What's the draw
This London institution retained its Michelin star this year, despite a change of chefs halfway through. And with good reason: now, with Richard Galli at the helm (formerly of Corbin & King at the Wolseley and St Alban), the menu's got a refreshed focus. It's also a five-star hotel, so if you picture grand rooms with sky-high ceilings, Swarovski-studded chandeliers, roaring open fireplaces and the iconic Goring sheep dotted left, right and centre, you won't be far off the mark.
What to drink
As you'd expect of such a high-end hotel in central London, there's a gloriously grand cocktail lounge ready for you to relax in with a cocktail or glass of champagne pre-meal. We enjoyed a gin and tonic made with Monkey 47 and topped with a selection herbs selected by Jekka McVicar, the hotel's in-house herb expert (who tells us there are more than 100 growing nearby in its private garden). When seated for your meal, don't be afraid to lean on the sommelier's expertise: you'll be guided through a whole host of delicious wines until you find the one that's right for you (and your meal). We opted for a 2017 Lucien Crochet Sancerre from the Loire Valley to accompany our three courses, a strong citrusy and peachy sauvignon with herby notes and a fresh, clean finish.
What to eat
The three-course set menu starts at just £65, which is great value for money considering the level of craft, skill and expertise in the kitchen. To start, the signature eggs drumkilbo is a posh seafood cocktail turned all the way up, piled high with crab, lobster, a touch of caviar and a soft-boiled quail's egg cocooned in fresh, light yoghurt and mayonnaise. (It's also, according to our waiter, the Queen's favourite dish – make of that what you will.) For main, we tried a generous portion of grilled monkfish coated in vadouvan spices served on a celeriac, apple and pickled celery bed, flaky to the touch and light enough to leave room for dessert. Here, the level of skill only further cements the Dining Room's status as worthy of retaining its star: bittersweet lemon perfectly complimenting Opalys white chocolate, caramel sponge and mascarpone ice cream for a creamy, biting triumph of a pud. Sweet (but not too sweet) and indulgent in just the right measure.
Three-course dinner from £65; wines from £8 by the glass. The Goring Hotel, 15 Beeston Place, SW1W 0JW; thegoring.com