IT was the clock I noticed first of all.
“How queer,” I thought to myself. “It’s upside-down”.
I took a seat in the corner of the tearoom, but before I had the chance to look at the menu I noticed something else peculiar.
Just above my head was a free-standing lamp. Nothing strange there you might think – except the lamp was free-standing from the ceiling.
And the ceiling, well, its black-and-white panels looked like a floor.
I began looking around in wonderment.
The red and pink door in the centre of the rear wall was on its head, too, and on the ceiling above it were three steps leading up – or down? – to the door.
Behind me, an upturned wooden yellow chair hung from the ceiling like a stalactite, with a black top hat somehow balancing on the seat.
Across from it was a little coffee table, the insides of the crockery on top staring down on me.
Was it finally happening? Had my scone overeating finally taken its toll? Had all of that self-raising flour made everything around me appear to… self-raise?
Worry not, dear reader. Scone Spy was not losing the place.
Rather, I was in a lovingly-created establishment based on Alice in Wonderland.
Alice’s Tearooms in Lytham St Annes is a little off the beaten track of the seaside town’s thoroughfare.
Up and over the crescent, heading away from the promenade and around the corner towards a residential street, I would imagine Alice’s doesn’t benefit from too much passing trade.
Yet the place is bustling when we arrive, which is why we end up in the upside-down room next door.
There is barely a free spot on the walls or shelves that doesn’t contain some sort of memorabilia to the Lewis Carroll story, and the love poured into the tearoom shines through.
And that includes the menu.
There is a Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea, a Queen of Hearts’ Cream Tea, Alice’s Special Potions (which can be added to lemonade or coke) and a blackboard full of freshly-baked cakes that cater for gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan diets.
I have the lemonade, which comes to me in a jar, while my other half has the loose leaf Earl Grey tea, which arrives in a lovely teapot.
The vegan chocolate brownie was beautiful but it’s the scone that truly impresses.
Almost rectangular, it resembled a rock cake more than a scone, but tasted delicious.
The tanginess of the fruit complemented the sugar granules baked into the top. And it had been heated without me having to ask.
I’d happily go down the rabbit hole if it meant having a scone like that again.
Warm welcome 8/10 Location, Location 7/10, Scone Score 9/10
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