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.
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.
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.
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….