Travel is such a sensory experience … the sights and scents, the tactile and the tastes. It is the latter that lingers with me for so long after any memorable journey, and often I find myself at home in the kitchen attempting to recreate an elusive dish that I enjoyed in a tucked-away brasserie or with my toes in the sand at the water’s edge. Yet … even if my own cooking in some way approximates the deliciousness I experienced during my travels, there’s nothing quite like the original, and so I find myself returning to my favorite eateries when I’m lucky enough to return.
With this in mind, we want to share our very favorite spots to dine in London … all close to The Goring, one of our esteemed partners in this beloved city. Try one, try all – we’re certain your taste buds will be tantalized.
Thomas Cubitt Gastro Pub: Within walking distance of The Goring, this local favorite honors the city’s legendary master builder and boasts open-air dining on Elizabeth Street. On a special personal note for me, this lovely spot was the site of my first date with Charlie, my now husband! The ground-floor bar is a convivial spot for a fine brew or expertly mixed cocktail – try the British Bellini, crafted with elderflower liqueur, Rustico Prosecco and Nino Franco. Upstairs, the dining room offers a distinguished British menu focusing on seasonal produce, complemented by a robust wine list. The Trecorras Farm kid goat with hickory smoked belly and white asparagus is a favorite – followed by a heavenly orange almond cake.
Daylesford Organic: When planning for a day of shopping in Chelsea or Pimlico, make time for breakfast or a leisurely lunch here. Not only will you find fresh produce, dairy and creamery items, organic meats and fresh-baked goods, but a thoughtfully stocked cookshop, with homeware, gifts and bath and body products. It’s a lovely spot to eat, drink and relax with family and friends – gushing over your fresh purchases from your shopping expedition.
The Wolseley: For a celebration or romantic rendezvous, The Goring concierge can arrange for an evening at The Wolseley in Mayfair, inspired by the grandest cafes on the Continent and boasting an eclectic menu. Seafood platters, hearty salads, steak tartare, daily fish specials and more are available – an absolutely favorite is the veal Holstein and chicken soup with dumplings. Please do engage the services of The Goring concierge, as advance reservations are strongly recommended here.
Park Chinois: With a heady ambience that reflects the dinner and dance atmosphere of yesteryear, Park Chinois is awash in rich fabrics, lush colors and lavish décor. The opulent Salon de Chine pays homage to Chinoiserie, with its European, Chinese and East Asian artistic touches, and offers dim sum lunches, afternoon tea and dinner. Downstairs, the dazzling Club Chinois is open for dinner, accompanied by world-class entertainment in a cabaret setting, including vocal and music performances – everything from string quartets to Haiku Swing.
Not to be missed: Indian cuisine in London, and some of the best spots are quite nearby to The Goring. Ask about Gymkhana, Amaya, Quilon, Tamarind, Benares, Saloos, Cinnamon Club, Chutney Mary and Rasoi.
The Goring: No matter where I am living or traveling in the world, when I return home to London, I crave the comfort food of The Goring. My entire family agrees, so much so that my sister had her wedding there! The dining celebrates the best in British food – and has been rewarded for its efforts with a Michelin star and three AA Rosettes. Stuffy it is most certainly not – the setting is impeccable, yes, yet there’s also a sense of fun here, under Swarovski chandeliers and the expert guidance of Executive Chef Shay Cooper. One can’t miss the legendary breakfast, where you’ll taste the revered Clarence Court hens’ eggs in a mouthwatering Eggs Drumkilbo or indulgent lobster omelette. Later, dinner includes perfectly roasted rib of beef, carved and served on a silver trolley, a rare experience in London. Stop in for a two-course pre-theater menu or the Sunday three-course lunch – no matter what meal you’re enjoying, it’s sourced from the freshest ingredients of the British Isles, from Romney Marsh lamb to wild truffles and herbs.
It goes without saying: Bring your appetite to London!