Where to stay: The Milestone Hotel, London
Nestled in the heart of Kensington is the Milestone: a hotel brimming with old-world charm that manages to feel at once lavish and homely. The building’s rich heritage extends back to 1689, when it was home to a string of Ambassadors and Barons, before being established as a hotel in 1922. Its history is reflected in the hotel’s eclectic interiors, which combine Art Deco, Victorian and Modern influences. Kensington Palace Gardens is just a stone’s throw away, offering much-needed respite amid the city’s bustle.
The hotel comprises 43 deluxe guest rooms and 13 suites, each highly idiosyncratic and abundant in fine fabrics, fresh flowers and rare artworks. Those looking to experience the hotel’s full splendour may wish to stay in one of the suites: for old-school glamour, there’s the Hermès Suite, where the fashion house’s iconic silk scarves are hung like prized paintings alongside some of the finest examples of mid-20th century design. More traditional décor can be found in the Tudor Suite, with its hanging tapestries, two fireplaces and chandelier offering a distinctly royal flavour. Alternatively, relive the roaring 20s with a stay in the Mistinguett suite, whose striking red and grey colour scheme and original theatre posters evoke the glitz of the Moulin Rouge.
While the nearby Kensington High Street brims with restaurants, the hotel’s excellent dining options mean that staying in may well be on the menu. Cheneston’s Restaurant, which is decked out with decorative carpets, crisp white linen and plenty of mahogany, is a lesson in luxury. During the day, the restaurant is flooded with light from the Victorian leaded windows, while at night, an intimate atmosphere is conjured up by the glowing fireplace and candles casting shadows on the wall. The real cause for attention, however, is the food, which showcases some of the very best in British cuisine. A mixture of cutting-edge dishes and comfort-food favourites (among them chicken pot pie and a succulent roast), make for a menu likely to satisfy the fussiest eater.
Adorned with wood panelling, marble countertops and plush furnishings, the equestrian-themed Stables Bar is hardly as rudimentary as its name suggests. Tastebuds get a wild ride with the bar’s signature Smoking Old Fashioned, a whisky barrel-aged for 60 days in Canadian maple syrup and vodka. And, with more than 300 wines to choose from, a tipple becomes increasingly hard to resist.
The Milestone Hotel and Residences, London (https://www.milestonehotel.com, 020 7917 1000)
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