The Goring (not boring!)

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Here we are at the rather flashy ‘The Goring Hotel‘ in fashionable Belgravia, London (albeit belatedly) courtesy of a rather generous birthday gift for Ann back in 2021 from Roger, Jane & Oliver. Thanks everyone! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

Friday, 5th

Yes, this is possibly the most sumptuous Hotel we’ve ever stayed in โ€“ and we’re here until Sunday to soak up the opulence of it all. Yep! It’s a tough life!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

“Good afternoon, Sir and Madam”
Impressive!

After the typical congestion of London traffic on a Friday (some things don’t change!) our (electric) black cab dropped us right outside, and we were soon checking-in and heading for Room 50! The hotel is quite small by premium hotel standards and is privately owned by the Goring family offering just 69 rooms. Nothing so vulgar (dahling!) as tea & coffee making facilities in the room โ€“ if you want a cuppa, they fly a member of staff to the appropriate country where they handpick the leaves/beans for you*

*Not really! But this place is oozing OTTness and is a rare example of how to get it right, all the time, everywhere! Nothing is too much trouble for the team here where everyone knows your name! Cheers! I love it already!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Nice touch! It wasn’t really Ann’s Birthday, but we didn’t want to ruin the moment!

We soon unpacked and “Oh, the pressure!”, it’s coming up to 4.30 and that can only mean one thing… Afternoon Tea at The Goring! ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹

Two of my favourite views!! ๐Ÿ˜

The hotel’s veranda area was pretty-much full when we arrived at 4.30, so it was obviously a popular place to enjoy this quaint English tradition. Their Afternoon Tea, was, as expected, super-yummy with excellent service too!

Not a bad ‘view’ either for central London โ€“ the hotel has their own Garden!

Just enough time for ‘feet-up’ before heading out to the theatre…

Where and what? The London Coliseum Theatre to see ‘My Fair Lady’.

A beautiful Theatre!

7.00pm Curtain up! I felt a bit overdressed in long trousers and a traditional shirt โ€“ note to self: pack trainers, a baseball cap and shorts for next time! Clearly, ‘dressing up’ for the theatre is no longer de-rigueur! OK, some were ‘smart’ but many looked like they’d just stepped off the beach! Yes, I’m getting old, and turning into my Dad! ๐Ÿค”

OK, Victor Meldrew moment over, but would the person in Row A, to my right, stop texting during the performance, please!!! ๐Ÿคฌ

Wow! What a show! Pitch-perfect singing, great acting, faultless comic-timing and superb choreography made this, for us, the perfect evening out for entertainment. And if all this wasn’t to your taste (why not!?!?) then the innovative set design and the way they choreographed the scene changes โ€“ was a performance in itself! Brilliant!!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜. We pretty much knew all the tunes: “Wouldn’t it Be Luvverley!“, “I’m Getting Married in the Morning“, “I Could Have Danced All Night”, “On The Street Where You Live”.

Additionally โ€“ and controversially โ€“ “Why Can’t a Woman Be More Like a Man?”. Ahh, bless! They don’t write them like that anymore – which may be a good thing, otherwise, our ‘wonderful NHS’ would be overwhelmed with injured men! ๐Ÿ˜‰.

Any glitches? Generally, a very (very) well-oiled machine, however, the orchestra/vocal/sound mix was a bit ‘off’ during the initial scenes of Act 1 โ€“ but they soon put that right! ๐Ÿ‘

A word about the Theatre itself: In spite of its age โ€“ it was opened in 1904 โ€“ there was plenty of legroom, we had a great view (Row B, Dress Circle) and the perfect temperature too! (well, maybe a touch too cool!). Tickets were a whisper under ยฃ100 each which we considered a bargain for this part of town!

10.04pm: The curtain came down just after 10pm and after the mass exodus, we were lucky enough to find a cab pretty quickly as we wandered down towards Trafalgar Square. We were soon back at The Goring looking for some nightly nibbles (it must have been the ‘London Air’!) ๐Ÿ˜‰

Never enough nibbles!
Lounging in The Goring’s Lounge

Ooo! It’s past 10.30 on a Friday night, and we’re staying up late! We headed for the Lounge and tucked into some sandwiches and a cheeky glass each of Pink Port. ๐Ÿ˜œ

Now that’s what I call ‘nibbles’!

11.23pm: That’s it! We’re done! ๐Ÿ˜ด๐Ÿ˜ด๐Ÿ’ค. We’re off to Greenwich and the maritime area tomorrow โ€“ we haven’t been there since February, 2016!


Saturday, 6th

Yummy!

9.10am: A lazy start to the weekend! Helpfully, there was an in-room menu to tempt us, and where the Full English (at just under ยฃ40 a plate) was prominently displayed.

Very quiet!

