by Chrissy Iley
I had never been to the Milestone Hotel in Kensington. Never heard of it. Where have I been? It’s like walking into a 1920s dolls house. A dollhouse filled with quirky luxury and vast imagination. Inhabited by dolls who like to ride horses, drink cocktails and know how to luxuriate in a conservatory.
The Stables Bar is all quilted seats and cosy baroque pictures of horses. It’s a shiny wooden bar that looks as chic and exquisite as the cocktails that are about to happen. There’s even a saddle on the banister. Someone told me that Clare Balding likes to come in and sit on it but I think they might have had a few cocktails when they said that.
The Roaring 1920s menu at the bar sports some beautiful and bespoke cocktails. The Gatsby cocktail is gin, vermouth with Maraschino liqueur, bitters, absinthe and three dainty and delightful cherries. Each cherry tastes like a mini-cocktail in itself.
It certainly transported me back to the time of decadence and excess. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted such a knockout, literally, cocktail. That doesn’t mean to say I didn’t want to have another. It reminded me of the old Dorothy Parker adage which she could have made up at this very bar: ‘I like to have a martini. Two at the very most. Three I’m under the table. Four I’m under the host.’
The Daisy is a brown spirit and ginger ale highball. The Milestone will mix your favourite bourbon with ginger ale. Designed for cocktailers to capture their independent spirit like Daisy Buchanan (from The Great Gatsby). And also when it was first created during the 1920s during Prohibition it was intended to mask the liquor by looking like innocent ginger ale.
On July 3 The Cocktail Lovers will host a cocktail tasting and masterclass on 1920s cocktails in the hotel. The Gatsby collection will be available until September.
The Stables Bar and conservatory is gorgeously intimate. A wonderful place to rediscover your spirits and theirs.
The Milestone Hotel, 1 Kensington Court, London, W8 5DL, 020 7917 1000 www.milstonehotel.com.