We made it to London! Today marks our first full week here. We’re still in temporary quarters at a hotel until we move into our permanent digs on Friday. The permanent digs will be the fifth place that we’ve laid our heads down since we started the moving process back in the middle of July.
Moving is never an easy venture, especially moving abroad. Right now, we still feel like tourists, as if we’re just here on a really long vacation. I’m not cooking much other than to make a quick salad and reheat prepared foods in the oven. That’s hard for me because I love making my family a good meal. We didn’t have good internet access for the first few days, and it seems that every day we face unfamiliar tasks.
Before we left for London, I knew we’d need a respite from the jet lag and all of the chaos accompanying our move. To help boost our spirits after we arrived, I booked a special treat for the kids and me: afternoon tea at the Milestone Hotel.
The Milestone Hotel is one of those traditional English hotels that feels like you’re stepping into another era, with dark wood, gleaming tile floors and lush decor. I chose the Milestone mostly because of their Prince and Princess Tea, a kid-friendly tea of finger sandwiches, cakes and of course, scones with clotted cream and jam.
With the Prince and Princess Tea, kids have the option of choosing a tea from the Milestone Hotel’s extensive offerings of tea, or they can have hot chocolate. The kids eyes grew wide when I told them there was hot chocolate.
“We can have hot chocolate even though it’s not snowing outside?!” they exclaimed. Oh, our poor, deprived children.
When the adults’ tea stand arrived, we had a vast offering of several different types of finger sandwiches. My heart soared when I spotted a watercress, cucumber and cream cheese sandwich. I’ve basically been missing this sandwich ever since I last lived in London 15 years ago (yes, I know I can make my own at home, but it’s just not the same). My favorite was a yogurt-based chicken salad and celery sandwich cut in a circle and and encrusted in crushed almonds. The almonds were just slightly toasted, making the sandwich a wonderful contrast between super crunchy almonds and creamy chicken. I think I’m going to have to make all of my chicken sandwiches this way from now on.
The kids each got their own mini-tea stand with a cheddar and tomato sandwich, egg salad, and chicken salad sandwich. The top tray held a variety of mini pastries. The kid-friendly tea is not only adorable, but delicious; the kids devoured every bite.
As if sitting in a fancy tea room having delicious treats wasn’t enough of an amazing experience, the staff came and picked up the kids to take them to a special room to decorate their own cupcakes. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves as to how much our kids loved this part:
Was the finished product a leaden bomb of sugar? Sure. Did I let them eat these cupcakes on the spot, or did I dole them out in small pieces over the next few days? Absolutely. The last thing London needs is my jetlagged, sugar-addled children wreaking havoc on its streets.
Milestone Hotel | Afternoon Tea starting from £40; kid-friendly tea available for under 12s for £20 | 1 Kensington Court | London W8 5DL