Welcome to the Ex-Official Blog of Writer, Presenter & Crafts Expert Momtaz Begum-Hossain which stopped being active on 31st August 2016.

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Thursday 25 August 2011

Batman Live Review: London Gala Opening Night

Living out my ultimate fantasy - a date with the Caped Crusader

My obsession with Batman started when as a girl I became hooked on the 1960s TV series starring Adam West and Burt Ward as the dynamic due who fuelled my imagination with their ability to beat up bullies with a host of Batfight words (my favourite being 'OOOFF!') and indigenous ways to save the city simply by wearing brash coloured capes. I went on to fall in love with every movie made, whether they starred the original dream duo, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney or Christian Bale. There is a deep magnetic force between me and anything to do with The Bat and perhaps this explains why for the four consecutive nights leading up to watching the Live Show, I dreamt about it. But nothing in my brain could conjure up the sheer spectacle that awaited me. It started in the ticket queue. Swarms of excited bats (miniature and giant) shrieked with excitement and anticipation as did their enemies. All the iconic characters were represented in the crowd - several Poison Ivy's, Robins, (even pink Batmen) but my favourite was an entire family...mum, dad, three kids and their uncle dressed from head to toe in Bat Clobber. Yet what soon transpired was that the show is not just for Bat Fans (though if you are one, it's compulsory you attend); the story that unfolds is a complete 'all you need to know' about Batman, making it the perfect introduction.

It was a Dark Night in Gotham
As I sat down, the Arena dissolved all around me and I forgot I was in a room alongside thousands of people. I was drawn in by the distant blare of sirens screeching through the urban metropolis. The menacing night sky of Gotham City so captivating, that it was all eyes on the stage from start to finish, with a mouth gaping wide throughout. The staging is undoubtedly the star of the show. A towering batshapped LED video screen dominates, yet is by no means a giant TV. Through it, pages of a colossal comic book transport you through time and space. It’s almost like watching a 3D animation with the rule books on perspective and reality thrown out of the window, no more so then when you step through the doors of Wayne Manor.
The wonders of Wayne Manor
The biggest ripple of applause came with the unveiling of the Batmobile. By this point, most of the audience had lost their inhibitions. For the second half of the show it had descended into a pantomime with the crowd cheering and applauding (booing only at the villains) – shouts of ‘Go Batman’ ‘Yeah Batman’ ‘BATMANNNNNNNN!’ being hurled from all directions by children and their parents alike.
Colourful crooks
No Bat Story would be complete without villains and each made their own astonishing entrance again to rapturous cheers. Each and every one was impeccably acted, the mysticism of Catwoman, intoxicating beauty of Poison Ivy, quirkyness of Two-Face, humour of The Penguin, eeriness of The Riddler and jovial nature of the lesser known Harley Quinn. The Joker their ring-leader, was so convincing that whoever was inside the costume was clearly born to play the role. Batman and Robin captured their traditional characteristics every inch the way you wanted them to; Robin with his youthful energy and Batman displaying the right dose of comical campness whilst retaining his masculine charm.

Oh what a night!
Batman Live is melodrama at its best. It contains every single ingredient needed to create perfection and achieves it: action, intrigue, special effects, horror, romance, tear-jerking moments, a proper storyline and amazing death-defying stunts all thrown in to concoct a show that children will remember for the rest of their lives and that will make adults feel proud. The cast is made up of 43 actors and acrobats who present elaborate circus style performances and choreography that far surpasses any other West End stage show of recent years. The audience is kept on their toes throughout not knowing who’s coming from where or when at any point, be it from the sky or the floor opening up. The pulsating score captures the darkness and secrecy of the world’s most criminal city while the rainbow coloured costumes of the underworld add an alternative twist to the proceedings.(It helps if you bring binoculars to admire them - luckily I had two pairs!).

Missing cast member?
Watching Batman Live isn’t just a night out at the theatre, it’s a feast for all your senses, and a complete escape from reality with the same after effects as if you’ve just been on a holiday, except you’re buzzing on a high from the happy atmosphere being generated by all the other witnesses. What’s really welcome is that as entertainment goes, ticket prices are extremely reasonably priced from £20-£35….ok so there’s a bit of saving up to do but it’s no more than a couple of cinema trips.
The show is on in London at The 02 until September 4th before travelling around the UK stopping off at Liverpool, Nottingham, Dublin and Belfast then heading to the US next summer.
Time for a glass of 'Penguinn Punch'
If you watch the show in London there's also the option of enjoying some post-show Bat Cocktails!

