Harden's survey result
“Still glowing from its Royal Wedding connection” (and nowadays with a Royal Warrant to show for it) – this once-sleepy, nowadays increasingly fashionable, traditional British five-star hotel is situated conveniently behind Buck House. Established in 1910, it is still run by the Goring family, who have been investing heavily of late, with the creation of Siren (see also) and the recent relaunch of the hotel’s bar. Its “delightfully old-school” dining room is a “perennial stalwart”, whose “quintessentially-British menu” was slightly bizarrely starred by Michelin a few years ago. That’s not to say that the cooking is not “traditional and of high quality”, but the real reason why this is the perfect venue for lunching your maiden aunt or “wowing visiting prospective clients” isn’t the food, but its “impeccable”, “old-fashioned” service and the “impressive surroundings” of this “light, elegant and high-ceilinged” chamber (whose “roomy tables allow for serious business discussions”). No surprise that prices are a tad “steep”. Top Tip – afternoon tea in the adjoining lounge can be “crowded” but otherwise is as it would be done by Disney – “like a fantasy step back in time” – “we went wild for the sandwiches and scones which were offered in abundance!”
For a “quintessential English experience” in London, it’s hard to beat this “wonderful family-owned and managed hotel in the heart of Victoria and its marvellous dining room”. “Perfect, courteous and caring service” is at the heart of a formula which feels like “a trip back to yesteryear” and which is “class personified”. As such, though not at all corporate, it’s “a first-rate way to wow potential clients (especially Americans!)”, backed up by luxurious traditional cuisine that’s “old school and all the better for it”. There’s also a “fascinating wine list, with many entries chosen personally by Mr Goring on his travels”. This is also the location for “the most civilised breakfast in London”, and there’s a “marvellous, sumptuous afternoon tea served in the opulent lounge at the Goring: enveloping cosy chairs, fine china, an extensive selection of teas, sandwiches, scones and the prettiest of cakes, plus Champagne options. A total treat best saved for special days”.
“One of the last bastions of the English style of the old days” – this “time-warp” family-run hotel between Victoria and Buckingham Palace provides “the quintessential country house experience in London”, with “smartly dressed staff with many years of service” and a “hugely traditional, well-spaced interior”. It’s shot to prominence in recent years – both since the Middletons stayed here prior to the Royal Wedding and since Michelin (slightly bafflingly) awarded the “classic” British cuisine a star, although in truth the top culinary attractions are its superb breakfasts and afternoon tea (“just how it should be – comfy sofas and chairs, endless streams of sandwiches and scones, followed by dainty cakes”). But “oh dear, is it starting to rest on its regal laurels?” It took more flak this year for being “very expensive”.
“Away from the hoi polloi, and convenient for Buck Pal’”, this “splendid and unspoilt survivor” is not only “an oasis from the hustle and bustle of Victoria” but also a bastion of unchanging values: in particular its “impeccable” service “pandering to every whim”. The Michelin star bestowed on the “delightful dining room” is something of a distraction – “the food is not outstandingly good, but old-fashioned and English” – perfect for business, a “traditional British breakfast par excellence”, or “a masterclass in how to do afternoon tea”.
The Dining Room, The Goring Hotel Restaurant Diner Reviews
"Lovely setting, and attentive. but not always accurate service, make this a delight. But the food is good at best. The portions are generous which makes it the more regrettable that all desserts are on the heavy side. As is the price."
"if you want understated class, it's hard to imagine anywhere doing it better. You have to have the Queen Mother's favourite, eggs drumkilbo. It's not exciting, but that's not what the Goring's patrons want. Perfect place to take an Anglophile overseas friend. "
"Dependably good, unfussy, very traditionally presented food."
"first class on all levels. hard to beat. never seems crowded, even when full. lobster omelette and chips a firm favourite"
"Standards done to a very high mmmm standard. Prices are creeping upwards, though."
"Best place in London to have a quiet business dinner."
|Wine per bottle||£39.00|
The Goring Hotel SW1
Where would you take England's greatest living ex-Prime Minister for lunch the day after her 80th birthday party? Admittedly, this is not a question one faces all that often, but the answer presented itself when - half way through our meal - Lady Thatcher made her entrance into this grand and very English dining room near Victoria Station. This is a fine choice indeed, for those suspicious of continental ways.
The Goring is the last grand family-owned hotel in central London, but unlike the Basil Street (which recently closed) it doesn't mind the occasional investment to keep its appeal up-to-date. Hence the elegant recent refurbishment, by David Linley, of this bright corner dining room. Nothing too startling, you understand: with the Connaught and the Savoy Grill abandoning their time-honoured régimes, the Goring is now one of a tiny handful of the capital's surviving traditionally grand hotel dining rooms.
The food, as ever, is as native as you'll find. The word 'carpaccio' has admittedly crept on to on the menu, but mercifully it turns out that it's: 'of Balmoral Venison with Beetroot'. Phew. After that, there's little that would give John Bull any cause for concern: a good choice of meat, game and fish, all simply served, and followed by puddings of the crumble 'n' custard variety, and a selection of English cheeses (from Paxton & Whitfield). There are no fireworks (heaven forbid!), but everything is of a good, consistent quality.
The service here has long been among the best in town, and so it remains. It has the unforced - almost clubland - charm which goes with the sense of belonging which George Goring (and now son Jeremy) have always seemed so good at creating. A true sense of unforced hospitality is a particular rarity in grand establishments - no doubt why the place was full to bursting.
15 Beeston Pl, London, SW1W 0JW
|Monday||7 am‑2:30 pm, 6 pm‑10 pm|
|Tuesday||7 am‑2:30 pm, 6 pm‑10 pm|
|Wednesday||7 am‑2:30 pm, 6 pm‑10 pm|
|Thursday||7 am‑2:30 pm, 6 pm‑10 pm|
|Friday||7 am‑2:30 pm, 6 pm‑10 pm|
|Saturday||7 am‑10:30 am, 6:30 pm‑10 pm|
|Sunday||7:30 am‑2:30 pm, 7 pm‑10 pm|