Destination Tea: Mad Hatter’s Gin & Tea Party

Where: Downtown Atlanta, Georgia
Style:  Alice in Wonderland banquet/stage set
Tea Selection:  3 tea cocktails (non-alcoholic versions available)
Teatimes:  Select Event Dates (this experience travels to multiple cities)
Reservations: Advance ticket purchase required
Contact: madhatterginteaparty.com
Cost:  $68 Admission (ages 21 and over)
Destination Tea Tips: The dress code is casual but Alice in Wonderland costumes are most welcome. A crazy hat collection is available for guests to borrow as well. The address of each pop-up event will be revealed shortly before the event date.

Mad Hatter's Gin & Tea Party in Underground Atlanta

Destination Tea Notes: A promotional event for Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin, the Mad Hatter’s Gin & Tea Party is a theatrical romp of an evening tea party, this one held at historic Underground Atlanta. The experience is a riotous one with nonstop dialogue and comedy delivered by the Mad Hatter, Dormouse and March Hare, who use the entire space as their stage. Picture the Mad Hatter’s garden tea table set in a nightclub. Blue lights give a neon glow to tables set with an eclectic assortment of chairs and teacups. During one or two lulls in the performance, we meet new friends at our community tables and have a moment to chat, but largely, we are audience members. Under a ceiling covered in cascading flowers, we follow along the fast-paced show, listening for the next saucy punchline and following instructions of when it is time to mix and sip our drinks. Make sure you eat a proper dinner beforehand, because tickets to this 90-minute show include 4 gin tea cocktails with a couple small bites. We suggest taking seriously the assignment to come in costume à la manière d’Alice in Wonderland. We certainly did, and that was part of the fun!

costumes for Mad Hatter's Gin & Tea Party in Underground Atlanta
Queen of Hearts for Mad Hatter's Gin & Tea Party in Underground Atlanta

We found our costume elements in thrift, craft and online stores. Please note my fierce, mercurial, “off with their heads” face.

Mad Hatter's Gin & Tea Party in Underground Atlanta
Like Alice, we had to go underground to find Wonderland.
entering Mad Hatter's Gin & Tea Party in Underground Atlanta
Published in 1865, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was being read at the very same time that the original Underground Atlanta buildings were being constructed.
crazy hat collection at Mad Hatter's Gin & Tea Party in Underground Atlanta
Modeled here is one of the many outrageous tea hats guests may borrow while waiting for the show to begin. This one has babies on it.
through the looking glass at Mad Hatter's Gin & Tea Party in Underground Atlanta
Small groups are invited one at a time to enter through the looking glass…
March Hare at Mad Hatter's Gin & Tea Party in Underground Atlanta
…where the Hare meets us to help us enter Wonderland, with sweet “Drink Me” shots to shrink us.
drink me shots at Mad Hatter's Gin & Tea Party in Underground Atlanta
We place our empty bottles in this retro vanity.
tea time at Mad Hatter's Gin & Tea Party in Underground Atlanta
we're all made here at Mad Hatter's Gin & Tea Party in Underground Atlanta
shrinking hall at Mad Hatter's Gin & Tea Party in Underground Atlanta

Pass through another door to the graffiti’d shrinking hall.

banquet room at Mad Hatter's Gin & Tea Party in Underground Atlanta
Into the low-lit main banquet room, where it’s always 6 o’clock
flower ceiling at Mad Hatter's Gin & Tea Party in Underground Atlanta
The performance begins immediately.
alice in wonderland at Mad Hatter's Gin & Tea Party in Underground Atlanta
Group photo time during a quick pause in the show
table setting at Mad Hatter's Gin & Tea Party in Underground Atlanta
Tables are set with a jumble of mismatched teacups, table lamps, flowers and Wonderland paraphernalia.
March Hare at Mad Hatter's Gin & Tea Party in Underground Atlanta
mad hatter at Mad Hatter's Gin & Tea Party in Underground Atlanta

Thankfully the masked actors are miked as they move about the room so that you can still catch their lines. When the Hatter (seemingly a mad genius) had us play “Two Truths and A Lie” to meet our tablemates, he asked me mine, and actually remembered what I told him, divining one of my truths and working it into the show later, telling everyone, “this lady writes about afternoon tea.” Loved it!

roses at Mad Hatter's Gin & Tea Party in Underground Atlanta
pomegranate tea cocktail at Mad Hatter's Gin & Tea Party in Underground Atlanta
Servers pour hot gin into giant glass teacups, into which we infuse a (we guess pomegranate) tisane.
rose pineapple cocktail at Mad Hatter's Gin & Tea Party in Underground Atlanta
For our next cocktail, we are instructed to stir rose petals into a pineapple mix.
absinthe tea cocktail at Mad Hatter's Gin & Tea Party in Underground Atlanta
My favorite drink is the last, prepared by spritzing absinthe over our teacups,
tea cocktail at Mad Hatter's Gin & Tea Party in Underground Atlanta
Which reacts thusly to the poured mixture, like a dream.
tea tray at Mad Hatter's Gin & Tea Party in Underground Atlanta
Each twosome shares a tiered tray with drink-making materials at bottom.
savories at Mad Hatter's Gin & Tea Party in Underground Atlanta
The top tier has two savories and a small cookie for each guest.
mad hatter on the phone at Mad Hatter's Gin & Tea Party in Underground Atlanta
mad hatter taking a call at Mad Hatter's Gin & Tea Party in Underground Atlanta

Before we go, our Mad Hatter needs to take a call.

Alice in Wonderland Themed Tea Parties

Wonderland and Mad Hatter tearooms and themed teas can be found across the United States. Where? See our post about the connection between this iconic children’s story and afternoon tea. In it, you will find a listing of Wonderland-themed afternoon teas around the country, but we also suggest searching your state afternoon tea directory to see if any new ones have popped up more recently.

mad hatter reciting

`Take some more tea,’ the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly.

`I’ve had nothing yet,’ Alice replied in an offended tone, `so I can’t take more.’

`You mean you can’t take less,’ said the Hatter: `it’s very easy to take more than nothing.’

`Nobody asked your opinion,’ said Alice.

`Who’s making personal remarks now?’ the Hatter asked triumphantly.”

DestinationTea
Tea Voyageuse, discovering the world of afternoon tea, based in Atlanta, Georgia.

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