I’m admiring the hotel’s resident gargoyle leering at me from the roof when we are shown to a bedroom! Room 6 to be exact. This was to be the setting for dinner – our very own bedroom cabana overlooking Jurema terrace.
The Mandrake have redesigned and reimagined 10 hotel rooms and turned them into intimate spaces where you can gather to drink, feast and be somewhere that offers a unique blend of both privacy and being in the action of their Jurema terrace.
The Mandrake opened in Fitzrovia in 2017 and its vibrant interiors and eclectic artworks are inspired by its namesake plant’s hallucinogenic properties. At its epicentre is Jurema, an open-air courtyard swathed in rampant botany and positivity. Jurema is a laid-back affair surrounded by a lush, evergreen sanctuary of hanging flowers and plants which really sets the atmosphere.
This other-worldly hotel is split into a ‘dark side’ and a ‘light side’. During the dark nights and long days of lockdown, The Mandrake decided to move towards the light….for now. They are also very much Covid secure beyond government guidelines as well with the introduction of UV sterilisation and many other hygiene precautions. The Mandrake’s outdoor terrace is one of the largest of any hotel in London so space is never an issue.
Back to our Jurema cabana bedroom. We immediately made ourselves comfortable. Shoes off, lights dimmed and curtains drawn before experiencing the next level of ‘room service’ – South American inspired summer dishes from YOPO.
You won’t need the mini bar in your room as team have have created a new menu of summer cocktails like our jalapeño – a naughty, sexy hot mix of tequila, jalapeño vinegar, chipotle and pink grapefruit. In your own cabana room, you also have a bathroom (and shower!) for ultimate privacy.
After the jalapeño, we open the curtain and gaze around the courtyard. The atmosphere is a lot of fun. It’s like a luxury version of Glastonbury without camping. Friends are hanging out, laughing and enjoying themselves and it’s all outdoors. Better still, we are in our very own room and the bedroom TV remains should you alternative forms of entertainment (channel 679 on Freeview). They also have live performances throughout the week so if you ask nicely, you may even enjoy an impromptu concert in your cabana bedroom.
The new menu is from their restaurant YOPO with South American inspired summer dishes, the result of Chef George Scott-Toft travelling around Argentina, Chile and Peru for a month last year. The best thing to do is share everything and order a few plates from each section.
As our Ostra Regal oysters with Ancho chilli vinegar arrive, we sit back and admire the abundance of greenery throughout Jurema with passionflower and jasmine plants climbing the surrounding walls. The prawn ceviche and octopus empanadas are well worth a look with classical South American flavours.
During dinner we met restaurant manager Juozas who told us about some very exciting upcoming plans at The Mandrake. He is charming, elegant and full of Mandrake missives.
There are two desserts and you need to order both together – a marriage of flavours and textures. Alfajores are sandwiched almond biscuits filled with dulce de leche. So South American. So moreish. The other dessert is a genius sorrel sorbet. It delivered that tart, sour green apple, tangy almost lemony taste with a hint of smooth silky sweetness.
Before you check out, don’t forget your cabana room also has direct access onto Jurema terrace where you can be immersed in a lush, evergreen sanctuary so take your time and take in this mini hotel experience.
To discover more, visit: themandrake.com
By Mark Captain
All imagery courtesy of The Mandrake.
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