The Milestone Hotel: The best afternoon tea in London

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There are few things more British, and more enjoyable, than a lazy afternoon tea with a glass of bubbly!

There are few things more British, and more enjoyable, than a lazy afternoon tea with a glass of bubbly!

 

There are not many traditions that ooze “British” than the custom of afternoon tea. Americans are fascinated by it: Delicate finger sandwiches filled with smoked salmon, cream cheese and the smallest amount of cress; Miniature pastries, perfectly formed, whose only job in life is to entice; Scones with crisp crusts and flakey insides, smothered with clotted cream and strawberry jam. And of course the tea. Ones you might never have heard of, like Jasmine Pearls and Jin Shang Tian Hua, that sound foreign, flowery, and very British Empire.

 

Recently voted by TripAdvisor as the No. 1 Hotel in the UK, The Milestone is a perfect setting for afternoon tea.

Recently voted by TripAdvisor as the No. 1 Hotel in the UK, The Milestone is a perfect setting for afternoon tea.

 

The Milestone Hotel very kindly hosted the BritMums Family Travel Think Tank, where for one afternoon, we were transported back to a modern Victorian England. Recently named Britain’s top hotel in TripAdvisor’s annual Travellers’ Choice Awards, The Milestone is a luxury, Grade II listed boutique 5-star hotel right across from Kensington Park. The decor is warm and Laura Ashley/Art Deco, with stunning handpicked art on every wall. I could easily spend a weekend there, pretending I was Lady Mary (or Lady Chatterley!), dissecting the suffragette movement or the perils of running a country pile.

 

The art deco conservatory is an option for your afternoon tea location - warm, bright and airy it will light your spirits.

The art deco conservatory is an option for your afternoon tea location – warm, bright and airy it will lighten your spirits.

 

The afternoon tea service (1pm, 3 pm and 5pm) is very popular, and it’s easy to see why. The service starts with an array of finger sandwiches and pastries, served in a traditional silver cake stand. Think layers of savouries: smoked salmon and cress cheese, Mull of Kintyre Cheddar and tomato, and a round Chicken mayo with chopped almonds intermixed with sweet eclairs, tartlets, cakes and macaroons. The servings are ample (6 sandwiches and 6 to 7 cakes each) and we’re told that many come home in boxes to be consumed later (there’s nothing like getting home and thinking about the Strawberry and Rosewater Macaroon you left behind!).

 

A selection of mini pastries and cake are served for Afternoon tea. Each are handmade and reflect the season, including this mango infused delicacy.

A selection of mini pastries and cakes are served for Afternoon Tea at the award-winning Milestone Hotel. Each are handmade and often reflect the season, including this mango infused delicacy.

 

There’s a wide choice of tea, from a soothing Peppermint to Blackcurrant and Lavender to White Silver Tips (peach in character from the youngest unopened buds, known for its antioxidant qualities, if you must know!).

You could order coffee, but that just seems so un-British! Your individual pot of tea is served in a silver service by an appropriately clad under-butler. I made the butler bit up, it’s a waiter, but if you squint you could pretend it was Thomas from Downtown Abbey.

The freshly baked scones are accompanied by Devonshire clotted cream, which is whiter and brighter than its yellowish Cornish cousin, and homemade strawberry preserves. And of course there are perfectly folded starched napkins, in case –  heaven forbid – of any crumbs.

 

Afternoon Tea at The Milestone includes bite-sized  parcels such as strawberry and rosewater macaroons and lemon curd and Italian meringue pastries.

Afternoon Tea at The Milestone includes bite-sized parcels such as Strawberry and Rosewater Macaroons and Chocolate Tartlet with chocolate-covered space dust.

 

Now you just need to decide: do you put the clotted cream first on your scone, then the strawberry preserve (the Cornish way) or do you go Devonshire-style, jam first then a dollop of cream…

 

The Park Lounge at The Milestone transports you back to a Victorian London country estate home. The most popular table is No. 28 (just opposite) which is but the fire and perfect for watching the snow fall in Kensington Park!

The Park Lounge at The Milestone transports you back to a Victorian London country estate home. The most popular table is No. 28 (just opposite) which is by the fire and perfect for watching the snow fall in Kensington Park!

