The Parisian Eye

Travel: the Goring Hotel, London – By Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen

Oct 15, 2013 | Parisian Eye
Inside my Belgravia suite at the Goring Hotel
At the beginning of the year, the Goring Hotel became the first ever to get a Royal Warrant from the Queen of England, after providing services to Her Majesty and the royal court for decades. In a word, the Royal Warrant simply means that the
Goring is fit for the Queen!
Ever since I knew I would be staying at The Goring during my yearly London trip in the summertime, I was anticipating my arrival. For a lover of all things British, this place sounded like the ultimate experience right in the heart of the capital. As Matthew Fort, Food and Drink editor at The Guardian, wrote: “It is a place of graces, comforts, old-fashioned good manners and a total lack of snoot”. And this description could not have been more accurate as I was about to find out.
Outside the Goring Hotel
Located literally across the street from Buckingham Palace and Victoria station, The Goring is the only five star luxury hotel in London that is still owned and run by the family that built it over one hundred years ago, in 1910. Knowing this, it is easy to understand why the Goring was chosen by Kate Middleton to spend her final night as a “commoner” before marrying Prince William… Maybe you remember watching her leaving the hotel for Westminster Abbey on her D-day, as the two billion people who watched it live on TV.
As soon as you get out of your car and walk up the marble stairs and beneath the hotel’s signature blue canopy, you feel like you
are travelling back to an elegant and old-fashioned time in history – with all the modern luxuries and amenities at hand, of course. You could actually almost feel immersed into one of the historical events that took place here. Like in 1953, when the coronation of Queen Elizabeth lI saw a vast influx of foreign royalty come to stay at the Goring, which became an annexe to Buckingham Palace. Or previously for the coronation of King George Vl in 1937, when the Norwegian Crown Prince stayed there because “at Buckingham Palace I have to share a bath with five people! Here I have one to myself”… It is also common knowledge that the Christening Cake of Prince Charles in 1948 was supplied by the Escoffier-trained Goring pastry chefs.
The bar and terrace at the Goring Hotel
The dining room at the Goring Hotel
With such a prestigious history, one can easily understand how the Goring received a Royal Warrant of appointment to The Queen for Hospitality Services – meaning the hotel is now able to display Her Majesty’s coat of arms. Yet, you cannot understand the implications of such a royal pedigree before you have seen it. To testify, I had the extreme privilege to stay at one of the three £ 1,750 Belgravia One-Bedroom suites. Part of the major restoration undertaken by Jeremy Goring to celebrate the hotel’s centenary in 2010, the Belgravia suites were unveiled in November 2011.
Entering my Belgravia suite – shot with my Leica
Nice flowers inside my Belgravia suite  – shot with my Leica
As I stepped into my suite, I immediately felt the “character, sense of history and Englishness” that Mr. Goring wanted to prevail here. Spacious with 47 m² (506 ft²), the suite had gorgeous lobby opening on a spacious drawing room on one side, and a delightful bedroom on the other side.
The quintessentially British suite boasted all the old school charm I could possibly dream of, coupled with the latest technology devices. Like a jewellery box holding the most beautiful treasures, the suite was full of stunning hand-made furniture in birds-eye maple, mahogany and walnut – all bespoke of course.
The drawing room featured two huge and comfortable armchairs, were I sat and admired the perfection of the room, from its marble fireplace to the most tasteful lamps and antiques, and those gorgeously displayed curtains.  
The drawing room and its two large sofas  – shot with my Leica
The stunning fireplace – shot with my Leica
Precious antiques – shot with my Leica
Another view of the fireplace – shot with my Leica
Bespoke furniture in the most precious woods – shot with my Leica
Sheep (the symbol of the Goring) as a footstool – shot with my Leica
Another view of the drawing room – shot with my Leica
The perfect lobby inside the Belgravia suite – shot with my Leica

In the same spirit, the large bedroom had the most exquisite pieces of furniture and one of the most comfortable beds I have slept in. Cherry on the cake, the Belgravia suite opens on a balcony overlooking Beeston Place, the quiet side road on which The Goring stands. On the walls were historic bespoke silks rewoven to order from The Gainsborough Silk Company, the Royal Warrant-holding textile mill… Luxury truly lays in the details!

My bedroom in the Belgravia suite – shot with my Leica
My bedroom in the Belgravia suite – shot with my Leica
The bed, fit for royalty – shot with my Leica
Another sheep… The cutest ever ! – shot with my Leica
The view from the bedroom balcony- shot with my Leica
Bespoke Gainsborough silk wall… Pure luxury- shot with my Leica

Needless to say, the en suite bathroom, covered in white and black marble from floor to ceiling, was just as much perfect with its wide walk-in shower and big bathtub… Complete with TV; how I enjoyed taking baths there!

The bathroom speaks for itself ! – shot with my Leica
Walk-in shower- shot with my Leica
And bath tub – see the TV ? – shot with my Leica
The best, in every details – shot with my Leica
Molton Brown supplies, what else ? – shot with my Leica
shot with my Leica

Regarding the service, it is one of the most unequalled I have experienced so far. At the Goring, everything is done to make you feel like royalty: unpacking service on arrival and packing service on departure, handmade chocolates waiting for you upon arrival… The best and most unusual to me definitely was the cocktail hour amenity served in the suite: a silver tray with all the essentials and guidelines to make and sip on a delicious cocktail. 

Hand crafted welcome chocolates – shot with my Leica
The cocktail hour tray ! – shot with my Leica

Recently, the hotel won the 2013 Top London Afternoon Tea Award by the UK Tea Guild – the Oscar of the tea world. The Goring was judged by anonymous tea inspectors (on several occasions) on strict guidelines across 16 categories including décor, efficiency of service, tea appearance and flavour. In 2010, the institution was named Hotel of the Year by the leading luxury travel network Virtuoso, in its “Best of the Best” awards. The winner is chosen for standards of service set, thereby recognizing The Goring as one of the world’s finest hotel. Staying at the Goring surely will make you understand how this institution gained and maintained its status of excellence throughout the decades. For me, it is mission accomplished. 

Real keys, not a plastic card – shot with my Leica

 

Kate MiddletonLondonluxuryPrince WilliamThe Goring HotelThe QueenTravelUK Tea GuildVirtuoso

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