The Goring Hotel first came to the world's attention when Kate Middleton checked in ahead of her wedding to Prince William in 2011, accompanied by the rest of the Middleton family. And now the family-owned establishment in esteemed Belgravia, which boasts 69 luxurious bedrooms, has been named the best place to have afternoon tea in London. The accolade was awarded by the Tea Guild and presented on Tuesday. The Goring, which offers one of the few al fresco afternoon teas in the capital, so impressed the award's judges that it achieved a near perfect score. The hotel was praised for its 'excellent selection' of teas which accompany delicate finger sandwiches, traditional scones and hand-crafted patisseries.
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Its quintessentially English entrance was seen by an estimated two billion when we got the first glimpse of Kate's breathtaking wedding dress as she emerged from the hotel. Kate stepped down the marble steps to a waiting car, on her way to become the Duchess of Cambridge in the magnificent royal wedding on 29 April, 2011.Since then the five star hotel has gone from strength to strength. In January of this year it received the royal seal of approval, having been sent a 'Royal Warrant of appointment to HM The Queen for Hospitality Services', and has now got the cherry on top with the Tea Guild award.
Head of The Tea Guild Irene Gorman described afternoon tea at the Goring hotel as a truly special experience. "The elegant surroundings and faultless presentation make it a memorable occasion aided by friendly, efficient and knowledgeable staff. It is easy to understand why this leading establishment attracts so many, of all ages, to take afternoon tea." The hotel's 'elegant surroundings', along with its prime location just a stone's throw from Buckingham Palace, would have been contributing factors to the choice of residence ahead of Kate's wedding. The Duchess of Cambridge is believed to have stayed in the Royal Suite on the top floor on her last night as a single lady. With spectacular city views, the suite boasts two bedrooms and bathrooms, plus a dining and sitting room. The top-floor spot would have made for a real royal setting for Kate, her mum Carole and younger sister and bridesmaid Pippa.
Since its doors opened The Goring has sought to offer only the finest. Built in 1910 by present owner Jeremy Goring's great grandfather, it was the world's first hotel with en suite facilities and central heating in every bedroom.Suites, such as Kate's, include luxuries like a dark-wood four-poster bed with a pop-up television at the end. A truly exquisite blend of homeliness and luxurious grandeur is evoked by the antique furniture, silk finish, china, glass and silver that adorn the rooms. Royal guests had enjoyed the hotel's services long before William and Kate's wedding. During the Queen's Coronation, the hotel was used as another wing of the Palace, taking in royal guests from around the world. The Queen Mother was also a regular at The Goring and it was the location for her last public appearance.Traditional afternoon tea at The Goring costs £37.50 per person