A favourite of dowager duchesses, lords, ladies and assorted gentlefolk; the Middleton family and the Duchess of Cambridge stayed here the night before the Royal Wedding. The Goring was opened by Otto Richard Goring in 1910 and remains in the family to this day.
Across the road from Buckingham Palace. The hotel has the great advantage of a huge private garden, surrounded by flower borders and shrubbery, with a central lawn on which croquet is played in the summer months.
Address: 15 Beeston Place, Westminster, London, England, United Kingdom, SW1W 0JW.
Style & character
Style was never the Goring’s strong point, though it always had character and humour (self-mocking caricatures; Noel Coward singing if you are put on hold; life-sized sheep in bedrooms and plastic ducks in bathrooms; a house magazine called The Trumpeter that’s full of fun). To mark its 100th anniversary, it began a programme of stylish redecoration that has just finished with the unveiling of its ravishing new Front Hall, clad with hand-painted wallpaper of exotic animals (some caricatures of staff and owners) in a romantic English landscape. The Bar & Lounge, by Tim Gosling, is richly decorated in reds, yellows and gold, and the Dining Room, by David Linley, is notable for its love-them-or-loathe-them Swarovski ‘blossom’ chandeliers, while the garden adds a unique sense of space and privacy.
Service & facilities
Key staff are long serving, notably the larger-than-life David Morgan-Hewitt, managing director. The delightful Michael Beavan acts as ‘host’ (“my job description is very simple; I don’t have one. My only task is to loiter in the lobby and find out what we can do to make guests feel more at home”) and sets the tone for warm, but always polite, service. In-room champagne has been replaced by complimentary cocktails, mixed in situ, and the de rigeur butler service for suites is provided by a ‘fleet of footmen’, Downton Abbey style.
The bedrooms have been redesigned over the past few years, many by Russell Sage, who was responsible for the Royal Suite that stretches the length of the building. His bedrooms are glamorous yet homely, decorated with Gainsborough silks on the walls. All the rooms have very comfortable marble bathrooms.
Food & drink
The Dining Room at The Goring was awarded its first Michelin star in September 2015. The accolade, the first star in the hotel’s history, was awarded in recognition of head chef Shay Cooper’s imaginative cooking, based on the best seasonal British produce. Shay’s elegant dishes complement the hotel perfectly and the sommeliers make sure that the wines are equally well matched.
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