The Goring is the hotel where in 2011, Catherine Middleton and her family stayed the night before her marriage to Prince William. The other week I visited for afternoon tea with @DawnCorleone which is featured seperately in my Scones of the Month blog. When I entered their Front Hall, I was immediately impressed with their beautiful wallpaper, so much so that when we left the restaurant we went to have a closer look. The Goring's Facebook page states that "The Goring's Front Hall is a destination in itself". DawnC was staying there, as a guest, so was able to tell me more about it, thanks Dawn, and I loved it so much I felt I just had to blog about it.
The Goring is the only remaining family run luxury hotel in London. Otto Goring opened the hotel in 1910 and today its chief executive is Jeremy Goring, his great grandson. It has recently undergone a top to toe refurbishment which has involved interior designers, David Linley (Queen Elizabeth II's nephew), Nina Campbell, Tim Gosling and Russell Sage.
In January 2015 the hotel was briefly closed, for the first time in its history, while the front hall was renovated. The exquisite hand painted wallpaper was a collaboration between the hotel, designer Russell Sage and Fromental, luxury wallpaper makers. It took four artists nearly eight weeks to create it and is made of hand-gilded silver leaf on paper with a hand painted design.
The wallpaper, that has a grand country house feel to it, depicts the English landscape and features exotic animals each which makes reference to the hotel's past.
Opposite receiption a polar bear welcomes guests.
In the forest scene there is a lion. However take a closer look, everything is not as it first appears. The jockey on horseback, to the right of the photo, has a tail and is in fact a monkey, a reference to George Goring’s love of riding and sports.
There are also magnificent elephants.
The seal represents Jeremy Goring’s love of surfing.
The wallpaper design also features on the lift.
There is a display of old family and hotel staff portraits with a very smartly dressed pig in the corner.
The pig dressed in formal evening wear with tailcoat, waistcoat and white tie and holding a cigar and large drinking glass.
The two jewellery wearing Walruses on the left, unfortunately I only managed to capture one of them, represent O.R Goring and O.G Goring, the founder of the hotel and his son.
The lion and the unicorn, heraldic beasts, are a descreet reference to the hotel being appointed a Royal Warrant in 2013.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, visited The Goring on a private visit for its 105th birthday celebrations, just a few days after the hotel had re-opened, she was seven months pregnant with Princess Charlotte. During her visit she was invited to add the finishing touches to the unicorn on the wallpaper.
If you enjoyed this blog post you might like to read about my afternoon tea at The Goring.
The author of this blog is a qualified City of London and City of Westminster Tour Guide who leads guided walks combining world famous landmarks with hidden treasures often missed by the crowds.