The Hello Kitty Secret Garden Afternoon Tea is the first official Hello Kitty pop up cafe in Europe and being at Cutter & Squidge means that all the products are hand made and 100% natural. The afternoon tea is available until 31st August and you can book here (by the looks of things it's very popular so I'd recommend getting a reservation ASAP!).
|Cutter & Squidge, Soho|
|Kitty's Chocolate Mud Pie|
|Looking like I'm about to start reading the Hello Kitty News|
|Cheese scones with cream cheese and red pepper relish and coronation crackers - nice to have savoury scones to offset all the sweetness and these were served warm - yay!|
|Not the best photo but cat-shaped sandwiches were such a cute touch!|
What I loved:- The novelty factor is obviously a huge draw for this tea experience and the whole bakery has been decked out in Hello Kitty style. The basement has been decorated and is super cute - it's a small area but doesn't feel cramped, even when our table was laden with tea and food. The service was better than some high end hotels, drinks were topped up quickly and the food items we requested more of were brought out without delay (I sometimes feel like afternoon tea establishments begrudge you asking for an extra sarin!). There was always a waitress on hand for flagging down when we needed something and they were super friendly (despite being very busy) and happy to take photos of us. The food itself was great - a little different to a standard afternoon tea but all the better for it. Despite being heavy on sweet treats the scones are thankfully savoury (and were lovely) and the sweet foods were not overly sweet, I wasn't expecting to like the pink lemonade or the famous biskie but neither was sickly sweet and while afternoon tea isn't exactly virtuous this one didn't leave me needing to nap for the rest of the afternoon.
What I less-than-loved:- Our table wasn't ready when we arrived at 2pm for our reservation but we were given somewhere to sit and our welcome drinks of pink lemonade. I knew that there was a table turning policy (an incentive not to arrive late!) and after an hour we were warned that our table would soon be needed. This didn't come as a surprise and I understand how incredibly popular this tea is but just a warning if you are used to long leisurely afternoon teas where you can sit around for a while until the sugar rush wears off - this isn't one of them! £40 per person is not cheap but for the quantity and quality of food its not bad, again, its a novelty experience and I think the price is justified but its very much a cafe setting and not as luxurious as a hotel afternoon tea of the same price. The menu mentions ice cream which didn't materialise but we didn't lack for food and, as previously mentioned, the timescale is quite tight so by the time you've marvelled at the cuteness, taken photos and eaten the last mouthful its time to leave.
If you're a Hello Kitty fan I'd totally recommend this tea - I still have a smile on my face while writing this and a small dose of cuteness goes a long way.