Some of you may recognise the Goring Hotel from the Royal Wedding in 2011. This was the hotel where the Duchess of Cambridge spent her final night as Catherine Middleton (or Kate Middleton as many still erroneously call her). (Those who speak German or are history buffs might cringe at the name as it sounds very similar to [Hermann] Göring (Guh-ring), President of the Reichstag and founder of the Gestapo. shiver Not to worry, however, for this hotel bears no association with Nazi Germany.)
The 5-star Edwardian hotel was founded in 1910 by Otto Goring and has remained in the family ever since. In 2013, the hotel received a Royal Warrant for hospitality services.
No sooner had we alighted from the black cab, the friendly Doorman held the door open for us and welcomed us to The Goring. He was quick to perceive that we wanted our photos taken outside the hotel and obliged us by taking several.
We were then warmly welcomed in the elegant foyer by the staff who did not judge us based on our clothing. There was no rushing us into the Bar & Lounge or one of those typical I-clearly-was-not-listening-to-you-nor-do-I-care-what-you’re-saying responses. We felt genuinely welcomed. You may argue that this is expected from 5-star hotels or that this is because you’re walking money but I personally believe it’s because they believe in being genuine.
The beautiful landscape wallpaper you see is by Fromental. If I remember correctly, it had been recently redecorated (within the last 5 years).
We were sat right across from these glass doors leading out to the Veranda. I later had a walk around and it looks like guests can play croquet outdoors!
Update (15 August 2017): In July 2017, I explored a bit more of the garden and found a few quieter areas for guests to rest.
We ordered the Traditional Afternoon Tea (£42.50; VAT included; optional 12.5% service charge can be added to the bill), which came in one tiered tray. There was more than enough food and we later found that we had to take the dessert with us to go. For tea, we chose the Goring Afternoon Blend, a blend of Assam and second flush Darjeeling. It’s very light so I would recommend you choose that one.
The first to arrive on our plates was a little glass of rice krispies and some sort of ‘cream’ which I’ve now forgotten but did enjoy.
Update (15 August 2017): Afternoon Tea now starts at £49. In July 2017, just about everything on the sweets plate had raspberry.
The Ladies Powder Room
After downing several cups of tea, I paid a visit to the ladies room and took several photos with my iPhone because, as you may remember from my previous posts, I do judge a place based on the WCs. I really liked it.
I would absolutely love to have the beautiful wallpaper with birds, roses and birdcages in my room someday. I mistakenly assumed that because Fromental did the wallpaper for the foyer, the ones in the ladies room had to be the same. Thankfully, one of the ladies who works for the PR company for Goring corrected me on Instagram. The wallpaper is called Birdcage Walk and is by Nina Campbell.
I did not want to leave The Goring but we had eaten our fill and drank as many cups of tea as our tummies could hold. It would be a dream to stay in one of their rooms someday – when I’ve won the lottery which I never enter – but until that day, I will treasure my visit. If you want to feel warmly welcomed and important (i.e. no one wants to be treated like a ghost or worse) and enjoy a scrumptious afternoon tea, you will love your experience at The Goring. Granted, it’s a very expensive treat but well-worth it. Savour every second you spend there.
To the staff at The Goring, thank you very much for the experience!
Address: Beeston Place, London SW1W 0JW (near Buckingham Palace)
Afternoon Tea Hours: Mon-Fri, Sun 15-16:00 in the Bar & Lounge; Sat 13-16:00 in the Dining Room. Do make a reservation!