And just incase my photos aren’t enough to entice you, watch this trailer to experience a bit of the action, though I warn you, it’s just a mere teaser…you need to get a ticket to really understand what I've been talking about!  

Tickets for UK and The Republic of Ireland are on sale now.
For more information go to www.batmanlive.com

Sunday 21 August 2011

Batman Crafts

No.1 Knitted face mask
I love Batman. He's my favourite super hero and this week I'm feeling extremely excited as Batman Live the stage show is coming to London and not just any old part, my home town, Greenwich, so to celebrate I've scoured the web for the best Batman crafts. If only I could own all these things. Starting with with a super cute knitted Bat face mask modelled on Blythe. Actually it doesn't look too hard to make, keen knitters can easily adapt a basic hat pattern to recreate their own.
No.2 Printed dress
What a dress, and it looks like it would fit me! I would like to wear it and twirl around all day as it has a beautiful cut which would swish in the breeze.
No.3 Kicks
But which of these???? The Robin ones are very nice, if not a little 'teeny'...perhaps I am too old to own a pair?
No.4 Thong
Ha ha, not these though, I could definatly wear this!
No.5 Pendant
Hmmm and what a lovely yet simplistic pendant.
No.6 Pinboard
Like many crafters these days I am obsessed by Pinterest but that doesn't mean we should not still have a physical pin board, especially one so fabulous?
No.7 Knitted cuffs
 The classic Bat logo looks good on everything, especially gloves.
No.8 Bento
I wonder if this is what the cast members are lunching on...Batman Bento?
No. 9 Wooden table
 A beautiful handmade table - doesn't even need any colour, it's perfect as it is.
No. 10 Wall sticker
Wow...! This wall sticker makes such a difference to a white room.
Me as Bat Girl
I know..... the auditions and casting are over, but the show is touring, and this is evidence I would  make a brilliant Batgirl....I already have the outfit!!

