< UNITED KINGDOM | LONDON: The Goring
A visionary, Otto Richard Goring saw great promise in a plot of land situated at the Buckingham Palace end of what today is known as Beeston Place. After removing a public house and several cottages, the path was laid clear for the last grand hotel of the Edwardian era – The Goring. The hotel opened on the 2nd March 1910, with en suite facilities and central heating in each and every bedroom – widely believed to be a world first. Price of a room was 7s 6d (37p).
At the outbreak of 1st World War the Hotel becomes command centre for Chief of Allied Forces with direct telephone link between General Pershing, America's army commander-in-chief and
President Woodrow Wilson. The Allied War Effort is being run from The Goring Kitchen. Goring staff from France and Germany are evacuated, famously walking arm in arm to Victoria station
singing each other’s national anthems.
In 1919, Lady Randolph Churchill took up residence at The Goring and was frequently visited by her son, Mr Winston Churchill.
In 1921, Otto Richard Goring installed an enormous fan on the roof, piped to every room. “Air-conditioning invented!” Vacuum cleaners were attached via outlets in skirting board – underwear sucked out into the air blew across London. Price of a room was 25s (£1.25). While she was lady-in-waiting to Queen Mary, the Hon Violet d’Arcy came to live at the Goring. The two often took tea together at The Goring.
Otto Goring becomes Managing Director in 1926. In the same year, new wing and restaurant was opened. Over tea at the hotel, novelist Anthony Powell was inspired to invent his heroine The Hon. Angela Goring for his epic series of novels ‘A Dance to the Music of Time.’
During the coronation of King George Vl in 1937, Norwegian Crown Prince stayed at The Goring and expressed his fondness for the hotel by saying: ‘at Buckingham Palace I have to share a bath with five people! Here I have one to myself.’
With the outbreak of the 2nd World War the occupancy was down to 6% and 150 Polish Officers were accommodated. The enormous garden was used for growing tomatoes, while at home, O G Goring’s wife Edna grew vegetables for the hotel guests. Eggs were also plentiful thanks to her 300 chickens. Smog-defeating net curtains were made from Spitfire fuel filter-rolls.
In 1944, the first ever colour footage of WWII was made. The Fox film crew stays at The Goring on their way to board landing craft for the D-Day Invasion. In the same year, Mrs Goring’s salad was invented. To beat rationing, Edna Goring invented a special dish from “whatever we can find”, including, hare, whale, and on one occasion, an antelope shot by an officer in the Western Desert campaign. No rabbit was safe in the Goring garden. When peace was declared in 1945, the King and Queen came with their daughters for sausages and scrambled eggs.
During the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, vast influx of foreign royalty comes to stay at the Goring. The Goring becomes an annexe to Buckingham Palace.
George Goring joins his father at the helm of The Goring in 1962. During the 1960s, price of a room was £4.
In 1992, George Goring accepts an O.B.E. from HM The Queen at Buckingham Palace for “services to the hotel industry”, while in January 2013, The Goring was granted a Royal Warrant of appointment to HM The Queen for Hospitality Services. The night before her wedding, the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton stayed at The Goring.
Today, The Goring is the only five star luxury hotel in London that is owned and run by the family that built it. Jeremy Goring is the fourth Goring to run The Goring since his great-grandfather opened it in 1910. Deep in the heart of Belgravia, just behind Buckingham Palace, The Goring is within strolling distance of the Royal Parks and the best shops, theatres and galleries in town. Just in time for its 105th birthday on 2 March 2015, The Goring completed a top-to-toe renovation. Contemporary design and innovation now combine seamlessly with the charm and elegance of British heritage.
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