For unapologetic traditional oomph in Central London – much smaller scale than the Ritz though on par with extraordinary history and bags of chandeliered-and-checkerboard character, courtesy of its status as one of London’s only family-run luxury hotels.
Of wedding night or citymoon reverie, this is where Kate Middleton spent the night before her wedding and the royal roots run deep (The Goring is the only hotel in the world to enjoy a Royal Warrant from our late Queen). It follows then that shirts and jackets are worn at dinner and stilettos still clip the stools of the storied bar. Come for a sumptuously fresh spin on 20th century London – all gilt mirrors, marble floors and elaborate murals.
Set the scene
As a London institution and royal family favourite, The Goring‘s 100th anniversary redecoration couldn’t stray too far from its comfortingly rich and resplendent character. The Front Hall’s new look harks back to Victorian Britain with its checkered marble floor and fantastical hand-painted mural (the final stroke of which was completed by the Princess of Wales). Hotel staff float around the sconce and mirror-clad corridors in sharp red uniforms – Debretts in human form. An orangerie hosts elaborate afternoon teas (famously beloved by our late queen) and spills onto a terrace and unusually large private garden, by Belgravia standards. A moody bar, decked in rich hues and velvet sofas, strikes a cosy (even sexy) note, particularly in winter with its roaring fires, while the dining room seizes on a more subdued palette of swirly plastered ceiling and those thick, heavy cream curtains. It’s a hotel confident in its classicism.
Food and drink
As with the interiors, menus stay in the traditional lane and remain standard bearers in the city’s haut foodie scene. At the helm of the Michelin starred Dining Room, British chef Graham Squire oversees flawless plates of Longhorn beef Wellington, Rhug Eatate fallow deer and the iconic Goring Lobster omelette. This is British silver service at its poker face best, the sort rumoured to be extinct. From the chef’s goats cheese tart welcome to the caviar lemon blinis and Colchester oysters washed down with Ayala Champagne, dining here is a fabulously lavish affair offering a glimpse into British high society which, it would appear from just one night at the Goring, is alive and well. Breakfast takes place in the same David Linley-designed restaurant, where large Victorian windows allow the morning light to spill in. A classic menu – of black pudding English breakfasts and buttermilk waffles with Cornish strawberries – veers slightly off piste with avocado-on-sourdough with chimichurri (The Goring may stress timeless elegance but she’s no luddite).
A swishy bar is propped up with alcoholic odes to some of the hotel’s most illustrious guests and characters, including Winston Churchill’s ‘Victory Tea’ port and green strawberry bitters concoction, and ‘The German’ – a gin and rosemary syrup cocktail referencing Otto Goring, who founded the hotel in 1910. The Goring is famed for its just-so afternoon tea, featuring perfectly-formed pastries and the sort of cream and jam-laden scones Americans long for with a London visit. But the Goring’s greatest appeal, particularly for couples, is the Champagne breakfast-in-bed, which are not far removed from the louche, ritualised mornings of Princess Margaret in the Netflix series, The Crown.
If you’re not having your bags dropped in the resplendent Royal Suite (spanning the length of the building), fear not. A relatively small number of Russel Sage designed rooms lean into high society fantasy: heavy, draped curtains, sconces poking out of mirrors, beds framed by Gainsborough silk walls. The heated floor in the marble bathrooms is a welcome touch, as are the Aspen products lining the sink and a smooth Radio 4 turndown service. Couples can easily cocoon themselves in these rooms for hours on end, sipping Ayala Champagne in the bath or tucking into room service from the enormous, fit-for-a-queen beds.
Despite the strict dress codes and marbled corridors, this Belgravia institution has always been a family affair. Expect interconnecting rooms, baby paraphernalia upon request and a dressing up box and library lined with British classics for bedtime stories. Children adore Teddy, the Goring’s resident Shetland pony, and will retell the warm cookies and hot chocolate turndown stories for years to come.
A formidably well-located hotel for exploring London, while remaining a safe distance away from the Piccadilly tourist swarms. The Goring sits on a quiet, residential style street in Belgravia, a few symbolic steps from Buckingham Palace and Green Park. Belgravia’s streets, lined with independent shops and cafes, are a romantic stroll away; Chelsea’s leafy squares and museums are a little photogenic ten minutes further on; and the West End and central London’s top museums are easily reached by taxi or train (Victoria station is conveniently located less than a five-minute walk from the hotel).
Doubles start from: £695
To book, visit: thegoring.com
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