The Goring Hotel is one of the most beautiful places to have afternoon tea in London. Located right by Buckingham Palace, this luxurious hotel has been run by the Goring family since its opening in 1910. This Edwardian-era hotel exemplifies elegance, tradition and class, yet maintains a warm and inviting ambiance. From the moment you enter the hotel’s lobby you’ll feel like a treasured guest as you receive a warm welcome from the hotel’s friendly staff.
Many a famous Brit has lodged at the Goring, including the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, who stayed here the night before her wedding to Prince William.
In addition to their luxury accommodations, the Goring is also renowned for their afternoon tea service. I chose the Goring as the destination for the last day of my tearoom journey in the UK in part because of its proximity to Buckingham Palace, which I had visited earlier in the day, but also because of the hotel’s reputation for impeccable service and their exquisite afternoon tea presentation.
Tea is served in the elegant Dining Room, a wide open and brightly lit room decorated in shades of beige and ivory, designed by the Viscount Linely, a famous British designer who also happens to be the Queen’s nephew. The large windows feature golden hued draperies made from fabric woven at the Gainsborough Silk Weaving Company, one of the oldest silk producers in England. I was seated at an impeccably set table next to one of these large windows, providing an ample supply of natural light for my photos, which turned out to be some of the best I took on my tearoom journey.
The first course to be served was an amuse bouche of spring pea mousse served in a small shot glass. The savory mousse, made from fresh pea purée, had a silky smooth texture and a delightful fresh spring pea flavor. The gorgeous vibrant green color also added to its allure. It certainly did accomplish its mission of “amusing” my tastebuds.
For the tea selection I ordered two pots of tea, Earl grey and the Goring’s special breakfast blend. Both were served piping hot in silver tea pots that remained warm throughout the entire tea service. The gold-striped tea cups and saucers were also beautiful and elegant, made with fine bone china from William Edwards Professional, a supplier of fine china to some of the top hotels and restaurants in the world.
Next, the server brought out all three of the afternoon tea courses at once on a silver tiered tray, which made for a great photo opportunity.
Four different kinds of tea sandwiches were served, including egg salad, cucumber, smoked salmon and ham. The sandwiches had a great filling to bread ratio and were sliced so perfectly that I almost didn’t want to eat them! It certainly had me wondering what their secret for perfectly cut edges was.
Two different varieties of scones were served, including one plain and one with raisins. The scones were light and fluffy and had a nice buttery flavor and a tender crumb that paired nicely with the clotted cream and house made strawberry jam.
The desserts featured a lovely floral spring theme and included a bright pink macaron decorated with an edible rose petal; a mocha eclair filled with coffee infused pastry cream; a delectable mini carrot cake; a financier cake with hazelnut cream and a rich chocolate delice cake topped with an edible marigold flower, a lovely touch of spring. As a lover of all things rose flavored, the rose macron really stood out to me. Even now I can remember the rose flavor of that macaron!
The staff allow you plenty of time to sit and enjoy your tea in leisure and offer refills of the sandwiches and scones. Of course, after I had consumed all three delicious courses, I had no room left for any refills.
I would use the word impeccable to describe the entire tea service. All of the courses were so uniformly prepared, as though someone had weighed out each and every dish to the last gram before baking and preparing it. The service was warm and friendly and atmosphere was so incredibly elegant that I felt like I was the queen herself!
I highly recommend the Goring for afternoon tea if you’re visiting London or find yourself near Buckingham Palace. Just be sure to make reservations ahead of time, especially in the peak summer season. You definitely wouldn’t want to miss out on having afternoon tea at this beautiful hotel.
Find out more about the Goring Hotel here.
Check out my UK Travel Guides here.
Guide to Afternoon Tea in London
Itinerary for an 11 Day Tearoom Tour of the UK