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  • Victoria Alexandra Cabrini Luckie

My recipe for a Fortnum and Mason "Mad Hatter's Tea Party" Sundae

For my daughter's Birthday Treat in October we had decided to try one of the rose and violet ice-creams at Fortnum’s that we had been eyeing up for some months but been unable to afford. Having tasted both the Rose and Violet ice cream and the Gin and Tonic sorbet as you can see I went off piste with the menu options and asked for both. The Gin and Tonic sorbet to be at the bottom of the glass to act as a refreshing palette cleanser, and for it to be topped with rose petals and crystallised violets. The name was inspired by an earlier visit to the store (detailed on a previous post) to see the Alice Through The Looking Glass Windows, and by a hat I like in a shop in Prince's arcade that used to contain a cat in a hat. It took me years to visit Fortnum’s, I used to get driven past in an ambulance on a stretcher, or in a wheelchair en-route to neurophysio sessions at the National Hospital For Neurology and Neurosurgery after my 2014 relapse. They were dark days when I did not know if I would walk again, and seeing Fortnum’s and The Princes Arcade used to cheer me up and I promised myself I would visit if I got better. When I did I found the hat, and the cat, and my favourite since childhood, rose and violet creams. I have suggested they add it to their menu. If so I feel it is important to add a hefty dose of gin and tonic sorbet, which needs to be strong on the gin as the original was, otherwise it gets lost and over-sweet. It needs to taste a little edgy and you need to be able to feel the alcohol at the finish.

On a general note I have written on food, drink and cocktails in the past and spent many years worked behind bars and waitressing and in the kitchen in restaurants. I have had an interest in cocktails since I purchased a pop up book with my pocket money in childhood (probably before I was ten). I am available for restaurant and other reviews, articles and commissions if I like the idea and the publication.

My praise is genuine when given and I am very frank at times. I often notice things other people don't and though I may not say anything, but be it a bacon sandwich with only two rashers rather than four, one hash brown on my English breakfast, too little spice in an Arabic coffee or a switch to an inferior brand of chocolate, vodka, wine, butter or scent but be sure I will notice penny pinching and adjust my purchasing habits accordingly. Do not expect me to be nice about food I dislike.

N.B. I met the man who did the windows at Fortnum’s once, in 2008 or 9, when I could still travel by train and was commuting daily to London to do an MA. If it is still you I loved your Alice windows. Also the gold sealed envelope one and the hampers with wings.

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