For my birthday this year I wanted to try somewhere new, somewhere special, somewhere I could be truly spoiled for the day. Sceptical, but with growing optimism due to glowing trip advisor reviews, I put full faith in a Guardian ranking and visited their number one traditional tea at The Milestone Hotel, Kensington (priced at £38 per person at time of visit – please check hotel page for the latest price). A place I had never heard of, and yet it was simply the best tea I have had to date. Quite the statement I know, but let me tell you why…
First and foremost, let’s talk about the setting. If you’re in the mood for noise, crowds and rushing this is not the place for you. I recommend booking tea in the Park Lounge – an exquisite, cosy room with limited spaces. You feel as though you have gone back in time with traditional decor, lounging on large arm chairs and sofas, with fire glowing as delightful staff go out of their way to make you feel welcome and well fed. If you’re lucky, as we were, you can also catch glimpses of Kensington palace from the window. Due to the quaint, exclusive feel of the lounge, I’d recommend visiting only in smaller groups.
The unrivaled customer service is clear the moment the doorman welcomes you inside. For tea itself you can choose a Traditional, Gentleman’s and even Little Prince and Princess tea for those visiting with children. Everyone is catered for here. The sitting itself is 1.5 hours, which worried me as someone known to spend four in the right company, but we had ample time.
For the blend I chose the Apple and Elderflower, venturing away from the safe English Breakfast. Needless to say, it was delicious and went down perfectly with a wonderful glass of champagne.
Now for the really important stuff – the food. For sandwiches, I was blown away by the Milestone’s signature cucumber, greek yoghurt and chicken sandwich – round in shape and rolled in almonds, I’m yet to try anything like it since. The waiter also offered a charming story of how it came to be, but you’ll have to go yourself to hear it 😉
For cake, personally not a fan of over-emphasis on fancy pastries, I was very impressed by their varied cake selection. Meringues, macaroons, cheesecake, tarts, cupcakes…you name it, they had it – and plenty of it too. My favourite was the carrot cake with pistachio icing. Pure genius!
For the icing on the birthday cake, let me summarise: a complimentary glass of champagne, my very own celebration cake, candle and song from staff, constant offerings of re-fills on tea, a take-away box with my favourites and a patient waiter happy to take all the photos you want (while of course being courteous to other guests). With all this in mind, and London prices, the experience proved good value for money and I thoroughly recommend it for any special occasion.
Visited: Feb 2015