Weekend Away - The Milestone Hotel and Residences Kensington, London
Jan Clarke discovers the elegance of this luxurious hotel, close to Kensington Palace, and enjoys a weekend fit for a princess.
With the recent royal wedding still fresh in our minds, we decided to head to London to see if we could catch a glimpse of the bride, albeit after the event. The Milestone Hotel is located opposite Kensington Palace – home to royalty for centuries – and so the perfect spot for our stay.
We arrived to a genuine and warm welcome and from the outset staff made us really feel this was our home for the next few days. The hotel is charming and characterful and our beautiful room was as inviting as it was luxurious. Ahand-written welcome note from general manager, Andrew Pike, gave a glimpse of the attention to detail and personal service to come, something that is very much at the heart of this wonderful hotel. With two staff to each guest, our every need was to be met as the weekend unfolded.
Once we had unpacked, food and beverage manager, Leo Forte wasted no time in dealing with our request for an indulgent Champagne afternoon tea. We had made the mistake of not booking, but Leo and his team soon organised a table in the Park Lounge; a beautiful and sumptuous living space with dark wood panelling and rich furnishings – the perfect setting for the afternoon. The quality of the food, level of service and the location set this experience apart from any other afternoon tea. We commented that the delicate lemon cakes were our favourite and were delighted to find some in our room, later that evening, as a special treat.
After some sightseeing, we made our way to the hotel’s intimate Cheneston’s restaurant and dined on the roast Dover sole. Cooked according to chef’s own time-honoured recipe, this dish lived up to its reputation as ‘the best Dover sole in London’. We enjoyed the sommelier’s recommendation of wine selected from their exclusive and impressive cellar and, despite the sweet treats served up with afternoon tea, we managed to share the stunning Milestone Quartet of Desserts.
We rounded off the evening in the Stables Bar and our nightcap came in the form of their famous Milestone Old Fashioned cocktails – a twist on a classic, with 60-day barrel-aged whisky and presented in a glass dome filled with shisha smoke with hints of apple and orange. For me, this cocktail sums up The Milestone Hotel perfectly - start with a classic, add passion and dedication and create something extra special, full of warmth and magical.
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What to Do
The whole of London is right on your doorstep but, for a unique experience, you don’t need to stray far from the hotel itself. If it’s theatre you’re after, step into the Stables Bar and learn the art of sabrage, the technique of opening a champagne bottle with a sabre.
Where to Go
Kensington Palace and gardens can be found opposite the hotel, just a short stroll through the park. Home to the late Diana, Princess of Wales, and the birth place of Queen Victoria, stories and intrigue are to be found within its elegant walls. The hotel will organise private guided tours for guests, outside of usual public opening hours, making you feel even more like a princess.
Afternoon tea. The hotel has been the well- deserved recipient of the highly commended accolade at the Afternoon Tea Awards for 2016 and 2017. With over 20 teas, Champagne and delicate patisseries on the menu, the hotel and staff ensure this quintessentially British tradition is fit for royalty.