Halloween Afternoon Tea Party at Dotty’s Tea Garden, Coulsdon

Dotty’s Teahouse in Carshalton is a lovely little café that is predominantly pink, with flowers, shabby chic decorations and delicious cupcakes – pretty much a little girl’s dream. They also offer afternoon tea but it isn’t cheap at £32.95 for adults and £19.95 for children. So I jumped at the chance to book a Halloween afternoon tea at £20 for children and £10 for adults – admittedly the adults only got one cake and not a whole afternoon tea but I knew I would end up eating bits of my daughter’s anyway. What I didn’t expect was that she would barely eat any of the afternoon tea making it a bit of a waste of money!

Dotty’s does a lot of themed afternoon teas that sound really good but this one involved activities for children as well. It took place at their sister site, Dottys Tea Garden in Coulsdon. I hadn’t been there before but had been to the park that it’s set in – Rickman Hill. Dotty’s is in a former cricket pavilion and doesn’t look as nice from the outside as you approach from the side (unlike the Carshalton tea room that is very pink) but they have made a real effort with the front, full of flowers and of course lots of decorations as soon as you step through the door – in this case Halloween themed amongst the floral signs.

Each child got a proper cake stand with their afternoon tea selection – a hot dog in a roll cut into two and carrot sticks on the bottom, some cheese sandwiches and cucumber slices in the middle tier and a cupcake, a decorated biscuit and a few sweets on the top, plus a choice of squash, hot chocolate or babycino to drink. 

The adults could have a hot drink (which I think had unlimited refills, but I only had one) and a slice of cake or a small cupcake. It was nice but to be honest not really £10 worth for the adults or £20 for the children even though the children got to do crafts as well. I also asked for sweetener for my coffee and was told they didn’t have any, only sugar.

My daughter barely ate any of her afternoon tea as she was more interested in going over to the craft table. There was a selection of crafts laid out on the table including scratch off masks, pom poms and pipe cleaners and other things I couldn’t really see – my daughter only did one of the masks. There were also glitter tattoos which she got several of – one on each side of her face and one on her arm, with a lady doing them – and a cardboard photo frame you could hold up to pose for a picture. All the children were in fancy dress and I realised afterwards the advert for the event had said there would be a fancy dress competition but there was no mention of it.

My daughter had fun with her friend and I enjoyed the opportunity to chat with her mum over a cup of tea; they also had a great time in the playground outside afterwards. I think the event was a little expensive for what we got and it was disappointing there was no fancy dress competition (or sweetener!) but it was a good event and a nice balance to some of the more high energy (ie soft play) things that we did during half term!

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