When Relais & Châteaux launched its 2014 directory, there was a notable new addition to the list: The Goring, the Belgravia hotel where the Middleton family spent the night before the 2011 Royal Wedding, had been admitted as the collection’s only London member.
Malcolm Lewis, chairman of the UK Delegation for Relais & Chateaux and Managing Director of Longueville Manor in Jersey said that the hotel would serve as a flagship for the collection’s UK and Irish fleet.
“Obviously, we were very excited to be asked to join them,” Managing Director David Morgan-Hewitt told Luxury Travel Advisor. “Relais & Chateaux is all about family-owned, top-of-tree properties...In London, there are not many family-owned hotels. We’re the only one left.”
Relais & Chateaux also focuses on top culinary experiences, Morgan-Hewitt added, and the Goring has taken an initiative in expanding its gastronomic scene. Last year’s hire of Shay Cooper, a Michelin-starred chef from the Bingham, has boosted the hotel’s reputation as a foodie destination—which, he adds, is another element of Relais & Chateaux hotels. “As a Relais & Chateaux property, people will look to us and know our food must be good.”
The Goring was opened in 1910 by O. R. Goring, whose great-grandson Jeremy is the fourth Goring to run the hotel. Fun fact: It is now the only five-star hotel in London that is still owned and run by the family that built it.
Over the past few years, Jeremy Goring has overseen a renovation of the hotel’s public areas and guestrooms, using a succession of British designers, including David Linley for the restaurant; Tim Gosling for the Lounge, Bar and Terrace and bedrooms; Nina Campbell for suites and rooms; and most recently former fashion designer, history aficionado and antiques expert Russell Sage for a collection of rooms and suites, including the Royal Suite on the top floor, using bespoke rewoven historic silks from The Gainsborough Silk Weaving Company.
Perhaps coolest of all: In January 2013 The Goring was granted a Royal Warrant by the Queen herself. Royal Warrants signify that a satisfactory trading arrangement is in place between a company and the Grantor - HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh or HRH The Prince of Wales. Companies can only apply for a Royal Warrant once they have supplied goods or services for at least five years to one of the three Grantors.
The granting of The Royal Warrant signifies that the company receiving it is the one that HM The Queen has selected and prefers to use. Warrant holders may display the relevant Royal Arms and the legend ‘By Appointment.’