Popular with the Royal Family and Sir Winston Churchill, the Goring Hotel is the epitome of British refinement.
It was the venue chosen for the celebratory meal after Prince Charles’s christening in 1948 and Queen Mary (the Queen’s grandmother) was said to regularly take tea here, so it should come as little surprise that The Goring Hotel became the first hotel to be awarded Royal Warrant for Hospitality Services by Her Majesty The Queen in 2013.
Step through its grand canopied entrance and you are immediately transported to a different era of British hospitality with the ghosts of the numerous past dignitaries who have stayed here almost doffing their caps at you through the walls – it has effectively served as an annexe to nearby Buckingham Palace for years, in fact Kate Middleton even stayed here the night before her wedding.
Rumours of a secret tunnel linking the palace to the hotel are probably just myth, but the dining room, designed by Viscount Linley, certainly has all the markings of a venue fit for royalty, and the menu is simply tantalising.
Last year the Goring was named Top London Afternoon Tea venue by the UK Tea Guild – it even boasts its own signature blend – but for a truly luxurious evening, treat yourself to dinner, complete with your own sommelier to guide you through the vast wine menu.
The menu is seasonal – although the Queen Mother supposedly favoured the Eggs Drumkilbo, so they make a constant appearance – and chef Shay Cooper has a way of creating flavoursome dishes that surprise and delight in equal measure – the seafood stew was not at all how we imagined it but it was nonetheless mouth-wateringly tasty.
You might also want to treat yourself to one of the plates that are carved in the room – we’d recommend the Beef Wellington if it’s on, and whatever you do, don’t miss the Champagne trolley, nor the cheese selection for that matter, which is one of the best we’ve ever tried.
The genteel refinement of the Goring is unbeatable and while you’re sat in the Edwardian dining room, supping on Champers and soaking up the atmosphere, spare a thought for the time Winston Churchill, whose mother once lived here, was spotted lifting the French Prime Minister Daladier off the floor by his lapels, as Chamberlain looked on. Or perhaps you can reflect on the hotel’s fascinating link to the First World War when it was used as the command centre for the Chief of Allied Forces, with a direct telephone link between General Pershing and President Wilson.
Altogether it’s a historic hotel that has lost none of its appeal over the past 100 years.
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