 

If you go:

The Milestone Hotel and Apartments 1 Kensington Ct, London W8 5DL +44 020 7917 1000 www.milestonehotel.com. Afternoon Tea is served at 1 pm, 3 pm and 5 pm. Little ones can get a Little Prince and Princess Tea (where they can decorate their own cupcakes and sip hot chocolate) and the guys can get a Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea, with mini homemade pork pies and a flight of ale or whisky! Book early for holidays and forget about Mother’s Day, it’s already wait-listed! Starting from £36.

Note: My Afternoon Tea was provided by The Milestone for the purposes of this review. All opinions are my own.

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38 Responses to The Milestone Hotel: The best afternoon tea in London

  1. sony 07/05/2014 at 13:20 #

    it all looks very nice, nice pictures

  2. Michelle Peters 30/01/2014 at 22:35 #

    Goodness where can I find an afternoon tea that good in the North West!

  3. Gem 28/01/2014 at 19:25 #

    Seems like such a lovely experience!

  4. kateonthinice2012k 27/01/2014 at 16:28 #

    Love afternoon tea anywhere but this one looks particularly special. Devonshire style for me for future reference.

    • Susanna 27/01/2014 at 17:13 #

      noted xx

  5. Sarah Ebner 27/01/2014 at 16:09 #

    Gorgeous photos! All looks lovely. Afternoon tea has to be my favourite meal!

    • Susanna 27/01/2014 at 17:13 #

      It is now officially mine too x

  6. ⌚Nadine Hill (@businessmum) 27/01/2014 at 14:26 #

    Ooh! Looks lovely there! x

    • Susanna 27/01/2014 at 17:12 #

      Thanks for your comment Nadine, I really enjoyed it. x

  7. Mums do travel 27/01/2014 at 12:37 #

    Oh I’m Devonshire every time – the jam HAS TO go on first. The Milestone Afternoon Tea is superb and your writing and photos capture it perfectly.

    • Susanna 27/01/2014 at 17:12 #

      Really? I’m a cream first kinda girl x

  8. Jennifer Howze 27/01/2014 at 12:10 #

    You really captured how beautiful the tea was. I’m in agreement — one of the best I’ve had. #RCHfamily

    • Susanna 27/01/2014 at 17:11 #

      And of course, I forget to add that Afternoon Tea is calorie free 😀

  9. Cass (@frugalfamily) 26/01/2014 at 21:08 #

    This looks gorgeous – hope you saved some cake 😉

    • Susanna 27/01/2014 at 07:28 #

      I came back with a box of them!

  10. Katy Hill 26/01/2014 at 20:23 #

    Wow! LOVE the look of it there. Too funny – I’ve always admired that hotel from the road – they have the BEST Christmas decorations in London – it always looks so cosy and inviting. Now I know it’s worth parking up and going in! Def. going to try it x

    • Susanna 27/01/2014 at 07:28 #

      I bet it’s gorgeous at Christmas. x

  11. Little London Observationist 26/01/2014 at 20:11 #

    Yum! Always on the look out for new afternoon tea places 🙂

  12. Pinkoddy 26/01/2014 at 18:47 #

    I love smoked salmon sandwiches followed by jam and scones in the afternoon I must say. Maybe I could convince my other half to take me for our wedding anniversary.

  13. Trish - Mum's Gone to 26/01/2014 at 18:44 #

    You have captured the serene atmosphere of the hotel so well, Susanna. Wish I could have another mini-eclair or macaroon right now!

  14. emma.vanstone@gmail.com 26/01/2014 at 18:18 #

    I love the kids and gentleman’s versions! That’s very cool!

  15. hpmcq 26/01/2014 at 16:46 #

    afternoon is so so good and just down the road from work, so maybe an afternoon treat for the team!

  16. Boo Roo and Tigger Too 26/01/2014 at 12:56 #

    I am so envious, what a mixture of beautiful surroundings and gorgeous food

  17. Cat (Yellow Days) 26/01/2014 at 12:54 #

    I do love a good Afternoon Tea, so civilised! Reminds me of my grandparents who had tea everyday. such a lovely tradition.

  18. Kelly Innes (@domesticgoddesq) 26/01/2014 at 12:31 #

    Oh but I am envious: I am such a huge fan of afternoon tea. This may be just the place for when LBG and I head in to London to see Mamma Mia!

  19. Angie (@cakesphotoslife) 26/01/2014 at 12:22 #

    I do Love a good afternoon tea, I even have it on my list of things to do whilst in America to see the difference 🙂 this looks beautiful as does the Hotel x

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