the goring dining room

The Goring Dining Room: The royal-approved restaurant relaunches to offer Michelin-starred fare without the fuss

23 May 2024 | |By Annie Lewis

Having reopened on 20 May 2024, we sample the new British-inspired plates at The Goring’s Michelin-starred dining room

The Goring Dining Room is a London institution. It’s not only catered for the British Royal Family numerous times throughout its 114-year history – the late Queen Elizabeth ll often had Christmas lunch here, the hotel’s chefs baked the cake for King Charles’ christening in 1948, and the late Queen Mother is responsible for The Goring’s signature Drumkilbo eggs (more on that later) – but it also hosted the Princess of Wales in the Royal Suite the night before her wedding in 2011. Whisk that all together and you have a recipe for a royal warrant, which was rightfully granted to The Goring – the first hotel in the award’s history – for its hospitality services in 2013. Need we say more? 

So, when The Goring announced it was relaunching its Dining Room earlier this year, it was big news on London’s food scene. While its interiors were a little outdated, its menus were regarded as timeless, and it had long held a badge of approval from not only the most famous family in the world, but also the most famous tire company – gaining its Michelin star in 2015. But, under the guise of executive chef Graham Squire, formerly of Claridge’s, and hotelier Jeremy Goring – the great grandson of Otto who founded the hotel in 1910 – it seems the menus were not the only thing they wanted to enhance. 

One of the most integral parts of the multi-million pound project was the installation of a completely new kitchen, which Goring described as “Armageddon”. He told The Evening Standard: “We have replaced everything in the kitchen many times over the decades, but never the thing as a whole. And guess what? Everything important – the island range, for example – is exactly where it was 100 years ago.” 

Some would say it’s overdue, some would say it’s characterful – but either way, Squire and his team were granted a state-of-the-art space to create their modern British menus while Russell Sage Studio – whose creative nous revived 1890 at The Savoy and the restaurant at Chelsea’s Cadogan Hotel – was put to work on giving the interiors a much-needed facelift. The question is, then, has it worked? 

I visit just two days after the Dining Room reopens. I’ve been here for breakfast once before and recall the room itself being elegant, understated and minimally decorated in white and yellow-gold hues. But when I return on a rainy Wednesday evening, it’s clear the space has definitely been granted the zhuzh it was after. 

Pear-green Fromental wallpapers, hand-painted with whimsical white trees and flowers (look closely and you’ll spot monkeys camouflaged in the blooms), are contrasted with ruby-red and white carpets that look like they’ve been transplanted from a military officer’s mess or Buckingham Palace itself. I’m sure the contrast will raise a few eyebrows, but I like it – it’s not prim and proper, but modern and striking. The space is adorned with plush paisley-printed banquettes in matching red and green hues, while large yellow flowers sit on white-tableclothed (some things never change) surfaces. 

The Dining Room is buzzing, even for a mid-week evening. In one corner I spot a couple dissecting a day spent at the Chelsea Flower Show over beef Wellington, while at the opposite end sits a sophisticated party celebrating a 26th birthday (I’m not a spy, the dessert gave it away). Like the interiors, the clientele here is also contrasted, proving The Goring isn’t just for elderly patriots and royalists but a younger crowd too. 

Onto the food. The art on the menus is playful – the front of each is decorated with a spoon wearing a bowler hat, or a fork donning the smart red uniform worn by the hotel porters – while the culinary offering isn’t excessive. We start with mini Hackney Wild loaves with marmite butter (exceptional) and an amuse-bouche of beetroot macaron with goat’s cheese curd. There are six starters and seven mains to choose from, accompanied by Cumbrae oysters and caviar lemon blini appetisers. We skip the latter, and head straight for the first course, which features dishes of roast Orkney scallop with English pea, Wye Valley asparagus (‘tis the season after all) and stuffed morel with baked truffle cream. 

the goring dining room
The Goring Eggs Drumkilbo

It is, in large part, all very fresh and contemporary but, when the menu was reimagined one dish that certainly couldn’t be left off was The Goring’s signature Eggs Drumkilbo, famously created for the late Queen Mother. After a trip to Drumkilbo House in Scotland, she asked The Goring chefs to recreate the upmarket seafood salad she had been served there; they did, and it has remained on the menu ever since. Today, the team uses native lobster, boiled eggs, aged caviar and roasted tomatoes to form the dish, which is served with a small soft lobster pastry – it is the definition of light and refreshing. It paired perfectly with our other choice of acquerello risotto with girolles, wild garlic and Clarence Court egg yolk – rich, dense and salty. 

Both are accompanied with expertly-picked wines courtesy of the in-house sommelier, who paired our starters with crisp glasses of sancerre before richer pinot noir and French Bordeaux for our meatier main courses. Mains fetch roughly £50 each and there are no vegan or vegetarian options here. Instead expect seriously upscale takes on the classics: Dover sole, globe artichoke, tartare and crispy beer batter (this is the most expensive at £74), the aforementioned Longhorn beef Wellington, and The Goring native lobster omelette. 

We opt for the Rhug Estate lamb, which arrives at the table perfectly seared and accompanied by a mini lamb pot pie with thick buttery pastry, and the dry-aged Ayesbury duck with spiced pain perdu and a plum-glazed leg. I admire the addition of these extra small bites, showcasing the kitchen’s innovative way of using as much meat from the animal as possible while providing the plate with an extra flavour profile. 

If there was a theme throughout all of the food here, it would be simple flavours without frills. While none of the dishes reinvent the wheel, there’s something to be said for classic but modern British fare just done well. And if that’s what you’re looking for in a meal, book a table at The Goring Dining Room. You won’t be disappointed. 


Read more: Sundowners: The best summer terraces and pop-up bars in London