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The Milestone Hotel *****,
London W8, UK..

I have traveled to London at least seventy times since my first trip in the mid-60’s when as President of the Television Academy I attended a National conference at the Savoy Hotel.  In the years since, I have gone to London for business (to produce TV films and miniseries) for pleasure with wife and co-columnist, Jackie, before and since our marriage, for the love of one of the world’s greatest, most surprising cities.  And this time, London surprised me once more – when I stayed at the splendid Milestone Hotel. 

David Lawrence & Jackie Joseph-Lawrence 2009

Pool and Hotel Seafood Dish Bedroom Jr. Suite

I thought that over the years I had been in residence at the city’s very finest hotels –  from grand to boutique – but during three wonderful days and nights at the Milestone, I can well understand how and why it has been voted London’s Best by the discerning readers of Conde Nast travel magazine.  The location is perfect – the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (you cannot be at a better address – and not just for the snob appeal, but for the sense of history and beauty).  I found myself kissing close to Kensington Palace and Gardens, The Victoria and Albert Museum, Royal Albert Hall, Albert Memorial. A short walk from Stables barthe Milestone takes you to Knightsbridge for Harrod’s and Harvey Nichols. A bit further, a longish walk or a short taxi ride, and you are in the heart of the West End Theatre district.  But, frankly, you will find it as hard to leave the Milestone as I did.

Outside it’s regal 19th century in style; inside it’s 2 in Staff to every 1 guest.  One of said staff was congenial Pedro who showed me the awesome public areas, then to my room, explained all its treasures, offered me a glass of champagne (who was I to refuse?!) and offered to unpack my old Louis Vuitton.  This is not just Five Stars; this is the whole Milky Way!

Originally, The Milestone was a private residence, two very upscale houses. They were lovingly, beautifully combined into one, restored and updated and transformed into a Five-Star hotel with just 45 deluxe guest rooms, 12 luxury suites, and six long-stay apartments, each different, each exceptional. My accommodation (“Margaret Rose”) was dramatically on two levels; four steps down to the sitting area where bow windows overlooked Kensington Gardens and Kensington Palace (I was practically one of the Royals!).This level contained a huge sofa, a console containing mini-bar and a flat screen SpaTV and a piece of contemporary art I would like to own.  Also lovely gifts from General Manager, Andrew Pike -- fresh fruit and a  chilled bottle of excellent Champagne and a dewy-fresh red carnation (symbol of the Red Carnation Group – The Milestone is the flagship -- plus a dozen other luxury hotels including the marvelous Summer Lodge in Dorset).

Back up to the first level:  lovely bedroom with two big closets, a sex mirrored dresser, another flat screen TV with a message welcoming me by name. The huge marble bath had robes to get lost in and Penhaligon toiletries. The entire room was decorated in soft, contemporary shades of grey and silver – flannel covering the walls, subtly patterned carpeting, regal chairs, vanilla ceiling – supremely tasteful and contemporary.

TeaEach area  of The Milestone is glorious – the Stables Bar with its horse and jockey theme, The Conservatory dressed up like glamorous old Hollywood, The Lounge where high tea is served. On the lower level one finds a gym, a sauna and a heated resistance pool.

Finally, there is Cheneston’s (Old English for “Kensington”) Restaurant where I was invited to join Andrew Pike’s dinner party. Good company, a peaceful and beautiful room, the perfect host and excellent food and wine – I opted for a ballottine of wild Scottish salmon, crème fraiche and caviar to start and fillet of new season lamb with dauphinoise potatoes. A tip of the Tocque to Executive Chef Luke Davis!  To close, individual plates of tiny samples of each sinful dessert and pleasantly surprising wines throughout: Sauvigon-Blanc, Pinot Noir, both from South Africa and with dessert, Sauternes from France.

Happily sated, I returned to my room to discover the housekeeper had turned down, refreshed and left a scented candle burning in the bathroom and a gift of a tiny book on quilting along with a clip-on book light.  Sweet pleasures. Treat yourself to all – visit London and The Milestone Hotel.


The Milestone Hotel*****
1 Kensington Court
London W8 5DL. 
Telephone:  (from U.S.)  011 44 20 7917 1057.
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7917 1000
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7917 1010

Directions on their home page.


All rights reserved peter d'aprix ©1985-2019.
No copying, reuse or partial reproduction permitted without written permission by the authors, Peter and Linda D'Aprix.

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