To say I am familiar with London Liverpool Street Station is an understatement. Living in a rural, sleepy village on the Essex/Suffolk boarder, London Liverpool Street is my gateway into London. I have never taken notice of the area beyond Liverpool Street Station and this is not down to ignorance, but lack of time as I usually arrive into London Liverpool Street and make a dash for the tube.
The Andaz London is located very close to Liverpool Street Station. This five-star hotel is located in a glorious Grade II listed building that was the former site of the Great Eastern Hotel built in 1884. The lobby is large and spacious and artwork depicting the vibrancy of the East-End of London is captured in a large mural behind the reception. Due to the history of the building, ceilings are high, the windows large and the rooms spacious.
The history of the building is prevalent with ornate detail and carefully preserved mouldings. The décor is contemporary, and the rooms and corridors are decorated in a pale shade of grey. Despite the greyness, the rooms are extremely spacious with a large desk, flat screen TV and a complimentary mini bar that is stacked full of soft drinks and a selection of snacks from local producers; Russet Apple Juice from Chegworth Valley and a variety of teas from East India Trading Company. This is a nice touch as it reinforces that you are in the East End of London and creates a sense of place.
There is a lot to explore around The Andaz. The famous Tower of London can be reached on foot in 15 minutes (especially striking by night) and the famous Borough Market can be reached in under 30 minutes by foot. Spitalfields Market with its eclectic and vintage clothing stalls, lively food scene with everything from food trucks to Michelin starred restaurants as well as luxury shops such as Chanel, there is truly something for everyone and is less than a five-minute stroll from The Andaz.
With a choice of six restaurants at the hotel ranging from Japanese to traditional British, there are plenty of dining options to choose from. Every evening The Andaz provides a complimentary Happy Hour to all its guests from 7.00pm to 8.00pm. This is a true delight! A smorgasbord of delicate canapes from smoked salmon and avocado to roast beef with a hint of wasabi and wines to accompany them is a really nice touch. We kicked off our evening with Happy Hour before heading to Rake’s for dinner.
A botanical theme prevails at Rake’s. A large pagoda set over a seating area, intertwined with trailing vine leaves creates a talking point. The cocktail list is highly impressive with the classics such as Tom Collins omitted and replaced with their own delicious concoctions which is a refreshing change and makes Rake’s stand out.
Brie Bites were crisp on the outside and drippingly melty in the middle. I also tried Bao Buns with slaw, avocado and tofu. The dense, yet fluffy buns, provided a contrast against the sharp slaw. My partner had the lamb and I must confess, I did have a pang of food envy as the lamb was perfectly pink and melt in the mouth.
With room for pudding, we enjoyed tart, sorbets, the creamiest of ice-cream and an Eaton Mess that was celestially light, with a hint of basil. It is worth a visit to Rake’s for the Eaton Mess alone!
Starting the day with breakfast at 1901 was memorable. As soon as I enter the room, my eye is instantly drawn upwards to a stunning stained-glass dome. The name of this magnificent ballroom, with its large white pillars and beautifully decorated ceiling room originates from the year it was built, 1901. The breakfast buffet is extensive with plenty of healthy choices. An à la carte menu is also available and also includes vegetarian and vegan choices.
The Andaz London is the ideal hotel for those who want to experience an authentic London away from the more tourist areas of Leicester Square and Covent Garden.
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Five things to do while staying at The Andaz
- Go for a glass of champagne at Bob Bob Cité where champagne is taken very seriously with 10 champagnes by the glass. By the bottle, there are over 120 champagnes with magnums, jeroboams and even a few methuselahs. www.bobbobcite.com
- Art lovers can experience the East-End art scene with guided art tour with Shoreditch Street Art Tours shoreditchstreetarttours.co.uk
- Vintage clothing lovers can rejoice and visit this vintage mecca. A treasure trove of vintage delights are just waiting to be discovered!
- Culturalists can absorb themselves in the many exhibitions at The Barbican. This is a place to see some of the best in classical and Avant Garde theatre, alongside some of today’s best performers spanning from pop to classical genres. What’s more, the cinema on site is one of the most popular in East London. www.barbican.org.uk
- 110 Bishopsgate is the third tallest skyscraper in the UK. Fans of Peruvian, Brazilian or Japanese cuisine can head up to Sushi Samba on the 38th floor, while the 40th floor is home to Duck and Waffle, serving European cuisine 24 hours a day.
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