Looking Back: The Heritage
The family-operated Goring Hotel was opened in 1910 by Otto Goring and remains in the family to this day; it is presently run by Jeremy Goring. The hotel is steeped in history, run for over a century by four generations of the Goring family and hailed as the oldest and most decadent hotel in London.
The Middleton family are not the first ‘famous’ guests to stay within the hotel walls; Winston Churchill was a frequent guest, and his mother, Lady Churchill, even lived in the Goring for a short period after the First World War. Since opening in 1910, the hotel has hosted Royalty from all over Europe, such as Norwegian Crown Prince Olav in 1937.
Staff also plays a big part in the hotel’s history, and many are long-serving, notably the larger-than-life David Morgan-Hewitt, MD. The footmen are also an important visual for guests, whom they make feel instantly at home from the moment they walk through the door, in real Downton Abbey style.
Looking In: The Décor
To mark the Goring’s 100th anniversary in 2010, it began a stylish revamp of the communal area and the bedrooms. The redecorated and ravishing new Front Hall is clad with hand-painted wallpaper of exotic animals; the Bar & Lounge, designed by Tim Gosling, are richly decorated in reds, yellows, and gold; and the Dining Room, designed by David Linley, is notable for its love-them-or-loathe-them Swarovski ‘blossom’ chandeliers. The garden adds a unique sense of space and privacy in central London.
If the décor downstairs is anything to go by, the upstairs was always bound to be even better. The rooms have all 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 on one of the floors. The bedrooms are splendid yet homely, decorated with Gainsborough silks on the walls and dazzling marble bathrooms. The Delightful Suite boasts an entrance hall, bedroom, bathroom, and seating area along with a fruit bowl, champagne cocktails, and luxurious goodies in the bathroom.
Looking Out: The Cultural Links
Set on a quiet, leafy street in Belgravia, across the road from Buckingham Palace, The Goring is set in arguably one of London’s most desirable areas. There is a large collection of museums open for the public close to the hotel, with the Natural History Museum in South Kensington and the V&A Museum and The British Museum in the vicinity. The Goring is the closest five-star hotel to Buckingham Palace, with London’s finest royal attractions and parks just yards away; St James’s Park is across the road, the Royal Mews are around the corner, and a trip to the palace’s state rooms is a five-minute walk away. The Goring is perfectly positioned.
Whether you’re looking for a trip to a musical at one of London’s many theatres, a little bit of light shopping at Harrods in Knightsbridge, or Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park this Christmas, everything is only a short taxi ride.
Looking Ahead: The Future
It’s true that the hotel doesn’t come cheap, but you are most definitely paying for the experience and the service from every member of staff you come in to contact with, from the footmen to the turn down staff. If an overnight is a little bit too much, why not indulge in the award-winning afternoon tea or go for dinner in the restaurant, newly awarded a Michelin star, the first in the hotel’s history. The accolade 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.
The best bit? The light settings in all the rooms give you four options – a favourite is labelled ‘Oooh,’ which is a dim light which oozes relaxation. This is another example of the hotel’s cheeky, typically British sense of humour.
Note: Rates for a Delightful Room start from £430 per night, excluding breakfast; Belgravia Suites start from £1,340 per night, excluding breakfast; and the Royal Suite starts from £8,400 per night, including breakfast and a host of amenities. Bookings via: www.thegoring.com/
Beeston Place, London, UK +44 020 7396 9000
By Sophie Hannah Davis
<em>Sophie Davis is an International Relations graduate, budding editorial writer and traveller. To see more of her writing and travel insights check out her travel and lifestyle blog <a href=”http://sophiessuitcase.com/”>Sophie’s Suitcase</a> and follow her on <a href=”https://instagram.com/sophiessuitcse/”>Instagram</a> and <a href=”https://twitter.com/sophiessuitcse”>Twitter</a>.</em> </p>