The cabbie is gushing about The Goring, his excitement palpable as his car weaves in and out of London traffic heading towards the historic hotel situated by Buckingham Palace. “That’s where Princess Kate spent the night before her wedding,” the cab driver eagerly tells me. Whether Princess Kate did in fact stay at The Goring before the royal wedding, I can’t say, but it is clear that this hotel offers the quintessential English experience I have been searching for.
Situated on Beeston Place, The Goring Hotel is nestled behind the Queen’s iconic palace and has been in operation for over a century by four generations of the Goring family. The luxury hotel is hailed as the oldest, privately owned hotel in London
Upon arriving at The Goring, attentive bellhops scoop up my luggage before I even have time to wrap a finger around the car door handle. The front of the hotel is flanked by British flags swaying in a light breeze and doors are opened to a marble lobby where an expertly trained staff make the process of check-in seamless and effortless.
On the ground floor of the hotel is a lounge area where guests sit languidly on leather seats whilst sipping on cocktails and wine. In the neighboring room, the dining room beckons to guests with the promise of a truly fantastic English meal (yet another feature of the hotel my cabbie could not stop gushing over).
I am led to the 4th floor to a door marked 97, which swings open to reveal a charming room overlooking the private garden area. Workers are putting up a Christmas tree that will look lovely by the evening light. The room is spacious with a large bed and basket of fruits waiting for my arrival. While modern in terms of amenities offered, the hotel truly has a classic and regal ambiance that undoubtedly stems from the first-class service provided by the highly attentive staff. Assuming British royalty, politicians and stars have walked these floors, the staff treats each patron as though part of the royal family. Not one person is spared the same kindness, respect and attention to detail that everyone from the concierge to the servers so thoughtfully provide.
In the evening, I head down to the dining room to enjoy a meal that quickly becomes the best I’ve had in London. The pre-fixe menu starts out with a complimentary glass of champagne and a warm cabbage salad that pairs well with the bubbly libation. My main course—a savory duck—is by far the best duck I have had in my life (which comes after a visit to France and enjoying duck confit, I will add). The dish pairs well with the bottle of Chilean red wine I am enjoying. The dessert is a molecular gastronomy surprise that has the appearance of being a lemon but is in fact made up of yellow painted white chocolate that breaks open to reveal chocolate shavings, homemade custard, and a lemon sherbet.
Having come from a city like New York where meals can often be inhaled rather than enjoyed, dining at The Goring is a memorable experience that offers high-end English cuisine, quality service, and exquisite flavors. My stay at The Goring proves short but undeniably sweet. It is the perfect end to a trip that has taken me from the cobblestone streets of Paris to the busy streets of London.
The Goring is a splurge hotel and can be reserved for those special occasions where pampering oneself reigns supreme. Book a stay if you are looking for a classic, high-end English hotel experience that gives the feeling of living like royalty.
*This writer was invited for a complimentary stay in exchange for editorial coverage. As always, all opinions expressed on Unearth Women remain unbiased.