Despite claims to the contrary, few hotels truly make you feel at home. Then again, The Milestone Hotel is not like many other hotels. Spread across three spectacular English Heritage Grade II listed houses in the stylish borough of Kensington and Chelsea, from the outside, the hotel impresses with its red brick Victorian grandeur. However, it’s on the inside that the Milestone really stands apart.
Every one of its 56 rooms and suites is completely unique in décor and feel, tailored to the diverse and discerning tastes of the guests who choose to stay here. Showing his passion for the hotel and its ethos, the General Manager, Andrew Pike enthuses: “There’s no one theme here, and the Milestone is just that; we appreciate people have different tastes, so here they can stay in a traditional or more contemporary space – this is why people enjoy discovering each different room throughout the hotel.”
This war against rote uniformity is advanced in other parts of the hotel too; wood panelling and rich colour schemes are a canvas for opulent and imaginative décor, and there are luxuriant carpets, velvet curtains and antique furnishings throughout. The lounge is lined with floor-to-ceiling bookcases, with fireplaces and works of art featuring in every room. The vibrant artworks of Elie Lambert light up one hallway, while a depiction of a 1923 Wimbledon final by Marjorie Violet Watherston, hangs in the lounge. Just like the space in which they’re displayed, each artwork tells its own story, which the hotel staff are more than happy to impart.
Adjacent to Cheneston’s Restaurant is one of the hotel’s most unusual features; a former private chapel, now reimagined as an intimate dining space with vaulted ceiling, ornate windows and elaborate embellishments still intact. “A lot of people get engaged here,” Andrew explains, “The Oratory is probably one of London’s most romantic dining venues. It’s one of the city’s best kept secrets.” Well, it was.
“We do wine tastings in here with the sommelier,” he continues, “and we are one of the only hotels in London to offer Champagne Sabrage, which adds to the theatre of what we do.” Fittingly for a hotel that revels in opulence, The Milestone Hotel is synonymous with Champagne; in fact, within one year they served 8953 glasses, the highest amount amongst all of the Red Carnation hotels in London. But not everyone’s on the fizz; in the Stables Bar, formerly the residence’s stable block, classic cocktails are prepared to perfection. For a twist on the traditional Old Fashioned, malt whisky, bitters and sweet vermouth are infused under a glass dome with a flavoured orange peel and molasses smoke.
Those looking for a contemporary take on British food are well served here, too. Executive chef Alexandros Diamantis prepares dishes like Tian of King Crab alongside comfort fare like Chicken Pot Pie. Midnight feasts are on the menu for post-theatre dining, as well as picnic hampers in the summer months, and an indulgent afternoon tea served in the elegant hotel lounge. Crucially, finding the perfect wine pairing is easy – there’s a cellar of over 300 wines to choose from, many of which are sourced from the Bouchard Finlayson estate, the hotel group’s very own vineyard in South Africa.
And for those hoping to uncover the heritage of the hotel’s name, simply take a look outside at the 500-year-old marker, pointing to London – Hyde Park corner – and the stagecoach stop of Hounslow in the other direction. It seems a fitting moniker for a hotel that puts so much distance between itself and others. “Even the hotel’s name reflects its rich heritage,” reflects Andrew, “This has been The Milestone Hotel since the 1920s, and it has become more and more luxurious over the years.”
Stay at The Milestone as part of our Luxury Gold The British Royale tour.