Upon arrival, I was immediately offered a glass of champagne, a practise that should be more common as far as I’m concerned. It didn’t hurt that the bubbly itself is from the world’s oldest established champagne house, Ruinart.
Beneath an extraordinary portrait of Noel Coward in a yellow matador’s ensemble, an effortless waiter took us through the teas. Though I was tempted to go with a traditional Earl Grey or Darjeeling, I chose Russian Caravan for something exotic. The intoxicating infusion is designed to emulate flavours of 18th century tea brought to Russia on camel caravans, picking up the smoky aromas from travellers’ campfires along the way.
Luckily I didn’t succumb to some eighteenth century impulse to swoon back against the sofa amidst the comforting clinks of bone china, because soon sandwiches, petit scones with clotted cream and pastries were laid upon our table. From the arrangement on the customary three tiers, I drew a sublime chicken and chopped almond sandwich. It must be said though, that the strawberry éclair took trumps with fantastically light choux pastry, fresh strawberries and white chocolate glaze.
After a magnificent afternoon, I decided sneak a peak of the rest of the property. I discovered the Milestone’s utterly delightful equestrian themed bar, and naturally resolved to return for entirely different kind of ritual in the very near future.
By Lucy Heavens