Well, of course you have to pretend to be British at least once during your stay in London! One of the best ways? Afternoon tea. I love everything about it. The good smells, the warm homey scones, the relaxing pace and mostly, I suppose, the fact that it takes place at that time of day when I most need a caloric kick and a moment of calm. I’ll take tea any way I can get it, but at least once a trip I want real HIGH tea. I found the tea of my dreams at The Milestone Hotel; rated No.1 in World for Service by Travel + Leisure. First of all the setting is perfect: 18th-century wood paneling, cheering fire in the elegant fireplace, English bouquets on side tables, wing chairs and small, cozy settees covered in flowered chintz, waiters in tails, three-tiered silver trays for tea tasties and the prettiest bone china you’ll ever see. I can’t imagine a more elegant parlor in a posh private home. And the food more than matches the decor: just-from-the-oven scones with clotted cream and jam, tiny trimmed tea sandwiches — salmon, watercress, cucumber and more and a gorgeous rolling tea cart to bring your selection of a half dozen mini-desserts: tiny fresh fruit tartlets, baby éclairs, a mouth full of mousse, oh boy! Unfortunately, such a celebration doesn’t come cheap. Tea is £29.50 but worth it. I like to replace dinner with tea on evenings when going to the theater. For that purpose, it’s a bargain.
The Milestone Hotel
1 Kensington Court
London, W8 5DL.
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7917 1000
For reservations, you can email email@example.com