For many years, The Goring quietly went about its business, being one of London's iconic privately-run hotels and one of the few places HRH would go to dinner, outside of Buckingham Palace. Then the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge got married and a huge spotlight was shone on the hotel as it put up the bride to be and her family the night before the royal wedding.
Fast forward seven years and the hotel is still the only hotel in the city to be owned by the family that opened it. The Queen still goes to eat there (she's had her staff Christmas lunch there for the past two years) making the hotel a magnet for anyone looking for a little of the royal glitter to rub off on them.
Where is it?
Very near Buckingham Palace - of course - and just around the corner from Victoria station too.
When it opened, back in 1910, one of The Goring's big selling points was that it was the first hotel in the world in which every room had a private bathroom and central heating. In 2018 thankfully those two things are a given.
Our king room on the top floor may not have had much of a view (there are some lovely rooms with a view over the hotel's garden) but it was a decent size and rather beautifully decorated. There's no mini bar, which may come as a surprise, but instead the hotel offers 24-hour room service (which we took advantage of that evening).
One of this hotel's unique features is its private garden, a huge size given it's just a hop over the wall from the palace. So there's no better place to pop for pre-dinner cocktails in the summer months than the terrace here. If you're here during colder times, then the gorgeous bar is also definitely worth taking up residence in.
We tried a classic and a twist on a classic - so that's an old-school, impeccably made and improbably strong Cosmopolitan and then a smoky Negroni. We also rather liked the cheesy biscuits you got as free bar snacks.
Sometimes there's really nothing better than a good hotel bar, is there?
What's for dinner?
Chef Shay Cooper arrived at The Goring in 2014 from the Bingham in Richmond, where he picked up a Michelin star for his work there. Michelin were similarly impressed with his food at The Goring, giving the hotel a Michelin star on Shay's arrival for what they described as a "pleasing mix of British classics and lighter, more modern dishes".
That description could just as easily refer to the dining room which must be one of the most pleasing spaces to eat in London. If you're weary of thin, cramped East London dining rooms then head here where the restaurant is the kind of room Jane Austen would describe as "well-proportioned". We're not mad keen on Viscount Linley's modern light fittings, but then you can't have everything.
Best of all, in mid-August on a Saturday night, the place was packed with couples and groups - making for a lovely buzzy experience.
Shay's menu here is a mixture of classic dishes and those with a lighter touch. Here's what we ate on the night...
The morning after the night before
Breakfast at The Goring can be taken in two rooms. You can opt for the bar and have a continental breakfast but, as you might have guessed, we spurned that choice in favour of returning to the dining room for the full cooked spread.
Everything is pretty much what you would expect from a hotel breakfast - except the full English also contains both black and white pudding and lambs’ kidneys as standard. It's the kind of spread that an Edwardian gent eating here when the hotel first opened would have been proud of.
The bottom line
An overnight stay with a three-course dinner for two in the restaurant and breakfast the next morning starts at £520 per night, per room. A three-course dinner in the restaurant is £64.
More about The Goring
Where is it? 15 Beeston Pl, Westminster, London SW1W 0JW
Hot Dinners stayed as guests of The Goring
Subscribe to be the first to get the news from Hot Dinners