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 Comments

  1. 07/05/2014 / 13:20

    it all looks very nice, nice pictures

  2. 30/01/2014 / 22:35

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

  3. 28/01/2014 / 19:25

    Seems like such a lovely experience!

  4. 27/01/2014 / 16:28

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

    • 27/01/2014 / 17:13

      noted xx

  5. 27/01/2014 / 16:09

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

    • 27/01/2014 / 17:13

      It is now officially mine too x

    • 27/01/2014 / 17:12

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

  6. 27/01/2014 / 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.

    • 27/01/2014 / 17:12

      Really? I’m a cream first kinda girl x

  7. 27/01/2014 / 12:10

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

    • 27/01/2014 / 17:11

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

    • 27/01/2014 / 07:28

      I came back with a box of them!

  8. 26/01/2014 / 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

    • 27/01/2014 / 07:28

      I bet it’s gorgeous at Christmas. x

  9. 26/01/2014 / 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.

  10. 26/01/2014 / 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!

  11. 26/01/2014 / 16:46

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

  12. 26/01/2014 / 12:56

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

  13. 26/01/2014 / 12:54

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

  14. 26/01/2014 / 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!

  15. 26/01/2014 / 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