On the day of my visit The Chesterfield had a themed tea: “Charlie and The Chesterfield”. The tea involved fun lifting fizz drinks (cranberry juice, soda and popping candy), milkshakes and wonka bars. They even had giant gobstoppers and golden tickets (offering decent discounts for your next trip as long as you don’t open beforehand) handed out by Willy Wonka himself. Great marketing, but also great fun.
Top marks to the Chesterfield for being child-friendly with a light-hearted theme – I found the Madhatter’s Tea at the Sanderson took itself very seriously and was very much intended for adults, which suited me just fine, but the Chesterfield managed the balance better. Much like other hotels in the Red Carnation Group, the Chesterfield offered a smaller, cheaper “Oompa Loompa” tea especially designed for children.
Did The Chesterfield top The Milestone afternoon tea? In a word, no. Whilst grand, the interior was very dark so sitting in the conservatory (as we did) seems a must. The chocolate scones were also slightly dry.
Head to the Chesterfield if you want a fun, child-friendly afternoon with a decent tea, but head to the Milestone if you want a top notch traditional experience.