here you will do well to linger; here our highest good is pleasure”

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Queen of Spades

March 20, 2020

The site of the luxurious 5-star Milestone Hotel in Kensington boasts an illustrious list of famous residents since the first dwelling was established here over 330 years ago.

The list comprises of members of aristocracy, royal bodyguards and even Shakespeare’s purported grandson but perhaps the most intriguing occupants of this Kensington address was the family of Count Peter Grigorievich Chernyshev, a Russian diplomat to Britain during the Georgian period.

They moved to London in 1746 and his young daughter Natalya would later become the inspiration for ‘The Queen of Spades’, one of Russia’s greatest short stories written by poet and playwright Alexander Pushkin.

Natalya spent her later life in the Russian court and legend has it that during this period her grand-nephew Prince Sergei Grigorevich Golitsyn came to her for help after he lost a large sum of money in a card game.

Natalya revealed to him an old secret she’d learned about three magical cards – a three, a seven and an ace – which the prince then used to win his money back.

Sergei apparently told Pushkin about this and he adapted it into his short story where a Russian officer scares a wise old countess to death whilst threatening her into revealing the secret of the three magical cards.

The late countess then appears in a dream to the officer and reveals the secret however as he plays the hand in a high stakes game he looks down to see the ace has supernaturally turned into the queen of spades, which smiles back in glee at having tricked him.

This playful and effervescent cocktail ‘The Rocking Horse’ perhaps harks back to the Queen of Spades’ innocent childhood years living and playing at the hotel’s address and has been created by talented Head Bartender @angelo_logreco.


40 ml Broken Clock vodka
20 ml Passion Fruit Liqueur
10 ml Passion Fruit Syrup
Juice of One Lime
Real Kombucha Royal Flush
One Passion Fruit


Combine the vodka, liqueur, syrup and lime juice in a Boston tin and shake over ice. Strain into an iced highball glass and top with the kombucha. Garnish with a spoon of passion fruit seeds, wedge of passion fruit and mint.