Built by Jeremy Goring’s great-grandfather Otto in 1910, the five-star Goring in Belgravia is the only remaining hotel in London that is still owned and run by the family that built it.

A royal favourite, it is the venue for the Queen’s Christmas staff party and Kate Middleton spent the night before her wedding here, giving the public the first glimpse of her McQueen gown. There are even rumours of a secret, underground passageway connecting the hotel to Buckingham Palace. 

When the hotel opened it was widely believed to the first in the world to have en suite facilities and central heating in every bedroom. Expect a welcome as warm as if you were a Windsor in the lobby, which has hand painted wallpaper featuring animals, representing the staff. There are no check-in queues at this hotel. We were whisked into the elegant lounge for tea served in fine china and almond cakes.


Expect to sleep like a baby in fine Italian linen amidst lovingly-crafted, solid mahogancy furniture in rooms that mix the old with the new for understated Downton Abbey style luxury. Individually controlled air-conditioning and mood lighting offers options for bright, calm, cosy or romantic.


Siren offers simple seafood dishes, under the direction of the renowned chef, Nathan Outlaw, in an elegant restaurant, overlooking landscaped gardens. Starters average £16, while expect to pay up to £56 for Dover Sole that comes with cockles & clams, and clotted cream sauce.


A stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace and St James’s Park, the nearest underground stop is Victoria.


Where do you start? Reception staff go straight to the bar to get us two complimentary bottles of water when we streak through the lobby red-faced in sweaty running clothes. All rooms come with a trademark toy sheep, that guests are invited to take home as well as a jar of Goring marmalade and we were also gifted a box of Rococco chocolates. There is also a complimentary shoe shining service. 

Rooms booked in advance start at £315 per night. For more details go to

Hourly trains between London and Glasgow take 4hr 30m and single fares are available from £30 when booked in advance.