Mad Hatter's Tea Party

Tea time was a bit madder than usual at the Royal Alexandra and Albert School on Tuesday. Seven hundred excited pupils were treated to a Mad Hatter’s tea party, complete with Alice in Wonderland inspired food and drinks.

The Mad Hatter’s tea party was part of the School’s Explore Week, which gives pupils the opportunity to spend the entire week outside in the School’s 260 acres site and take part in a number of activities. This year, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, all of the activities have a touch of Alice.

The idea for the Mad Hatter’s tea party started small, with a member of staff asking for a few jam tarts for pupils. With the help of the School’s caterers, Harrison Catering Services, and the PTA, a few jam tarts became a whole-school Mad Hatter’s tea party.

The tea party was held in the School’s dining hall, which was transformed with pink tinted windows and Alice in Wonderland music. As pupils entered the dining hall, they were greeted by a huge Cheshire Cat and a mural of Alice in Wonderland. Decks of giant playing cards were strewn across the walls and floors, and there were large flowers, chess pieces and mushrooms peeking out from every corner.

The main focus of the afternoon, however, was the beautifully presented and delicious food. The School’s caterers outdid themselves by creating intricate little chocolate cups, heart-shaped shortbread biscuits, strawberry and apricot jam tarts decorated with edible Alice in Wonderland pictures, chequered chocolate and vanilla cake, chocolate chip muffins, tiny cupcakes, as well as traditional scones and finger sandwiches.

The children loved the decorations and the food, and went back to their tables with plates full of treats. As they ate, they could nibble on chocolate buttons and jelly beans that decorated the tables. For drinks, they had the choice of green lemonade and smoothies that had been made in-house by the School’s caterers.

Headmaster, Mr Spencer Ellis, was delighted with how well received the tea party was. “Our staff and caterers have put on a fantastic Mad Hatter’s tea party. A lot of effort was made with the decorations and food, and they transformed a dining hall into a wonderland. For our pupils, this special treat is one that they are unlikely to forget. It was a fantastic experience and I want to thank everyone involved for giving up their time to make sure that our pupils had a wonderful afternoon tea.”

Barny Cross, Executive Chef Manager, commented: “The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party was a massive success with a lot of stunned silence from juniors and an awful lot of “wows” from the staff and pupils. The catering team would like to say thank you to the staff who helped make the evening a great success and also to the School and PTA for helping fund the evening.”

02 Jul 2015

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