I first went there 30 years ago. I was working in a government department nearby and we'd take important overseas guests there. It seemed grand but had dull, faded traditional decor. The food was excellent, but it wasn't terribly exciting. It has since had a makeover, and now presents its fine ingredients in a much more interesting way.
I like it because it's very comfortable, and its peaceful design means nothing jars. It's very modern but in a traditional style, with tablecloths, sparkling silverware and wine glasses. And it has Swarovski chandeliers that can be lowered and raised, depending on the time of day. The noise of chatter in restaurants is sometimes so great that it's difficult to concentrate. You have no such problems at the Goring. There is a lot of space between tables so you can talk, and it works very well for one-to-one lunches. Best of all, though, the Goring does absolutely fabulous British food.
I tend to have the salad - spring vegetable and beetroot leaf, with a sherry vinegar dressing. I also like fish or something vegetarian at lunch.
They have wonderful fish, such as Scottish cod and smoked haddock. I have to recommend the twice-baked Cerney Ash goats cheese souffle, with spinach, asparagus sauce and Jersey Royal new potatoes; and the boiled Lincolnshire ham knuckle with English mustard sauce.
They have a wonderful pudding trolley and the Goring presents an excellent collection of soft and hard British cheeses.
THE GORING HOTEL
Beeston Place, London SW1W 0JW, 020 7396 9000, www.goringhotel.co.uk
Three-course set menu £29 per head
Spring vegetable and beetroot leaf salad
Boiled Lincolnshire ham knuckle
Cerney Ash goats cheese souffle