While we were in London this last week I was so excited to introduce HJ to afternoon tea. High tea has got to be one of my very favorite outings and London seemed like going straight to the source! After reading tons of resources on various ‘Prince and Princess Teas’ in London, we finally settled on The Milestone Hotel right near Kensington Palace. We decided to make this a girl’s trip since K is still a bit young to sit still for any length of time and the adult men just weren’t interested. That meant it was me, my mom, and my 4-year-old daughter.
The Milestone Hotel Afternoon Tea Review
The ability to easily make reservations online is important to me and The Milestone Hotel did not disappoint. Their system made it easy for us to verify the date was available and get instant confirmation. I meant to print out all my reservation confirmations before London, but I forgot about this one and it was no problem at all. We were “on the list” when we arrived.
Speaking of arriving, The Milestone Hotel was conveniently located right across from Kensington Palace Grounds. We hopped on a bus from Hyde Park Corner and it let us off just steps away from the entrance. The hotel itself was made up of two beautiful old buildings joined together. The architecture of the first third of the building face was slightly different than the rest of the face, but they went together quite well and it gave the hotel a lot of character.
We were welcomed to the hotel by a proper doorman in a top hat and ushered into to a small lobby very reminiscent of Victorian times. The living room/ tea room was right next to the lobby and was also small, cozy, and very Victorian. The walls were lined with books and painting and the windows were elaborately dressed.
Although the room was very beautifully decorated, it wasn’t so covered up in antiques that I was nervous about bringing my 4-year-old kid. I would say the balance between beautiful and practical was just right.
We had a cozy table for 3 by a window and the waitress was right with us to take drink orders. HJ ordered a pink lemonade but they didn’t have it. Instead, the waitress offered her a milkshake which she happily accepted. There were dozens of teas to choose from, including an “Unusual and Exciting” category.
We ordered the ‘Royal Afternoon Tea for 2’ and the ‘Prince and Princess Tea’. The Royal Tea came with half a bottle of Champagne and we started on that while we were still deciding on tea. HJ’s milkshake came out so quickly she didn’t even have time to fidget.
The ‘Prince and Princess’ platter for HJ quickly followed the milkshake and was loaded with yummy treats! The two-layer platter included 3 different sandwiches, a fresh scone with strawberry preserves and clotted cream, and 5 beautiful little desserts. HJ was immediately drawn to the butterfly cookie (or biscuit in the UK) but enjoyed taking her time and sampling all the desserts (she didn’t touch the sandwiches, but insisted she should save them for her brother.)
Our platters came out at the same time and were filled with scrumptious treats! There were 5 different kinds of sandwiches and a ton of beautiful little desserts. The house specialty is the chicken salad sandwich rolled in peanuts, it was delicious!
We each had our own sandwiches to sample and even though the desserts were tiny, we were able to split them in two so we could both sample each item. It worked out perfectly and we were still able to fill 2 to-go boxes with treats for our men-folk. Each item was delicious, but nothing really left an impression on me other than their signature chicken salad sandwich. I need to try to make those at home!
We took our time sampling the different treats and talking. It was exactly the kind of relaxed experience we had hoped for. HJ was very well behaved and preoccupied inspecting all the various treats and just when she started to lose interest and wanted to wander around, a waitress appeared and asked her if she would like to decorate a cupcake. I hadn’t seen this on the menu, so it was a very pleasant surprise.
I was hoping for a polite “Yes, please” but instead the waitress got an enthusiastic, “Sure!” She escorted HJ into the next room where she presented her with an apron, a cupcake, and several candy toppings. The waitress helped her frost the top and then HJ got to sprinkle the candies on herself.
My Mom and I put our heads in just long enough to take a couple pictures and then we returned to a few blissful child-free moments. Nothing beats a restaurant where they’ll take care of your kid! Even if it is just for a few minutes!
When HJ returned with her cupcake, she was so full she couldn’t even eat the whole thing! She did make sure to lick the icing off the top though!
Overall it was a great experience and I would love to go again! We took our time, relaxed, and never felt rushed by the staff. We were dressed quite casually since we were mid-way through a full day of sightseeing, but we still felt quite comfortable. If you are considering the Milestone Hotel’s Afternoon Tea for a special occasion, dressing up a bit would be appropriate as well!
If you are on the fence about taking a young child to high tea, just do it! HJ loved acting grown up and being served like a little Princess. If you are considering where to go, I hope you’ll consider the Milestone Hotel, we really loved it!
PS- The Milestone Hotel also offers Vegetarian and Gluten-Free Afternoon Tea options!