I want to start sharing with you some of the best blog posts that I have read recently. I don’t know if this will become a regular feature or if I will do it once in a while, but let’s give it a go anyway!
It was my little sister’s 21st birthday in March, so to celebrate, I took her to Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea at the Sanderson Hotel in London. We were both so excited to go, some friends of mine had been just before us and told us how amazing it was. Alice in Wonderland is such a unique story so we had high hopes that the afternoon tea would be just as special.
Upon arrival we were shown to our table under a canopy in a garden in the centre of the hotel. In the middle was a really pretty water feature and either side were tables filled up with families celebrating birthdays, and groups of friends on girly days out. The waitress brought over the menu which was in the middle of an old book and it detailed exactly what we could expect from the Mad Hatter’s experience. She then placed a silver tray with four glass vials filled with flavoured teas on our table and invited us to smell them and decide what we’d like to accompany our food. All of them smelled gorgeous, it was a tough choice between, strawberries and cream, apple pie, mint chocolate chip and rhubarb and custard. I went for the latter and it was amazing!
The details were very well thought out, from a riddle from the novel serving as a napkin ring, sugar lumps stashed away in a vintage jewellery box, and paper crowns worn by the teapot King of Hearts. These extra touches really helped to make it all feel extra special.
When the beautiful cake stand arrived were both pretty much the heart eye emoji. They very top tier boasted a monochrome teacup on top with live pea shoots growing from it, Hiding in amongst the greenery were two carrot meringues and underneath were some strawberry and cream marshmallows. The middle tier was where the magic really happened. A clock shaped Victoria sponge, mango and white chocolate cheesecake and white chocolate and matcha green tea mousse in a chocolate tea cup. Everything was delicious, but very sweet!
The bottom tier had some mini scones, one type traditional and the other a savoury spinach version, plus herb butter, strawberry jam and clotted cream. The tiny brown bottles had, in true Alice in Wonderland style, little labels saying “drink me”. The potion was delicious and made up of coconut cream and passion fruit puree – unfortunately it seemed to have no effect on us… The sandwiches and quiches were probably my favourite part. I am a lover of savoury flavours, and they were definitely needed to balance out the sweetness of the cakes.
Our experience at the Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea was completely perfect, it was the attention to detail as well as the fantastic service and well thought out menu that really made it something special. London has plenty of places that offer afternoon tea, but if you are after one that stands out from the crowd, this is definitely the one for you.
for dystopian fiction really ignited. I was chatting to my favourite tutor in an office hour about an essay question for
a module on James Joyce and mentioned my love for Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and she encouraged
me to pursue my interest and write about it as a dissertation topic. Now
whenever I research new books to read, I always search for books in this genre
first. My boyfriend thinks it is weird and depressing, but clearly there is a
growing interest in dystopian literature shown by the huge success of novels
such as The Hunger Games, Divergent and
The Maze Runner. So if you like these
books, you should definitely keep reading to find out more about Hugh Howey’s Wool.
loved it so much that Howey released four more parts to complete book one of the Silo trilogy. You can now buy an omnibus version of the book to save
yourself some money – or if you are feeling extra keen (like me!) you can also
buy the whole trilogy.
largely destroyed by a disaster and it focuses on the survivors who live deep
underground in a huge multi-storey silo that houses everything from farms to
hospitals. A view of the outside can only been seen from the very top level,
displayed on a huge screen that is linked with cameras on the outside. The
world outside is desolate and bleak and talk of going outside is forbidden,
punished by exile into the barren landscape and a certain death that lies
there. However there are a few in the silo that dare to dream and dare to push
the boundaries to find out more about what really happened years ago and what
lies beyond the hills.
impression this book was going to be aimed at teens with a fairly simple plot
that would be predictable but an enjoyable and quick read. I’m not sure where I
got this idea from because in reality, Wool
is complex, but not overcomplicated and I found it was something I could really
get my teeth into. There was so much to learn about the way the characters live
I was hungry for more and more (so glad I bought the trilogy collection now!).
While it does focus on adult characters, it is suitable for teen readers too,
but be warned it isn’t a mushy Twilight style love story which unfortunately I
think The Hunger Games and Divergent etc focuses on a little too
much (just my opinion…!).
the post-apocalyptic scenario was fascinating and the fact that the residents
of the silo know little or nothing of their legacy just screams that there is a
lot more to discover. The air of mystery was captivating and kept me turning
the pages to claw in more and more of this new world.
be a stretch too far for some who prefer quicker and lighter reads. It has been
described by others as a slow burner, but in my opinion this made it all the
more interesting and gave a real opportunity for Howey to convey life in the
silo and develop his characters.
are fascinating and due to the storytelling, I felt part of their world and
connected well with them. There is a perfect balance of goodies and baddies to
keep the story ticking along at an exciting pace to find out what they do next.
It is told from different perspectives
which really helped to explain how different roles fit into the matrix of the
silo as well as giving an insight into their state of mind which is a huge
developing theme across the trilogy.
in the series Shift which I am now
coming to the end of and I have to say, I think I am obsessed with this trilogy,
so I highly recommend it if you are looking for your next big read.