The Goring Hotel has a long and illustrious history. With its grand opening in 1910 by founder Otto Richard Goring, this was the last hotel built in the reign of King Edward VII. The hotel has not looked back since as to setting precedents when it comes service as in 2013 The Goring was granted a Royal Warrant for Hospitality Services by Her Majesty The Queen, the first ever hotel to receive such an accolade, this hotel has also joined the illustrious Relais & Chateaux group as their only central London member.
During our stay at this historical hotel, Rachel and I were lucky enough to experience The Dining Room, the hotel’s in-house restaurant. Beautifully designed by royal designer Linley, the award winning Goring Dining Room celebrates the finest of British cuisine. Lit by breath-taking Swarovski chandeliers at night and bathed in natural light from Victoria Square and the leafy Beeston Place during the day, the dining room excels for any occasion. The London buzz is ever present without ever sacrificing the innate elegance of the hotel.
After a pamper and primp in our suite, Rachel and I made out way down to the elegant dining space, greeted at the door by Restaurant Manager Cyril, who effortlessly guided us to our table for the evening. For a breakfast, lunch or dinner, this Edwardian inspired dining room serves as the perfect setting for treating oneself to a truly decadent dining experience. Head Chef Shay Cooper has travelled far and wide across the British Isles to source the finest quality produce to create the British menus. Rachel and I pondered over the menu and with the help of Cyril and our sommelier for the evening, Olivier, we managed to whittle down the options to order from the ample choices – all using such fresh local ingredients!
With starters and mains ordered, Rachel and I had the opportunity to take in our surroundings, classic with a touch of modern elegance, appointed in rich gold with hints of deep purple, a mixture of textures from plush carpet to leather seats and the perfect setting for a ravishingly royal dinner. Up first for me was the duck liver parfait, banyuls jelly, walnut granola, endive and Comice pear, while Rachel opted for the half a dozen Rossmore oysters with shallot vinegar. My parfait was velvety, smooth and buttery with contrasted perfectly with the crunchy and nutty walnut granola. The pear was soft and sweet which ensured a balanced dish. Rachel’s oysters were beautifully presented on a bed of crushed ice and seaweed. Fresh, light, salty as one would expect from fresh oysters, the shallot vinegar cut through with a sharp tangy taste adding a spiciness to the dish, Rachel slurped up the little molluscs until they were all gone!
Next was the main course and, in the absence of venison, my selection fell to the next best game dish, partridge. This red leg of partridge came with glazed salsify, kale, braised partridge leg and crab apple jelly. Rachel went for the super meaty option of slow cooked ox cheek with braised Roscof onion, maple glazed carrots and stout. The partridge dish was surprisingly light, cooked rare it was perfectly pink with a sweetness to the meat, the crunchy kale and game chips were a lovely addition as to texture and the glazed salsify was bittersweet, balancing the flavours on the plate. Olivier matched a Sancerre Maulin Bele 2010 with my dish, this superb Sancerre Rouge from Domaine André Vatan is made from 100% Pinot Noir and complemented the sapor of the dish impeccably.
Rachel’s ox cheek was a dark robust dish; the ox with its melt in the mouth texture worked well with the earthy sweetness of the carrots and the richness of the stout. A very hearty warming meal to which Olivier matched the Saint Joseph Les Lauves Jean Luc Colombo 2009, a Syrah from the Rhone region of France, with hints of essence of cassis and lavender, dark chocolate and laurel in support; this wine is bold enough to handle the strong flavour of the ox cheek.
Now Rachel and I are not ones to race to quickly to dessert when in a British establishment, and why you may ask? One word: cheese. Like the good restaurant reviewers we are, we had diligently enquired in advance and discovered that The Dining Room has a cheese menu and, as if that were not enough, the menu consists of British cheeses only. What was lovely about the selection was that some of the offerings we had never heard of, as in a typical “cheese selection situation” we tend to favour French. The cheeses are split into three categories, those made from sheep or goat’s milk, cheddars and cheeses made from cow’s milk. Faces aglow we were presented with the cheese menu and, upon the recommendations of our waiter, we made our selection. From the Cerney Ash, a creamy ash coated cheese, to the Keen’s Cheddar with it’s dry flaky texture, the cheeses were sublime. The stand out cheese for us was the Oxford Isis, a honey mead washed cheese that tasted quite salty but finished with a pleasant sweetness.
Almost done in, it was time for the last course and dessert. Having heavily indulged in cheese, I opted to try something light – the Earl Grey ice cream – while Rachel ordered the Valhona chocolate ganache with caramel ice cream (always room for chocolate as far as Rachel is concerned). The ice cream, which is home made, was rich and creamy and had a beautiful smoky scent of Earl Grey, perfect palate cleanser. Rachel’s ganache was thick and dense presented with chocolate soil and raspberry coulis. I could only guess from the silence across the table that the dish was everything Rachel had hoped for and more.
After such a meal, we were glad to only need take a lift to the sanctuary of our suite. Fabulous food in such elegant surroundings made for a wonderful evening of exquisite Edwardian dining. The Goring Hotel is already firmly established as one of the best classic hotels in London, after all HRH The Queen thinks so, but after such a super supper at The Dining Room I think this hotel’s restaurant is fit for a Lady as well as a Queen.
The Dining Room at The Goring
London SW1W 0JW