The Goring Hotel
Some of you may be aware that I’ve recently become a contributor to the High Tea Society, an Australian community of tea lovers who are spreading their wings abroad. Luckily for me I’ve somehow managed to become their London representative and couldn’t be more proud. I have been writing for so many years and it was a real privilege to join this wonderful community of bloggers. They also have outposts in San Francisco and Canada along with many Australian cities – this is one fabulous group of ladies and I can’t wait to meet them one day.
Anyhow, back to the task at hand. My first Ambassadorial assignment was to the incredible Goring Hotel. This is an abridged version of my original post on the High Tea Society’s website.
Rules for tea
High Tea Review: The Goring Hotel
One of London’s oldest family run hotels and with a tradition of a Royal following (it was a favourite of the Queen Mother but probably most memorable in modern times for hosting the Duchess of Cambridge the night before last year’s Royal wedding), it offers an absolutely exquisite afternoon tea.
Awarded the British Tea Guild Council Award of Excellence each year from 2008-2012, afternoon tea at the Goring Hotel is served in the Terrace which overlooks the beautiful Goring Gardens. When we visited on a crisp autumn day, children were playing croquet on the lawn whilst people of all ages and backgrounds took afternoon tea. You would not have known the place was busy as the incredible staff managed to keep the atmosphere to something very personal and relaxing.
Lovely China, lovely Darjeeling tea
Recently refurbished by designer Tim Gosling, the Goring feels opulent yet tranquil. The bar that you walk through to access the terrace is dark and comfortable, with the terrace bright and airy, making the perfect contrast between the interior of the hotel and its garden. It was designed to feel cosy and intimate and succeeds in doing so.
People from a variety of backgrounds were there. A small wedding party were seated at one end of the room, in the middle a group of ladies in their late twenties and in another corner an elderly couple with their family having a celebration. All had made an effort to dress up and it felt very classy but not stuffy.
We had two choices, the Traditional Afternoon Tea or the Bollinger Tea of which we chose the former.
Goring Hotel afternoon tea selection – everything on this stand was delicious.
The afternoon tea starts with an amouse bouche served in a small glass. This particular one was made of lobster, crab, chicken and egg, essentially turned into a mousse. The flavours were stunning and quite unexpected – we could detect every ingredient. This was followed by our tea, the Goring’s own. We chose silver needle and premier Darjeeling, both delicate and easily sipped on for the entire afternoon.
Then you are presented with a cake stand containing a selection of finger sandwiches, scones, cakes and desserts all served on the Goring’s own China: bright yellow, the plates with a silhouette of founder, Otto Richard Goring in the middle.
The sandwiches were again, excellent. Four fillings were included – smoked salmon, guinea fowl and mushroom, prawn and crayfish, along with egg mayonnaise. The scones, two plain and two fruit were served with Devonshire clotted cream and a selection of Tiptree Essex jams; the scones being warm, very fresh and fluffy, just the way they should be.
The cakes and desserts were something else. We were presented with a chocolate cream chocolate éclair, lemon shortcake with strawberry mousse, roulade which had similar flavours to Victoria sponge, a macaron, tartlet of summer fruits and the wonderful Eton mess. Again, the cakes were faultless; both of us found us wanting more Eton mess which was full of surprises and beautiful flavours.
To top it off, at the very end of our afternoon which had turned into early evening as we were so happy and relaxed, we were served with the piece de resistance, an exquisite trifle with high quality vanilla cream, sherry and strawberries. It was, in the words of my guest, mind blowing, and the perfect way to finish what was a truly memorable afternoon in a truly remarkable venue.
A special note must be made here of the staff – their service went above and beyond, combined with the sheer quality of the food and venue, they made it an absolutely wonderful afternoon, one to hopefully be repeated many times in the future. I now completely understand why it’s a Royal favourite.
I was very lucky to represent the High Tea Society and was a guest of the Goring Hotel. If anyone from the Goring is reading this, thank you so much for such a wonderful experience. I can’t wait to revisit the place many many times in the future.
The Goring Hotel can be found at Beeston Place, near Victoria Station and Buckingham Palace