Wednesday 17 August 2011

The Power of Clothes

Much to the surprise of friends, family and colleagues I decided to embark on an experiment where I was dressed in the opposite to what I normally wear, for an article that appears in the September issue of Psychologies magazine (out now!). I hold strong beliefs that one should never be told how to dress. We are all individuals perfectly capable of deciding what we like wearing. Some people market themselves as 'experts' in knowing how to dress, something I find very odd. There's no right or wrong answers to fashion. I do understand that not everyone has the time to think about what to wear but I would never agree that a person doesn't possess the 'creativity' to dress themselves. Knowing I would have to wear black clothes for a day filled me with fear, it's something I've never done. It signifies formality, rules and regulations (just stand upstairs at a train station during rush hour and look down on the hundreds of ant like people going about their business in the same shade), it's so suffocating. Then there are girls who wear black because they think it makes them slimmer. I find this really sad, there are so many ways to make your body look good without the need to resort to wearing black.
This is me in the 'before the makeover' photo, looking normal; mixing and matching colours, patterns and textures. It's the kind of outfit that makes me feel full of positive energy. And just to prove it wasn't something I put together for the magazine article I wanted to show you my wardrobe and some photos of me taken over the last decade.
My wardrobe
To tell you the truth, I actually have two wardrobes, this is just one of them. I find it useful to display all my garments, footwear and accessories in one place as it helps visualise outfit combinations. There's no point having stuff tucked away in drawers, they get forgotten about. You can read more about where I source my clothes in a previous blog post of mine and see more about my wardrobe in a V&A Museum book called British Asian Fashion, which was published last year. It is a gorgeous book, especially the cover!
Crafting at home 2002
Looking back at photos of my student days is always really exciting though like most folk I experience pangs of jealously about wishing I could return to such a carefree life. When I wasn't studying for my geography degree I was generally busying myself crafting and looking for fabulous clothes. I made the skirt (and canvas) from fabric bought in Ikea, though sadly as it was made to measure the 21 year old me, it no longer fits : (
University of Sussex graduation 2003
On graduation day I was the only student not wearing black and white and I remember my tutors being extremely excited about it and telling me afterwards now happy Richard Attenborough (his eyes popped out apparently) was when he saw me on stage (I was lucky enough to be handed my certificate by the man himself!) My only regret was when I received my main photograph. The arm clutching my scroll also has a plastic lovehearts watch on, which looked really tacky, but in time I've grown to appreciate this as even though it was a prestigious and traditional occasion, it still captured my style, and who I was aged 22.
Out in the country
When some people go into the country they like to wear colours that blend in to the background like khaki barbour coats or dark trousers - not me! This was taken some years ago on a random visit to the sussex coast where even though it was a long outdoor walk I'm still clutching an Anna Sui handbag.
Glamour puss look 2006
My first book launch in 2006 gave me an excuse to treat myself to a proper Asian outfit. I have always loved them but they are very pricey and out of my budget. I found this gorgeous shalwar kameez in Southall. It shimmers and shines in every direction and is detailed with tiny rainbow coloured sequins.
Weekend attire 2005
At weekends I like to dress comfortably whilst exploring the streets, events and activities of Londinium; this is me in my casual attire. It's the most dressed down I normally get...
At home/just woken up look! 2007
Apart from at home where I tend to live in my dressing gown! This is also a lesser spotted photo of me with no make up on (well I had just woken up!) but that's potentially a subject for a future blog post!
At work 2008
When I'm teaching crafts (one of my jobs!) I like to represent what I'm teaching. This was a fashion course so I dressed accordingly - I'm a strong believer in dressing for the occasion.
The article
So that was just a snapshot of my clothes, (it's always fun looking back at old photos). And now back to the article which is called 'Can what you wear change your identity?'. I am in 100% agreement that the answer is yes. I won't go into repeating what the article says (you'll have to pick up a copy to read that), but wearing something you don't normally wear is proof of that. Being in black made me feel so ordinary and invisible which in turn made me loose my confidence and my smile (though clearly I am smiling below but that was more to do with the 'moment' of being the subject of a photoshoot!)
My 'Make Under'
Afterwards we were given the clothes that we had been styled in to keep but I couldn't face wearing any of them ever again. They symbolised complete oppression, as though they were a 'uniform' so I gave them all away. Maybe I have too much emotional attachment with clothes and maybe other people don't feel this way, they can wear anything and feel completely normal? I actually think most people stay safe by choosing a particular theme to their clothing whether that's smart, casual or vintage; they find their look and stick to it. I've never considered myself to have a theme, but maybe I do, my theme is basically to feel happy and for me that comes through wearing colour. There's is no doubt that clothes are a powerful medium in which to express yourself, but you won't truly feel that until you start experimenting.

Sunday 14 August 2011

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside....

