The Goring Dining Room: A welcome step back in time (April 2014)

Amidst a London restaurant scene that seems perennially focused on the ‘latest new thing,’ there is something wonderfully reassuring about the constancy of The Goring, a smart hotel tucked away on the nice side of Victoria close to Buckingham Palace. I last visited the place a decade ago, and it seemed that little had changed since my previous visit, certainly neither the décor nor the crockery. The ethos is resolutely British, and the Goring speaks of refinement, from the British flag fluttering outside the restaurant to the wonderfully light, open and spacious dining room that looked at its best in the early Spring sunshine. Visiting at breakfast, there was a curious mix of wealthy tourists with cameras and men in suits (my comrade and I being in the latter category). The tables are set well apart allowing for the appropriate amount of intimacy and discretion and there is no buffet here, meaning all the emphasis is placed on the serving staff. They undoubtedly excelled, in terms of being friendly, prompt and efficient. In terms of the food, we were both impressed with the freshness and variation of the fruit salad with which to begin. My comrade then followed with a full English while I opted for smoked salmon and scrambled egg. In both cases, the egg was almost orange in colour, wonderfully light and fluffy and, from my perspective, a perfect foil to the melt-in-your-mouth smoked salmon, pitched at probably just about the right level of saltiness. At £32/ head, this is not an obvious ‘value’ option (continental breakfast comes in at a somewhat more competitive £24), but this is not what the Goring is about. Come, relax and enjoy the experience.