Alice and the Hatter
24 Williams Street • Herne Bay • Kent CT6 5EQ • 01227 467937
29A St. Margaret’s Street • Canterbury CT1 2TG • 01227 286610
This colourful and playful tearoom, the first of a planned chain of five, is totally devoted to Alice in Wonderland, where teacups are chairs, and the walls are decorated with giant toadstools and quotes such as “Would you like a little more tea?” “Curiouser and Curiouser,” and “It’s no use going back to yesterday.” A Queen of Hearts table with a large throne for a special guest is set ready for an “unbirthday” party, a baby shower, or family gathering. A grassy nook provides more seating, cushions carry illustrations of Tenniel’s Alice, and standing around the room are some of the Wonderland characters—Alice herself (who greets you at the door), a pink flamingo, a dodo, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, and a life-size Knave of Hearts.
The wonderfully entertaining and clever menu includes beverages in the “Begin at the Beginning” section, breakfast items are headed “Who in the World Am I?” and main dishes, listed under “The Hatter’s Table,” include Down the Rabbit Hole, The March Hare, The Queen’s Croquet, and The Golden Afternoon. The soundtrack to tea is from the original 1951 movie, and owner Nathan Rivers says it is “an infectious workplace soundtrack if ever there was one … we encourage staff to bring their own nonsense to work and sing along for as long and as loud as they can….” Kate and Nathan Rivers’ journey to bring Alice to their seaside hometown began after a family visit to Florida’s Disney World. They now plan similar tearooms in Brighton and Oxford and have an ambition to also take Alice and the Hatter to New York and Florida.