If only...
No this isn't my Beach Hut, but I am photographed in beach hut heaven, aka Whitstable; a quaint little seaside resort on the Kent coast. I first came here in 2001 and remember thinking this was a place that had a personality like no other. I returned in 2005 to do a photoshoot for a magazine. We shot inside a beautiful home that was a refurbished school. I also travelled through briefly when I was camping on the Kent coast in 2009 but a fortnight ago when the sun was shining, I went on a daytrip, to properly reminisce over that first trip, enjoy the sights and indulge in being a tourist.
Beach hut paradise
Beach huts are the backdrop to Whistable in bright, bold colours, all with different themes. Looking inside them and seeing how people use them is fascinating - some people have beds, kitchens, children's buckets and spades or they really go to town with elaborate themes; most look like they belong in the pages of an interiors magazine. If I had one I wouldn't know where to start - there's so many possible design ideas and obviously I would love a crafty one where I could keep my sewing machine and make things whilst looking out to the sea. This photo was taken while I was standing in the water looking back at the huts. It was very shallow in parts, you could walk right out and from a distance it seemed like people could walk out to the horizon.
Fresh oysters
Whitstable has an international reputation for being the best place to eat oysters in the UK. I had never tried an oyster in my life as I don't get the concept of eating oysters and champagne indoors...outside with sea air, feels so much more natural. And so here I was in the land of oysters, it was time to finally eat one! Bought from a stall on the harbour, the woman there explained if I'd never had one before I could pick it out with a fork and swallow if I didn't want to chew. Nah...I wanted to do it properly so I tilted my head back poured it in and chewed it up! It was incredibly fresh and creamy in texture and so fun to eat that I immediately ordered another one. They were 60p each and as I went through town I noticed the prices varied - this was the best deal by far.
No they aren't all my shells!
They certainly get through their oysters here! Shells were randomly piled up all over the place, though I didn't work out what they do with them...
Shell art
Apart from that some people use them for their art. I thought these miniature paintings were a brilliant idea. I spotted them in amongst the market stall huts on the harbour; a hive of crafty goodness and  fresh treats to eat.
Crafty shopping
I bought some pretty beads from this bead hut, 1/2 the price of what they are in London!
Fab window display
And it the main town centre was intrigued by the fancy window displays left over from a recent competition.
Knit-tastic bike
These knitted bikes however topped off the day. Parked outside an amazing store called Taking The Plunge filled with all sorts of handmade loveliness they were made a group calling themselve Incogknito. I don't know anything about them as their website doesn't work and all I found whilst researching was other people who photographed the bikes for their blogs. However I did find out that the artists involved are called Dropzitch, Beat-Knit, Knit-Nurse, K.1. P.1, Ann Gora, 2 ply, Sal Paca, Knit Whit...I would love friends with names like that!
Yummy bike
I also visited the exhibition space inside The Horsebridge Arts Centre. It was filled with beautiful works, many of which were made my local people. I was most drawn to this...well who wouldn't be? It's just the kind of bike I want!
What's that smell?
And if you think you've seen it all when it comes to lavender, you need to pop to Whitstable Lavender - a whole shop selling lavender products, I picked up some fragrant lavender fudge (I have a thing for lavender in food) and a wheat bag since my two at home have been mauled through by mice. 
I also managed to have a relaxing nap in the sun, watch boules in the castle gardens and stop off for fish and chips which is compulsory when you're visiting the British seaside. The trip was made even more special because I was tweeted some tips of what to do and see by Catriona Campbell who runs creative workshops and breaks in Whitstable called 'Escape to Create.' It certainly was an escape and reminded me of the power just a few hours visiting somewhere can have. A good daytrip gives you the same relaxed energy as if you've been away for a few weeks whilst knowing it was so much cheaper! Whitstable differs from other parts of the coast because it has a genuine creative energy with a focus on the natural beauty and local produce rather than chain shops, arcades and tourist tat. It's warm and welcoming and very relaxing, even if you can only pop here for a couple of hours, do!

