The best hotel in the UK?
The Milestone Hotel is opposite London’s Kensington Gardens in a 19th century Grade II listed building. In January the Milestone was voted the best UK Hotel in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice awards and I went there for a tour and afternoon tea with a group of fellow BritMums travel bloggers.
The building was originally two town houses and perhaps because it began life as a home the 5-star hotel feels welcoming, intimate and cosy. In the public areas the traditional decor is in the style of an English country house with open fires, squishy armchairs and wood panelling.
Each of the hotel’s bedrooms and apartments is decorated and furnished differently. One room I saw has a floral, almost Laura Ashley feel, another was opulent with golden furniture and marble-topped tables. One of the hotel owners, Mrs Bea Tollman, designs the interiors and sources the furnishings and art work herself. This makes for a quirky and individual feel which contrasts with the minimalist interiors of some luxury hotels.
There’s a relaxed and friendly atmosphere at the hotel and I imagine it would be a great place to stay with children. Kensington Palace, the V&A, Science and Natural History Museums are all nearby and the hotel has a small indoor resistance pool. There are family rooms, interconnecting rooms and apartments available in the hotel.
Fabrizio Russo, the hotel’s genial Director of food and beverages, organised a wonderful afternoon tea for us and explained that everything except the bread is made at the hotel. I drank decaf English breakfast tea and ate delicate sandwiches of egg and cress, cucumber, and salmon followed by the yummiest cakes. Some of the cakes are unique to the hotel because they were invented by Bea Tollman. There was caramel popcorn in meringue with chocolate ganache, chocolate torte with chocolate-covered space dust, a delicate cheesecake, eclairs and some others that I couldn’t fit in, all served on pretty china cake stands. My favourite part was the freshly baked scones with jam and Devonshire clotted cream. Children are welcome at the hotel for afternoon tea too, and if you book this in advance they can even go into the pastry kitchen to see how afternoon tea is prepared and to decorate their own cupcake. This would be a great thing to do after a trip to one of the museums or to Kensington Palace.
I came away from the hotel with this cute little teddy and a bar of milk chocolate which I’m going to give away:
So what’s your favourite thing to eat for afternoon tea? If you live in the UK and you’d like to win this teddy and chocolate then tell me what’s your favourite teatime treat in the comments section below and then enter via this Rafflecopter widget:
Family travel lowdown: I was a guest of The Milestone Hotel for afternoon tea. Afternoon tea costs £36.50 for adults and £12.50 for Princes and Princesses tea for children under 12, including cupcake decorating. Tea is served at 1pm, 3pm and 5pm and you need to book in advance.