Beauty in the Ordinary

This is not about being brilliant, or extraordinary, it's not about wanting to be famous, or making headlines, or trying to impress...this about sharing a 'gift' each day with the lift the spirit of people when they read this blog, to show them the beauty in the ordinary.
"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." Raold Dahl

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Good Taste

I read in the paper today that
Britain's new darling,

Kate Middleton

is going to spend her last night
as a single woman with her family at 

This hotel is my absolute favourite in London.

I've never actually stayed there, but I have been most fortunate to have dined there many times.

It's everything an elegant English hotel should be...

beautifully decorated and steeped in history

Grand Opening of The Goring by founder Otto Richard Goring – the last hotel built in the reign of King Emperor Edward VII. Each bedroom has ‘en-suite’ bathrooms – the first in the World.  
Price of a room – 7s 6d (37p)


Outbreak of 1st World War. Hotel becomes command centre for Chief of Allied Forces. Direct telephone link between General Pershing and President 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.

Lady Randolph Churchill comes to live at The Goring and is visited frequently by her son, Mr Winston Churchill.


“Air-conditioning invented!” O.R. Goring installs enormous fan on roof, piped to every room. Vacuum cleaners are attached via outlets in skirting board – underwear sucked out into the air, blowing across London.
Price of a room – 25s (£1.25 )

The Hon.Violet d’Arcy comes to live at The Goring while she is Lady in Waiting to Queen Mary. The Queen often comes to tea with her at The Goring.

The General Strike. Opening of the new wing and Restaurant

Novelist Anthony Powell is inspired to invent his heroine The Hon. Angela Goring for his epic series of novels ‘A Dance to the Music of Time’ over tea at the hotel.

Coronation of King George Vl. Visit of the Norwegian Crown Prince, who explains 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’.

Leslie Nicol, switchboard operator, witnesses Churchill lifting the French Prime Minister Daladier off the floor by his lapels, with Chamberlain looking on.
Price of a room - £1.37 


Outbreak of the 2nd World War. Occupancy down to 6%. 150 Polish Officers accommodated.

The first ever colour footage of WWII is made. The Fox film crew stay at The Goring on their way to board landing craft for the D-Day Invasion.

Mrs Goring’s salad invented. To beat rationing, Edna Goring invents 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 is safe in the Goring garden.

Peace declared. Election of Labour Government and the austerity years. The King and Queen come to The Goring for sausages and scrambled eggs with the Princesses.


Christening of Prince Charles, with Christening Cake supplied by the Escoffier-trained Goring pastry chefs.

Death of King George VI.

Coronation of Queen Elizabeth lI Vast influx of foreign royalty come to stay at the Goring, which becomes an annexe to Buckingham Palace.

50th Birthday. The Swinging Sixties. Jean Shrimpton causes consternation at The Goring by appearing in one of the first mini skirts.
Price of a room - £4 

‘70’s, ‘80’s
Annual visits from Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother as Patron of the Injured Jockeys Fund.
Price of a room in 1970 - £4.50

George Goring accepts an O.B.E. from Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace for “services to the hotel industry”.

Acquisition of the gardens from the Duke of Westminster.

Retirement of Mr George Goring on March 22nd after 43 years at the helm. 
Appointment of 4th generation Jeremy Goring.

Opening of the new Dining Room, designed by David Linley. 

My favourite thing (besides everything)
about this hotel...

are the wooden sheep dotted about the place.

If this is an example of Ms. Middleton's taste...
I like the girl already.


  1. What a lovely place.

  2. My own favourite is Brown's in Dover Street. Kate is a nice girl; intelligent, discreet, attractive, sane. Everything that William's mother wasn't! Sorry folks.

  3. Great to find out about the history of the place. Thanks for posting it all :-) xo

  4. No need to apologize to me Cro, I couldn't agree more about Princess Diana...a very unstable woman. I love Brown's too, their Afternoon Tea is the best in London (in my humble opinion) and just down the street from there (still on Dover Street) is Chez Gerard...delicious moules frites!

  5. Just added 'going to spend one night here' on my wish list.
    Love the trip down memory lane with all its rich history.

  6. J - weren't you lucky to have dined there! Looks gorgeous! I think Kate Middleton is lovely too!

  7. Kate and William appear to be a very nice, intelligent couple. It seems like a very hard role to have in life and we all wish them the best.

  8. posh...okay,
    but John...hold the old!


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