Where could be more appropriate for lunch before attending The Royal Garden Party than the Goring Hotel?
Situated quietly in Belgravia, everything here is done with class – this is a “proper” British institution. The bar is traditional, and there is a lovely veranda overlooking the garden. A great spot for a sophisticated Afternoon Tea. The Dining Room is classic, elegant, and always full. Diners are smartly dressed, and many on this occasion proudly sporting medals. Not at all out of place here.
A choice of fine champagnes are offered from a huge silver champagne trolley, and the expert sommelier provides advice enthusiastically. Very gallantly, the fine white wine was decanted at the table – top marks!
The menu is elaborate, but the splendid tradition of daily specials from the trolley is always comforting….steak and kidney pudding, fish pie, roast beef and the like.
The asparagus was served with wafer-thin smoked salmon and a show-stopping, golden fried duck egg, oozingly perfect. A delicate starter of crab with snappy radishes, a clear tomato jelly and a touch of caviar, was elegantly presented in a glass tumbler.
The trio of steak tartare, smoky ox tongue and the smartest, tastiest corned beef ever, was fabulous.
Both the halibut and the sea trout were cooked beautifully and not overpowered with rich sauces. Three varieties of carrots – yellow, white and orange – were a good talking point and nicely al dente. Needless to say, all the main courses appear from under polished silver cloches.
Puddings, albeit with a British accent, are delicately assembled. Trifle, rice pudding or lemon tart were accompanied by lovely flavours of ice cream, such as Earl Grey.
The cheese has its own menu and is 100% British. Great Cheddars and a delicious Brighton Blue are amongst many.
Service was ten out of ten and not at all intrusive. It was a real treat, and The Goring is worthy of its distinguished reputation.
The Goring Hotel
London SW1W 0JW
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7396 9000
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7834 4393