The Milestone Hotel: Tea with Victorian hospitality
The Milestone Hotel is among London’s most luxurious accommodations, so my expectations were high for afternoon tea.
Unfortunately, we underestimated the size of Hyde Park, and our stroll through the beautiful gardens turned into a trot. Arriving late for our reservation and a bit disheveled, I felt nervous as we entered the posh historic hotel, but the cordial staff members gave no indication that they were perturbed by our appearance or tardiness.
The Park Lounge's shelves of vintage books, ornate etched windows and antique furnishings transported us to the Victorian era as we settled into armchairs at a large coffee table.
We selected the champagne afternoon tea option – vacation is always a good time to celebrate – and browsed a list of tea flavors to pair with the delightful menu. Our enthusiastic server even brought out a display of the sandwiches and treats and described each to us.
Soon hot tea, champagne and two towers of food appeared. After a quick toast, we began sampling the six different sandwiches, having worked up an appetite during our dash across the park. Hands down, the round chicken salad sandwich rolled in almonds was the best, but the smoked salmon and egg salad were also excellent. Sweet treats included traditional scones with clotted cream and jam, as well as miniature carrot cakes, brownies, berry-topped custard tarts and tiny mason jars filled with creamy cheesecake. We loved the cheesecake so much that our server brought us extras, even though we were too full to eat them – well, almost.
The Milestone’s afternoon tea was the perfect end to a weekend in London; the surroundings were beautiful, the service was excellent, and the food and drinks were delicious.
For online reservations, visit www.milestonehotel.com/bar-and-dining/restaurant-reservations.
Afternoon tea seatings daily at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m.
Prices per person:
Little Prince and Princess Tea: 20 pounds
Traditional Afternoon Tea: 40 pounds
Champagne Afternoon Tea: 49 pounds
Royal Afternoon Tea: 99 pounds