Maybe,  we should have brought sandwiches, but I think instead, we’ll try the restaurant, and blend in with the other guests (who seem to be 99.9% non-natives). Maybe, Brits can’t afford to stay here โ€“ consequently, this felt like an EXTRA special treat from the family. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

Fully English!

10.22am: Suitably stuffed for the day ahead, we headed for Westminster Pier. It was a gorgeous day out there and as planned, we headed for Greenwich. We grabbed the nearby 148 Bus and then the famous Thames Clipper (at the time of writing, now managed by Uber), so we half-expected to be heading for the English Channel whilst our ‘driver’ consulted his sat-nav. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ

10.45am: No such worries, as we skimmed our way along the Thames and arrived at our destination within about 45 minutes. Actually, this was a really good service and a good alternative to trains and the Underground โ€“ and the Clippers accepted Oyster Cards too!

Yes, a really relaxing journey taking in the sights of the riverside along the way! ๐Ÿ‘

Holy Speed-test Batman!

…and a short techy note! Just logged the fastest 5G speeds I think I’ve ever experienced IN THE WORLD – and we’re on a boat, just east of Tower Bridge! Thanks, Three Mobile!

Hello Greenwich!

11.32am: It’s been a while since we were last here. We love the Maritime area and clearly so did a lot of other people – it was buzzing (even though the above pic must have been during a quiet moment!).

The Chapel

11.40am: First stop would have been The Painted Hall, but they were now charging ยฃ13 for entry, so we skipped that as we saw it on the previous visit anyway! – and instead, headed for the St Peter & St Paul Chapel (still free!)

It’s still as beautiful as ever, but today, just slightly spoilt by the erected scaffolding at one end! ๐Ÿค”

Next stop? The Queen’s House (where we’d also visited last time)

The Queen’s House

11.55am: As we approached the House, it was just as we remembered it (well, the exterior was!)…

We had only been looking around for a short while and initially, it all looked pretty much as expected, with the gorgeous Black and White floor by Inigo Jones located in the Great Hall.

…but then we spotted a lot of new content…

The new content was a mix of paintings, pottery and busts โ€“ and neither of us recall seeing any of it last time. Was it just a bad memory, or something more significant? As it turned out, according to one of the Guides we spoke with, there had been a lot of money spent here in the intervening years since we were last here. The ceiling in the Great Hall had been completely renovated and the art collection had been bolstered. That explained it! ๐Ÿ˜‰.

Probably the painting getting most attention was the complete restoration of the portrait of Queen Elizabeth I known as The Armada Portrait (one of only three in existence in the world). It looked brand new and the colours were spectacular.

We were now all ‘cultured out’ and Lunch was calling us! The nearby Pubs were rammed and there didn’t seem to many places to just get a drink, so we headed for the nearest M&S for some takeout.

12.54pm: We found a nice shady spot within sight of the Cutty Sark and sank our ciders and vegetarian ‘sausage’ rolls (some mistake surely???) in record time. Actually, the pseudo sausage creation was quite tasty!! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ.

1.20pm: Then, after a short wait, it was back on the Thames Clipper for our return journey back to Westminster Pier.

2.30pm: Back in the room and time for a glass of champers and a shut-eye for an hour-or-two! It had been a GREAT day at Greenwich with the journey there and back trouble-free, and where Greenwich itself had been a delight! It’s still one of our favourite destinations when we’re in the capital!

Time for our evening treat โ€“ a visit to Rules Restaurant in Covent Garden, the oldest restaurant in London dating back to 1798 and so-named, after its founder Thomas Rule.

You gotta have Rules!

7.06pm: It was already buzzing when we arrived. We were a tad late after the ‘journey from Hell’ in the taxi that meant it took three times as long to get there (and cost twice as much!). We were given a very warm welcome and were soon seated, attempting to decide what to choose. Decisions decisions! ๐Ÿค”

And because the restaurant still thought it was Ann’s Birthday, she was surprised by her ‘celebratory’ Sticky Toffee Pudding!

Happy Birthday for March 2021!

9.06pm: A perfect evening! Thankfully, the journey back to the Hotel by Taxi was without incident and we were back in Room 50 just after 9pm.


Sunday, 7th

Bye-bye The Goring

What a great break! It’s been good to be back in London again โ€“ especially to see the Greenwich Maritime area enjoying so many visitors! The food and drink everywhere didn’t disappoint (does it ever with me?) and the weather was kind throughout our stay. Some things don’t change though, and the traffic jams were just as we remember them! Horrid!!! But good to see so many electric cars amongst the gas-guzzlers! The Hotel was beyond excellent! The staff were super-attentive, and it was good to be staying somewhere that WASN’T part of a big hotel group!

Sadly, time to head for home and say farewell to London and The Goring Hotel๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘


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