Hotel review: The Goring, Belgravia | London | trip

New hotels in London, like The Goring, evoke romantic escapism. From the moment you are ushered in through the grand colonnaded entrance and across the gleaming tiled floor by red-lived footmen, you’re transported into a sumptuous and delightfully English otherworld, where life-sized wooden sheep graze by the open fire and you might see a Duchess passing by. the side door slips out.

Opened by Otto Richard Goring in 1910 in a quiet lot close to Buckingham Palace, the Royal Family is so intertwined with the hotel’s history that there were once rumors of a secret tunnel connecting the palace to the property. It is the only hotel in the world with its own Royal Warrant, which it received in 2013, and the Queen enlisted the confectioners to make Prince Charles’ christening cake. The Duchess of Cambridge hid here before her wedding to Prince William and the Queen Mother had dishes named after her.

Aside from The Firm, The Goring has long been a trendy haunt of the upper classes, and it remains the only hotel in London owned and run by the family that built it. The property is currently managed by Otto Goring’s great-grandson, Jeremy, who takes great care of it. Leave your stiff upper lip at the door and enjoy sybaritic long lunches and champagne afternoon tea in the bright and contemporary plant-filled Veranda, or let coffee transition to cocktails in the lounge – a decadently cozy space with velvet furnishings and tiger-print cushions. Last summer a Shetland pony moved into the acre private garden and the hotel’s favorite music is Mad Dogs and Englishmen by Noel Coward.

Rooms & decor

The Goring was one of the first hotels to feature Russell Sage, the interior designer known for his whimsical, maximalist interiors, who has since lent his flamboyant finesse to The Fife Arms and Belmond Cadogan Hotel. Caricatures of notable staff hide among mustachioed walruses and swaying palms in the hand-painted Fromental silk wallpaper that elegantly covers the front hall. Look out for sculptural plasterwork depicting mermaids and sea creatures in the bar and lounge.

The chandeliered rooms are beautifully chintzed, with elegant curtains and Edwardian mahogany furnishings. Marble bathrooms are loaded with toiletries from another Royal Warrant holder, Asprey, and have ‘a real crapper’ as Jeremy Goring calls it – an original Thomas Crapper flush toilet with a pull chain.

The hotel’s most requested room is the immaculate Royal Suite, costing a whopping £7,500 a night and was christened by the Duchess of Cambridge after being renovated in 2015.

Food and drink

The dining room, designed by the Queen’s cousin, Viscount David Linley, was awarded a Michelin Star in 2016 and excels in razor-sharp, white tablecloth grandeur. Elegant, delicious dishes include chestnut velouté with forest mushrooms and black truffle dumplings and drum kilbo with eggs – a signature lobster and egg dish that was said to be one of the favorite dishes of the late Queen Mother. The tender and pink Beef Wellington is also a highlight, driven on a silver trolley.

Most surprisingly for a Michelin star restaurant, it attracts a loyal crowd, who clearly treat it as their local. On a Monday night, it was fully booked with friendly, silver-haired seniors browsing the extensive wine list, alongside lively family gatherings.

In the mornings, the hotel is filled with business breakfasts, which spill out into the handsome wood-panelled conference rooms – the same rooms where Winston Churchill interacted with Allied leaders during World War II, while the Polish army was stationed in exile above.

Potted greens dangle from the glass roof in the brightly colored Veranda, which serves a more relaxed lunchtime menu featuring upscale British classics, such as grilled sole from Dover or lobster omelette, as well as afternoon tea. In the summer months, the Veranda opens onto the pretty private garden, where guests are invited to enjoy a light croquet dish.

Special details

Don’t expect a standard carrycot here. Rolling out the red carpet for the little ones, The Goring offers stately wooden beds with thick, comfortable mattresses, fit for a little prince or princess.

The verdict

Many hotels are expensive or posh, but The Goring is quite posh. Comfort is paramount in this no-decade-sparing royal hideaway that, like any major luxury hotel, also feels decidedly homey.

To reserve

Read more: The Best Five Star Hotels in London


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