Last weekend the Afternoon Tea Club headed into the City for a very special afternoon at one of London's top destinations, The Milestone Hotel. Here's how we got on:
Located just off London's Kensington Park, the Milestone Hotel offers luxury at its very best. Decorated throughout in a rich colour scheme of red, green and gold, the library in which tea is served, is an intimate yet ambient environment, offering something for everyone. A selection of lounge chairs and comfy antique sofas provide informality for the casual guest, whilst traditional dining chairs and tables are also available for those seeking convention.
Looking around the room, it's clear that the Milestone doesn't have a certain 'type' of guest, with patrons ranging from ladies who lunch to a group of young children having a birthday party - proving that afternoon tea is very much for everyone!
Personal design highlights included their lovely tennis painting which offered a fantastic focal point to the room - particularly after the recent Wimbledon excitement - whilst their magnificent chandelier in reception (you know how I love a good chandelier!) provided an extra touch of class.
A pianist in the room adjacent was another nice surprise, playing a selection of quirky lounge music (including my all-time favourite 'I dreamed a dream' from Les Miserables) further adding to the relaxed environment.
To quote my good friend Caroline as we entered The Milestone's lounge, 'Okay, now THIS is afternoon tea' - pretty much took the words right out of my mouth.
Located in the heart of Kensington, this fabulous hotel is one of the most beautiful Afternoon Tea locations we have had the pleasure of visiting.
Styled to perfection with authentic artwork and a rich tapestry of regal colours and furnishings, this takes traditional afternoon tea to the max.
There's a good range of seating from antique sofas with incredibly intricate cushions to individual lounge chairs that are both ornate and pretty and a vintage queen's dream.
Afternoon tea is about relaxation and The Milestone offers just that with elegant surroundings and even a live pianist to entertain guests throughout. I loved sipping my tea along to 'Here Comes The Sun'!
This hotel showcases good old timeless England and I think visitors will love delving into this world of old books, rich art and traditional pastimes.
The variety of food provided on the Milestone's traditional champagne afternoon tea menu was staggering, with not one, but two tiers of cakes for the picking, alongside a sizable selection of sandwiches (Cheese & Tomato, Egg, Honey Roast Ham, Coronation Chicken, Cucumber and Salmon) and lovely warm scones (fruit and plain)
Out of the sandwiches, my favourite had to be the salmon, which was fresh and light, balancing the smoky fish well with rich cream cheese. I always say that if the bread's fresh then you're on to a winner and the Milestone did not disappoint.
The scones were a similar success, served separately on a side plate with Blackcurrant jam and clotted cream, freeing up space for the all important cake stand...
Cake was very much the dish of the day at the Milestone, offering at least ten different options which included: a red velvet cupcake, American cheesecake with pistachio, chocolate eclair, carrot cake, fruit tart, coconut meringue and cream, raspberry cake, chocolate and hazelnut financier, and Lavender Shortcake. All cakes on offer were delicious - especially the carrot cake which was scrummy with a lovely creamy top - and truly catered to every taste. Unfortunately, there were just too many to get through during our sitting, but the lovely hotel staff boxed the left overs up for us to enjoy on the train ride home!
Decadence. Complete and utter, wonderful decadence is how I would describe this Champagne Afternoon Tea. Arriving on a fabulous three tier, silver tea stand, accompanied by a glass of champagne, the food selection was truly mouthwatering.
As with all good afternoon teas our menu was explained to us on arrival and there really was so much to take in.
To begin with we had a plate of perfectly fresh sandwiches including; honey mustard ham, melt in your mouth salmon, cheese and tomato, cucumber and my favourite, circle cut Coronation Chicken. There was a really good mix of textures and breads and it was quite clear from the start that this wasn't any regular afternoon tea.
Served hot from the oven our scones arrived separately with a choice of either plain or fruit and big dollops of both homemade jam and cream. The scones were just delightful, lightly glazed and a perfect golden brown.
|Cake Part 2|
The desserts were also on a completely different level and offered a fantastic array of flavours and consistencies. The colour palette was just stunning with vibrant fruit tarts, raspberry sponge, subtle lavender shortcake, red velvet cupcake, lime and strawberry cheesecake and lemon meringue. However, the one that stuck out for me was the hotel's signature brandy chocolate cake - rich in flavour yet with a real smooth liquor kick. I really appreciated that the hotel managed to tick the traditional boxes but also experimented with interesting flavours to add a splash of personality to their menu.
There are plenty of hot teas on offer too so to narrow our choices down we decided to go for the hotel's recommendations. I tried their signature earl grey, a real treat for a relaxing afternoon and the perfect complement to such an eclectic food selection.
As you'd expect, service at the Milestone was top notch, with every interaction being of the highest possible standard. All staff members were friendly and polite, doing everything possible to make us feel home - a big thank you to them for their efforts!
Genuinely some of the best service we have experienced. For somewhere so formal and traditional, the staff were not afraid to lighten the mood by joking with us (particularly about us wanting to take cakes for the journey home!)
They were really helpful too and even invited a small party of mini guests to go help decorate cupcakes - absolutely adorable.
There isn't a single thing that I would change about the Milestone Afternoon Tea experience. From the moment we arrived until the moment we left everything was how a traditional tea ought to be - this is without a doubt the most immaculate afternoon tea that I have experienced to date (a big statement, I know) and I wouldn't hesitate to go back again!
I often worry when we visit high end tea venues as grandeur can sometimes translate to quite a stiff environment where I'm afraid to raise a pinky finger incorrectly! However, The Milestone somehow manages to provide complete extravagance and still deliver an atmosphere that many of its peers struggle to conjure.
There was a great mix of people enjoying Afternoon Tea during our visit and I think that speaks volumes about just how charming The Milestone is. If you're looking for something to really treat the family with this summer, I would look no further.
Plus - The Golden Cupcake!
The Milestone Hotel is an award winning London hotel situated in the heart of Kensington. Afternoon Tea is taken in The Park Lounge with prices starting at £36.50 pp. For more information and to book, please visit their website here.