Monday 8 August 2011

How not to get stressed

Number 1: Adopt an attitude like Charlie
Meet Charlie, a monkey who's the same age as me - 30 years. And yet while I'm generally in some sort of state of panic that I should be doing this, need to do that, could be somewhere else, should be earning 'x' and stressing that I ought to be be owning 'y', you'll generally find him, chillaxing, taking deep breaths and enjoying life, worry free. Yes I know he's a monkey but seriously, sometimes I look at him and think why can't I be more like you? I read a really powerful article this week about stepping back and taking a break from setting goals. I've always been goal driven. I have continous lists of things to do by a certain time and take great joy in ticking them off (though not for a while.) The pride has been fading and now I know why. It's good to have a sense of direction but when it starts controlling your life to the point you start feeling inadequate because you're failing in some way, that's when you need to stop and let go. I don't want to look back on my life and think I spent most of it being stressed. I'm on a mission to eradicate stress from every element of my life. Yes it's romanticised, unrealistic and rose-tinted but surely it's worth a try? Already since reading the article the feeling that I don't need to be making goals every day has lifted numerous weights off my shoulders. That's not to say I'm going to stop making goals, indeed I have ambitions (big ones!) but they don't need to be timetabled and ticked off like an exam. No, I'm on a mission to enjoy life the Charlie way.
 Number 2: Drink peppermint tea
Ok so some folk prefer coffee, or normal tea. For me, the instant way to relax, catch my breath back and take a  few minutes out for myself is to drink a cup of peppermint tea. The ultimate would be fresh mint leaves in my favourite tea cup but I've never had green fingers. I can't even keep a coriander plant from the supermarket alive for a day let along remember to water plants or even think about growing fresh herbs. So I normally drink the bagged stuff. It's ok, brands do vary but I've grown to accept that. Peppermint shouldn't just be reserved for easing your stomach after a heavy meal, (it's digestive properties are undoubtedly a miracle); it deserves to be drunk throughout the day. It clears your tummy and your head and is refreshing and hydrating. I leave my bag to brew for couple of minutes (some people leave them in for the duration but that's too strong for me) and then I leave it to cool for a further five minutes. At approximately seven minutes (an average depending on shape, size and make of cup, but that's another story) it hits the perfect temperature. With every sip, my whole body tingles, it  hits all the right places and makes me feel so utterly calm. I suspect some folk get this from other means (possibly a glass of wine or cigarette) but with peppermint being so pure and wholesome, it's a much better choice and the after effects are so much more long lasting.
Number 3: Invigorate your senses
Creating the right environment for your activity is vital. Whether that's an office or studio that's conducive to work, a bedroom that's warm and cosy to snuggle up in, or a light and airy living room to read a book. Light and temperature are key ingredients, as are general ambience and smell. I love candles but they're only noticable in the evening. I'm not keen on the synthetic whiff of air fresheners and no one has pou porri these day! Luckily then I recently discovered a brilliant 'Anti-Stress' 'Treating Fragrance', by Elixirs de Bach (£7.95).  I'd never heard of a 'Treating Fragrance' before but it's purpose is to help balance your emotions and behaviour and increase harmony and vitality within you and around you. There are two types in the range 'Conflicts' to lighten the mood in environments clouded by aggression (so good to keep by your desk at work if there's colleagues who like to bicker - you could secretly spray it to encourage calmness) and 'Stress' which is the one I have. It's supposedly helps you unwind after intense work and lifts your spirits when you're exhausted. So that's the theory. In practice this is how it works. You spray it three times above your head and it leaves a soothing lingering peaceful energy. It contains essentials from flowers and has a light floral fragrance as if you have fresh flowers in the room. It feels natural rather than the pungency of artificial plug-ins and almost makes you feel like you have the freshness of outdoors inside. This is perfect for me as at the moment and for the next three months I am locked away in a dark flat with bars on the windows beavering away on my next book. It's not the nicest of environments but the work I'm doing is like 'living the dream.' However that doesn't mean it's not stressful - it absolutely is as because there is a pressure that it has to be perfection (I couldn't settle for anything less otherwise there's no point in doing it.) And so I'm spraying this scent throughout the day in my studio/work room to nip stress in the bud before it grabs me and after week in of testing it I can honestly say I am as yet not stressed - hooray!
Number 4: Visit nature
Nothing beats the pleasures of being outdoors, whether it's visiting the beach, a river or park - being in nature for at least a few minutes every day clears your head instantly especially if you can get it to yourself (I know this isn't always possible but it should be aimed for.) I have an affirmation card stuck on my wall that says 'Everyday try and read a poem, listen to an inspiring piece of music, look at a wonderful painting or go into nature.' It's the latter that I aspire to. My favourite environment (as much as I am a born and bred city girl) is to be near water - whether that's the coast (which these days is rare) or a glimpse of the River Thames. water always makes me feel happier. I hope that one day I'll live somewhere where I can see water from my window and not a brick wall.
Number 5: Get a pet
Until February this year I had never experienced the joys of having a pet - I had no idea how life changing it would be. Having life in the form of an animal in your home is an incredible and precious thing. Miss P gave out so much love and affection that just looking at her or holding her took away all problems and stresses in life. It's similar to being comforted by a cat or a dog, animals are so unselfish they don't want much, just food, shelter and love back. Having her put a new dimension of taking a break from work, it forced me to make time for someone else and that in turn is incredible destressing.
Some people like to run for miles, spend a day getting pampered in a spa or go shopping...there's so many ways to de-stress, if you're having any problems wondering how to find the right treatment for you, maybe give any one, or all of these suggestions a try. It works for me.

Wednesday 3 August 2011

Mad Hatter's Tea

Tea for two
4pm is my favourite time of the day. Without fail I drop what I'm doing, make myself a cup of tea and take a few minutes out. The break normally involves something sweet and yummy too, often a biscuit (ok make that two biscuits), cake, flapjack, shortbread, chocolate...hmmm anything I can get my mitts on! It's not a habit I started because it's now trendy. The last few years has seen a huge resurgence in taking afternoon tea but I'm proud that I grew up with it. I've always been a four meals a day kind of girl, breakfast, lunch, teatime and dinner (and I admit, there's normally a treat at elevensees too...so maybe that's five meals a day?)  After school my dad would always have something ready from Greggs for my sisters and I; an iced ring doughnut, apple turnover and sometimes a coconut cheesecake. These days the teatime ritual isn't as fun, I normally enjoy it on my own unless it's the weekend. And one such weekend passed a couple of weeks ago. Whilst researching places to take tea in London I heard about The Mad Hatter's Tea at the Sanderson Hotel. Promising a tea time experience like none you've witnessed before, the entire menu is inspired by Alice in Wonderland ...it sounded like the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon with my best friend as she celebrated her 30th birthday. We've known eachother since we were 16 and everything about the concept of this tea summed us up then and now; we both love daydreaming and fantasies and are suckers for fairytales.

