As a small independent business, we love to support other independents and it’s great to meet like-minded individuals who love to keep their spend local. The lovely folk over at Independent-Chester.co.uk headed our way in April and here’s what they had to say about us in their fab blog…
“Mad Hatters opened it doors three years ago, within the unique and historic Rectory building on Bridge Street Row. Set within this 17th century building, Matt Hatters offers a slice of escapism, right inside our city walls. Ann and Kerri, the owners and bakers at Mad Hatters, previously lived another life, in which they were environmental chemists, managing a team in a busy lab. But with a love of Alice and all things Wonderland, they took a leap down the rabbit hole and ended up running one of Chester’s most successful independents. With Anne’s family history of baking, their ability to manage a team together and their passion for food, Mad Hatters was a leap of faith for the couple but one which has paid of massively, not only for themselves but for the Chester community.A quick scroll through their twitter feed highlights their support for independent business, local enterprises and good causes in the city. The team are also official sponsors of Chester Pride and have already raised over £4000 in fund-raising for the event.
Three years ago Anne and Kerri ran everything from the Rectory but business is booming and they have had to move the baking side of the operation to a much bigger kitchen in Deeside. Anne and Kerri now employ a team to manage the tea room, so that they can focus solely on the baking and business management. Their business is multi faceted. As well as the busy tea room, they host bespoke corporate and business events, baking classes and parties for groups who want a celebration with a touch of magic. Today we are here to experience what is on offer if you pop into Mad Hatters for an afternoon treat.
The Mad Hatters tearoom is packed with fun. It is filled with little hidden gems to capture your imagination. A pack of large cards sprawl the walls from ceiling to floor, sparkly bird cages hang in the window and the cupcakes on display look too good to eat. The menu comes in a wooden, golden hinged case; like a door into another world. The menu offers breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, a speciality of Mad Hatters, and of course plenty of cake! The cake selection changes daily and they are always homemade by Anne and Kerri. The sense of magic really shines through in these cakes, each one looks individually ornamental. Kerri and Anne have told us that they love to be creative and innovative in their baking. The fantastic cake designs are a testament to this. The fun doesn’t stop with the sweet and savoury, you can also choose from 20 different types of tea. Your favourite cup of coffee, will have freshly ground beans, roasted by a company based in Chester. The hot chocolate on offer comes from Harry’s, a small independent company producing natural products, situated in Nantwich, Cheshire….This menu talks our language.
We decide on the sharing platter with homemade houmous, thyme marinated feta, stuffed sweet peppers, pickled vegetables, olives and vegetable sticks, served with warm pitta bread. We ask for a smaller portion than advertised and they happily oblige. Everything on the platter is fresh and delicious, especially the houmous and hand pickled veg. To follow we go for a lime pie cupcake, which is a thing of beauty and tastes as good as it looks. It turns out that it is gluten and lactose free, these ladies aren’t just bakers, they are magicians too. The team at Mad Hatters will accommodate customers with special dietary requirements and, if the gluten free cupcake is anything to go by, they won’t have to settle for second best.
The Mad Hatters experience is filled with warmth, magic and fun. The waiting staff are so helpful and knowledgeable about the menu. The passion and hard working nature of Kerri and Ann shows throughout their business. From the booked out baking classes to the individual cupcake toppings, these ladies are in it for all the right reasons. I comment on their obvious support for the Chester community and Kerri says, “If we are all together it’s a better Chester.” What more needs to be said?”
Independent Chester blog about lots of lovely local venues so head over to www.independent-chester.co.uk to show your support and discover more independent businesses in Chester.
You can also follow their blogging adventures in Chester on Twitter by following @Indie_chester
Thanks for coming to see us IC and for such a lovely blog, we’ll look forward to welcoming you back soon!
Ann & Kerri x