the highway).  Luckily the directions listed on the website and Google maps, got me to the studio without too much trouble.  The area is full of different businesses, artsy touches, and even a parkour gym.

The Tea Studio, itself, is actually the office.  The space doubles as a place for events like Tea Tastings, Tea & Cheese, and The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.

The hosts, in the photo below, are Kyle from The Tea Studio, and Kerran from Keke Loves Cake.  Both are extremely friendly and personable and guide you through the tea service explaining about the different teas and food.

Obviously not set up to be a traditional afternoon tea, The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party is a tea “with no rules” and decor to match.

At most, the table can seat 12 people.  With the communal table, you should be prepared to talk with people you don’t know or bring friends!

On arrival, we received a glass of Jasmine Tea Champagne with rice paper card (that you can also eat).  The Jasmine Tea Champagne does not actually contain champagne, or any alcohol for that matter; it’s a sparkling jasmine tea.  The dryness of the sparkling water and clean, freshness of the jasmine tea is reminiscent of champagne.

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Throughout the meal, we needed to decide as a group what we wanted to eat next.

To start, we had Tomato & Mozzarella Bruschetta with Sencha Oil and Matcha Salt paired with Deep Steamed Sencha tea.  The matcha salt really brought out the tomato flavor in the bruschetta, while the sencha oil was a fresh alternative to olive oil.  The Deep Steamed Sencha Tea was a savory tea that took away any of the leftover acidity on your palate from the tomato.

Next, we had the Deconstructed Trifle Eat Me Drink Me potion pots with the Studio Ceylon tea.  The potion pot was so good.  Especially paired with the ceylon, the earthy flavors of the tea helped to combat the creaminess of the trifle and the tartness of the blueberries.

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Continuing with the Alice in Wonderland theme, we had the Rose Marshmallow Lollipops with Raspberry Paint and Jasmine Pearls tea next.  There was even an activity thrown into the mix (with a prize).  We each chose a rose and painted it red with the raspberry paint.  As fun as that was, the taste was so much better.  The rose and jasmine mixed in a lovely, light floral flavor while the raspberry cut the sweetness of the marshmallow.  This was my favorite pairing of the day.

We decided to go back to savories after the second sweet with the Open Prawn and Sencha Mayo Sandwiches (and matcha salt, of course) with Studio Green tea.  I’m not a huge fan of mayonnaise, but the sencha mayo was light and clean tasting and matched perfectly with the prawns.  The matcha salt on top added a nice salty earthy flavor, while the Studio Green added a grassy-like flavor.  Matched all together, the overall effect was a clean savory, perfect between sweets.  

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The Choc-chip vanilla cake with fresh raspberries, cherry ganache filling and a chocolate-coconut ganache with Oriental Beauty tea was next.  This was my least favorite sweet, but it was still good.  There were a few too many things going on in this cake, that it kind of confused the palate.  The Oriental Beauty, on the other hand, was buttery, sweet, honey flavored, and very tasty.  

*You might have also noticed the little mushrooms throughout the photos.  They are rose marshmallows topped with macarons.  Very cute, very tasty, and bite-sized!

The final sweets were the Vanilla Shortbread Clockface Biscuits with Studio Oolong tea.  The shortbread was deliciously buttery with a nice snap.  With the oolong’s buttery quality, it made the shortbread even more indulgent!

There was also another game, but I won’t give you the details on it!

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For those who aren’t too picky about the location and atmosphere, this is a nice, relaxed, and fun-filled tea.  The food was very good overall; and of course, the tea was great.  You don’t get to pick your teas, but they are paired with each food strategically.  Kyle and Kerran were great hosts and never made you feel shy about any questions.  Plus your tea cup was never empty for long!

If you’re a little apprehensive about going, just bring a friend (and your costume)!

Tea 4.5/5, served by the cup, good variety
Food 4/5
Atmosphere 2/5
Service 4/5
Overall 3.75/5 (rounding up)

Tea Studio
see website for event details

 

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