Afternoon Tea | Sherlock’s Mind Palace & Mini Mystery

Exterior of Doyle's Opticians in the W12 centre, Shepherds Bush

Anyone that knows me will know I love an afternoon tea. I’ve been to so many throughout the years – from themed teas, boozy teas, unconventional teas and some of the best teas in London!

For Christmas, Ash bought me a Buy A Gift voucher for an afternoon tea with a twist – it was at a secret location, had a Sherlock Holmes theme and there was a mini mystery to solve (as well as a glass of fizz to enjoy).

The secret speakeasy was in Shepherds Bush, at the aptly named, Sherlock’s Mind Palace. We checked out of The Hoxton and hopped on the tube to head west, and to W12. Following the instructions given in the confirmation email, we managed to find Doyle’s Opticians.

From the outside, it certainly looked like an opticians – with pairs of glasses on shelves next to mirrors. There were people in the waiting room and a member of staff sat behind a computer the desk in the centre of the ‘shop’. The door was locked, so I pressed the intercom buzzer…

“Hello. I’m interested in buying contact lenses.”

The door opened. I gave my name and was told to take a seat. It wasn’t long before a man called Stamford came to collect us and took us through to… the Mind Palace!

We sat in the library room for our tea – surrounded by books, but not all of them real. We gave our names to Stamford, only to be told we would be referred to as Stamford too – in fact, everyone in the building was! We got settled, ordered our tea (pots of breakfast tea all round), and requested our fizz came with the food, and then took a look at our mystery.

It was a logic puzzle. They’re my favourites in a puzzle book, although they can be tricky to solve. There were 18 clues and we had to figure out which of the five houses the assassin lived in. Luckily for me, it couldn’t be solved without using the hints – of which there were three. I think I cracked it in about 10-15 minutes, by which time, the food arrived at the table, and everything was explained to us (oh, and I had my glass of fizz to celebrate my win).

Cake stand of savouries including mini quiche, muffin and finger sandwiches

The savouries included:

  • Tuna mayo pretzel brioche
  • Mushroom quiche
  • Veggie muffin
  • Cream cheese & cucumber finger sandwich (on white bread)
  • Turkey, ham and cheese with mustard mayo finger sandwich (on brown bread)

I was pleasantly surprised by the mushroom quiche (as someone that used to hate mushrooms), and it reminded me of the one included in the afternoon tea at French Affaire. The veggie muffin had a strong savoury flavour and was so tasty. The finger sandwiches were light and dainty – classic yet delicious. I loved that there were savouries, as opposed to all sandwiches.

Cake stand with a selection of cakes, pastries and scones

The sweet treats included:

  • Scones with Rodda’s clotted cream and mini pots of strawberry jam
  • Lemon meringue tart
  • Apple & cinnamon cake
  • Raspberry, hazelnut, and chocolate choux bun
  • Chocolate brownie

Which was my favourite? I have to say the choux bun – the pastry was light, the combination of flavours indulgent and divine. The lemon meringue was sharp – in a good way. I do love a tart lemon pudding. The meringue was also soft, and cloud-like. The chocolate brownie was fudgy without being too rich – and also check out the Sherlock reference detailed on the top! I had high hopes for the apple & cinnamon cake, as it’s such a winning combination of flavours – but it was definitely more cinnamon than apple… in fact, I didn’t taste the apple. A shame as it looked fantastic!

It’s always a good sign of an afternoon tea when you manage it all and don’t leave feeling overly full… which is exactly what happened! It was a great themed experience and I’d love to return to the Mind Palace for another event – there are a couple of escape rooms and an immersive cocktail experience, or even drinks at the bar sounds great!

Love, Lucy xx

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Love, Lucy xx

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