As many of you know I’m a fan of afternoon tea, so when the Boozy Bunch was asked if we wanted to come and try Little Nan’s Afternoon Tea at Sutton House, I was throwing up my hand, jumping up and down and shouting “Me! Me!” … as much as you can do that over email.
I asked my friend Jekat to accompany me. She was 10 minutes late, but so was nearly everybody else. I’m not surprised, as Sutton House is sitting a little bit off the beaten track in the middle of Hackney and needs to be found. Maybe you could make it part of a fun scavenger hunt? The Afternoon Tea is in conjunction with Little Nan’s Pop Up bar, who have these tipsy afternoon teas all over town this summer. This particular one gives you access and a tour of Sutton House. Our tour guide gave us a lovely overview of the property and its history, but I have to admit I was too hungry to really listen carefully after the first half hour. The tour normally last around an hour, so don’t go if you are on the verge of starvation.
The menu included two servings of cocktails per person. The cocktail menu was presented in a little envelope on the table and included a lot of interesting combinations of alcohol.
We were told we could go with individual cocktails or we could order teapots (two servings per pot) of cocktails. Of course we decided on teapots. The first was called “Duchesse Anne-Sophie” and included earl grey gin, tonic, cucumber, fresh lemon and prosecco. I have to say they give you more than two servings of cocktail per teapot. When we had a look inside the tea pot to check how close to the bottom we were, we actually saw some tea bags… in booze! As I didn’t detect any earl grey flavour I assume the cold booze didn’t do the tea bags any favours. For our second choice we chatted up our lovely waitress… who turned out to be the mother of the Little Nan’s inventor, and so we asked her what her son preferred. Turns out he really likes “I Love Boney M” which included vodka, Licor 43, raspberry puree, orange juice and again prosecco. This one really didn’t float our boats. It was way too sweet and somehow tasted really artificial. Sorry, Tristan.
The food included home-baked scones & Little Mum’s raspberry jam with cream, a selection of mini pastries and cakes and the typical sandwiches (smoked salmon and cream cheese/ egg mayo/ ham and mustard/ jam). AND after all that you could choose between carrot cake or Victoria sponge. NO WAY was I able to eat more sweets after all they served already! Everything was served on mix and matched crockery and had a very cute look to it. Personally I think they could have taken it even a little bit further. After all, Little Nan’s is meant to be kitsch and nostalgia incarnated.
All in all, the Little Nan’s Afternoon Tea at Sutton House is a cute idea that needs a bit of polishing. As it was a cold Saturday we were located in the front parlour of Sutton House, which was directly next to the entrance and cash register. It was an OK place, but not particularly cute or quirky. I think it would be nicer to have the tea out in the backyard and, if the weather permit, this will be possible for future afternoon tea enthusiasts. This is a decent and plentiful afternoon tea, which does not stray far from the traditional concept. The cocktails are a very popular idea and I think it will do well with today’s foodies. But I personally wasn’t a fan of the two mixtures I tried. I started a conversation with the neighbouring table, which was occupied by a couple running a blog called Cake & Whisky. After a little chit-chat, I was allowed to try their cocktail. It had ginger beer and whisky in it … again, not a drink I would order a second time. But they definitely are boozy concoctions and I walked out with a nice buzz.
If you are in the area, or if you intend to visit Sutton House, please give this lovely, old-fashioned tipsy affair a try. You can pretend that you are Jane Austen, bitch about the other people nearby, while nibbling on your scone. And yes, Jane Austen was a rather snarky character … just read her books instead of watching the movie.
Afternoon Tea will be served in Sutton House from the 10th July.