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2 weeks agoupdated Jun 06, 2024

The Dining Room at The Goring Returns with a Facelift 

Restaurant of the Week: The London hotel's Michelin-starred resturant re-opened last month.

By Kim Ayling

Dating back some 114 years and now the city’s only hotel still owned and run by the same family that opened it, The Goring Hotel has history running through its veins. How then, does a hotel like this keep up with modern expectations? The answer seems to be shutting its restaurant for five months and putting some several million pounds towards its refurbishment: The Dining Room at The Goring has re-opened and is better than ever.

Re-launched at the end of May, the new-and-improved The Dining Room celebrates that rich history the hotel is rightfully so proud of, with a swish new interior that more than nods to London’s gilded side. The menu is all-new too – executive chef Graham Squire has clearly been working overtime to make sure the restaurant retains the Michelin star it was awarded back in 2013. The swanky state-of-the-art kitchen that was newly fitted in the refurb might help, too.

The Goring has a challenge on its hands as London’s luxury hotel scene continues to swell in numbers. But, this hotel – and The Dining Room – has a certain unique charm and cheekiness that newer openings might still struggle to compete with. Yes, it’s posh, and yes, it’s catering to a very specific clientele but amazingly it doesn’t take itself too seriously. A Shetland pony takes residency in its garden every summer, for God’s sake – talk about thinking outside the box.

[See also: The Best Restaurants in London]

lobster omelette at the goring
Native lobster omelette / ©Ben Carpenter

Chef

The Goring’s executive chef Graham Squire remains at the helm of the hotel’s culinary division, a role he has held since 2019.

He arrived at the hotel with a serious resume: aged just 16, he began in the kitchens at Claridge’s, and worked his way around some of the country’s most prestigious restaurants, including Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons and Trinity, in London’s Clapham neighborhood.

Menu

The Goring is a Very British Hotel (it has a Royal Warrant, you know) and so it follows that Squire prioritizes Very British ingredients in his menus, with a focus on classic British techniques, too.

[See also: Chez Roux Opens at The Langham London]

orkey scallop dish
Roast Orkney scallop / ©Ben Carpenter

There are a few frills (namely the beetroot macaron topped with beetroot jelly and goats curd amuse-bouche), but mostly, we’re in the realm of refined yet comforting classics. Bread is served whether you order it or not (as it should be); it’s doughy Wild Hackney sourdough all the way from the faraway lands of east London, offered warm with deeply savory Marmite-imbued butter.

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Appetizers, for the most part, are fresh and delicate. A huge Orkney scallop is doused in browned butter and surrounded by pea shoots and edible flowers, while Wye Valley asparagus is enlivened with caviar.

The Dining Room fans will be pleased to find that amidst the refresh, some menu icons have survived: the sharing beef Wellington (plated tableside) for one, but also the famous native lobster omelet. The rich, indulgent take on a breakfast staple is now served with crispy, salty confit potato and, for health, a lightly dressed London-grown lettuce salad.

[See also: Mauro Colagreco Honors the Moon in New Cookbook]

the dining room at the goring rum baba
Flambéed ruma baba / ©Nick Rochowski

Don’t bother “umming” and “ahhing” over desserts – there is really only one option: the rum baba. Flambéed tableside with a gasp-inducing flurry of fire, and served with teeny tiny chunks of mango and pineapple, the classic dessert takes pride of place as the star of The Dining Room’s new menu. 

Interiors

Where the restaurant was once a sea of beige and brown (a famously bad pairing), the deft hands of design firm Russell Stage Studio have transformed The Dining Room into a maximalist Regency-style dream. It’s still not what anyone would describe as modern, but who is coming to The Goring for that anyway? 

Instead, The Dining Room leans happily into the hotel’s pomp, with rich pleated drapes; ornate floral wallpaper, complete with a monkey or two hiding among the plumes; OTT crimson patterned carpets; lounge style seating; and gilded chandeliers. We’re in the realm of old-school fine dining here, so you expect perfectly pressed white table linens too.

Yet even with this riot of color, it feels lighter, brighter and more open than the previous iteration. The windows have not been expanded (in fact, those drapes may have even shrunk them) but light flows in better than ever.

The Dining Room, The Goring, 15 Beeston Place, London, SW1W 0JW, thegoring.com

[See also: How the Prestigious Michelin Star System Really Works]

the goring room dining room
The Dining Room leans happily into the hotel’s pomp / ©Nick Rochowski

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