21 April 2011

It’s a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace, has a statute of the Queen Mother in the lobby and a croquet lawn round the back – welcome to the Goring Hotel [www.thegoring.com]. Kate, you couldn’t have chosen a quirkier hotel to spend the night before your big day. Owned by Jeremy Goring, it’s been in his family for four generations and is the only privately owned 5-star in London. It’s been a royal favourite for a long time too:  the Queen celebrated the end of the Second World War here with her parents and sister dining on sausages and scrambled eggs, and the hotel’s pastry chefs made Prince Charles’ christening cake. When the place first opened in 1910, it cost from just 7s and 6d to stay (that’s only 37 pence). Nowadays rooms are from around £410 and suites around £1,500 per night.

Kate will walk though the hotel’s front door, held open by one of the bowler hatted doormen, walk through the chintzy, English country house style lobby and perhaps do a double take as she passes one of the many life size wooden sheep that are scattered around the hotel – another of the hotel’s quirky trademarks (apparently the Goring family love sheep apparently!). She might even be given a small cuddly sheep as the hotel hands them out to its most favoured guests.

And which room will Kate be staying in? We’re assuming the newly renovated Royal Suite on the 5th floor. She’ll open the door with a large brass key (no swipe cards here) where there’s a huge oak four poster, a dock for her i-pod, a marble lined bathroom, Molton Brown products in the bathroom and even rubber duck to float in the bath should she so choose. There used to be a wedding dress in a glass case here too, said to be a prototype of one worn by Queen Victoria for her wedding, but this has been removed – perhaps to settle last minute wedding jitters...?


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