Rainbow sarnies
So what was in this extraordinary tea? After the tea was ordered (I chose Freshmint and she opted for English Breakfast) which was served in gorgeous iron teapots, the type you often get in spas, we were presented with rainbow finger sandwiches made from yellow saffron and green spinach bread. There's not much you can say about a sandwich and infact one finger was too soggy to eat, it just makes you feel like you've at least had something savoury to balance out the forthcoming sugar rush.
Looks yummy....
And of course we had  to start with this Queen of Hearts 'Heart'. Obviously in that appealing shade of pink it looked fabulous but when things look this pretty they don't always live up to expectation. Thankfully it exceeded every single fantasy....
Tastes like the best thing ever!
We both agreed it was one of the tastiest 'dessert' items we've ever eaten and it didn't even contain a sprinkling of chocolate. Inside was a smooth, creamy, fluffy, melt in the mouth strawberry mouse on a light sponge base. It was divine and memorable and without a doubt the best afternoon tea item I've ever eaten!
Excitement mounts....
And in true Alice style there was a concoction on the table baring a label with 'Drink Me' on it. Promising to taste like Apple Pie, Lemon Curd and English Toffee, you're supposed to experience each flavour as you sip through the straw. Nice concept but in truth it looked and tasted like Pepto Bismol but don't let that put you off...
Where's the rabbit, we have his watch!
The chocolate and coffee sponge watch was missing its chain but luckily it didn't need one. Like a gateaux it was rich, sweet and felt a bit naughty.
Lollies to lick
To let you reminisce about childhood memories there are also yummy lollies - the hazelnut praline pop which you have to put in your mouth in one go - do not attempt to bite it, and a blueberry lollipop.

 One thing I'm abit confused about is that when I booked last month the price of the tea was £25 which I thought was an absolute bargain for such an amazing spread but when I checked today it had risen to £35....a very steep rise. Luckily I found this special offer so you can experience a Mad Hatter's Tea for £26.25 if you go before September 30th though sadly it is only valid Monday-Thursday.
So it's actually very much a luxury treat, best reserved for very especial occasions. Infact there's no reason why you can't make a whole daytrip out of your visit. Staying at the hotel is impossible unless you're a lottery winner (rooms start at over £500 for the night with the penthouse costing a staggering £3k per night.) But alas you can still live the highlife inside this incredible boutique hotel for free by enjoying its stunning reception area. On entering you are greeted by a Dali inspired lips sofa...it is my ultimate dream to own this sofa, it is pure design magnificence.
One day I will own this sofa...
But it is not the only piece of beautiful furniture...The Sanderson is chair heaven.
...and this chair!
This swing chair had a soft fluffy cushion as a seat and venturing inside it was like a mini adventure in itself.
Sci-fi seat
This chair was the most unique, it's a kind of capsule which you can lie back in and be closed up. It was solid and hard but even so, surprisingly comfortable.
Top model
I'm not going to share all the chairs (some should be kept a secret that you'll only discover if you visit the hotel) but this one above was inside a kind of games room. I love this photo. Rukia is sooooooo photogenic she looks amazing in all her photos but this one is just pure class.
What a wall!

Every aspect of the hotel is mind boggling...mainly because from the outside it's the most non-descript looking concreate block, but as soon as you step inside you're transformed to another world. From the loos to the bar chairs to the space themed lifts that make you go 'wow', it's such an exciting place to visit. Pop in next time if you are ever near Oxford Street, it's just a short walk and is worth every footstep getting there.

Mad Hatter's tea is now also available as a takeaway picnic (£30) from The Sanderson and it's sister hotel St Martin's Lane and comes with maps and bicycle hire so you can discover your own wonderland in Londinium.