The Goring

The Goring  tucked away in the heart of Belgravia just a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace was opened in 1910 by Otto Goring and his family, who still runs it to this day. In 2011 the Middletons put the hotel back on the map for a new generation when they stayed there during William and Kate’s wedding; two years later the hotel was awarded the honour of Royal Warrant for hospitality services.
 
So when SL’s editor was asked along to stay with her young family in tow she was intrigued to find out whether such an old school British establishment could genuinely offer something to entertain all ages.

It was May bank holiday and whilst there are plenty of family friendly hotels out of London so often we overlook the entertainment, culture and adventure on our own doorstop so despite my other half asking why we were off to spend the night in Victoria when we live in Wandsworth we went along planning to explore some of what our incredible city has to offer, away from the washing up and knowing our children and I(!) would revel in the novelty of it all.
 
The Goring is pretty refined  perhaps not the first place that springs to mind if you’re after a city break with two young children in tow, but the hotel actually goes above and beyond to make little ones feel thoroughly spoiled.
 
The red coat attired footman was a hit from the word go and so good-natured my shy little pair were happy to pose with him for countless pictures featuring the class bear we were entrusted with for the weekend.

On arrival children are treated to a soft toy ‘Bar-baa-raa’ sheep on each of their beds (the hotel mascot), as well as a ‘For Kids Eyes’ only pack and a Goring Passport to accumulate stamps from each area of the hotel as a keepsake from their stay. Chef even invites them down to the kitchen to decorate their own cookies.

Everything has been thought of: The Goring Bedtime Story Library stocks books for all ages, and us parents are supplied with lotions and potions, changing mats and sacks, bath toys and bath mats. In the evening, the ingredients for cocktails (parent) and mocktails (children) are bought up to the rooms, for a bit of mixology and fun.
 
Head Concierge ‘Big John’ is a whizz at creating days out for families. The Goring is perfectly placed for an easy walk or a ride in a double-decker bus to the following London must-visits.

The weekend started well when it ending up coinciding with the birth of Princess Charlotte (the hotel were pretty excited - as were we) so we took a stroll down to Buckingham palace, followed by lunch at the Rainforest Café (won’t hurry back) and a visit to the Natural History Museum.

 

The interiors are as English as it gets. The hotel has had a recent refurb and it’s clear no detail has been overlooked nor expense spared  even the lobby wallpaper (a hand-painted depiction of wild English parkland) was designed by Russel Sage. While Nina Campbell designed one of the Belgravia suites and 'The Best Room' and David Linley designed The Dining Room.
 
We stayed in two interconnecting bedrooms that had all the elegance of a country pile, thanks to beautiful walnut furniture, opulent fabric-covered walls and beds so comfortable you could happily have stayed there all weekend reading the papers (if you hadn’t had children with you)…

Children’s tea was a fittingly civilised affair and our little ones were in their element. Out on the veranda overlooking The Goring’s stunning garden (equipped with croquet lawn) they tucked into the smartest fish and chips, the latter served in a silver pot whilst we sipped on a kir royal and nibbled tasty treats that came with. (From around us it was clear that afternoon tea is a tempting option, too.)

Later that evening, with the children safely tucked up in bed, we enjoyed our own dinner in the dining room. A thoroughly regal experience with modern British dishes elegantly executed (think Eggs Drumkilbo hard-boiled eggs with lobster and prawns, which was the Queen Mother’s go-to meal).
 
We could wax lyrical for hours about the glazed lobster omelet, duck fat chips and lobster Caesar salad; rich and indulgent and totally worth the calories. We could not have got close to finishing it although we were told some people manage. Also highly notable was the succulent fillet of beef Wellington that was wheeled around on a silver cart. We did manage to save space for a dreamy cheese trolley and some inspired puddings, like Pistachio sponge, baked custard, poached rhubarb, buttermilk sorbet.
 
Breakfast was as impeccable as everything else. Plastic plates weren’t quite ready and waiting and the service could have been quicker (my children aren’t the most patient when they want their cereal) but they were certainly most welcome.
 
Our lasting impression: The Goring is right in the thick of all the action, but manages to maintain an atmosphere of serenity. The perfect base from which to explore the very best that London has to offer. Plus it’s stunning but not too bling. Just as the Royals like it….