The Mandrake is a little bit special. Fun, cheeky, luxurious and always brings something new to the table. This Fitzrovia hotel is impeccably positioned, and Lebanese owner Rami Fustok adorns this creative fashion mecca with vibrant interiors and eclectic artworks, inspired by its namesake plant’s hallucinogenic characteristics.
The Mandrake Welcome
At check in, I am asked to sign a waiver to say that I consent to being seen naked in the shower by the next door bedroom. What happens at The Mandrake stays at The Mandrake right?! The Terrace Suite bathroom has a “shower reveal” button where if both rooms remove the frosting from the glass by pressing the magic button, then you will be able to see each other. The next room sadly didn’t play along.
The Mandrake vibe
As you enter the boutique hotel’s double height reception, a gothic chandelier, by Lara Bohinc, greets you as you catch sight of the lush foliage of the terraces through the courtyard, which contributed to the hotel winning ‘Best Outside Space’ in the world in 2019. A three-story-high wall of jasmine flowers (which attract and represent good luck) and passion flowers scent the air with thick perfume like the Garden of Eden. Each space is named after a medicinal plant and designed to enchant senses at every turn, seamlessly weaving art, gastronomy, mixology, and spirituality into a true experience.
The Terrace Suite
All 34 bedrooms are individually decorated. Each room has its own style with a unique, exclusive art piece too. The most wow is the Mandrake Suite, painted 50 shades of twilight, with a gigantic bed and a standalone tub set on a huge slab of black-veined marble that you would find in a palace.
Our Terrace Suite (41 sq metres) next door was also stunning on the top floor of The Mandrake. The bedroom has a living area and a terrace that overlooks the fun of Jurema, the epicentre of The Mandrake.
With inky coloured walls, sumptuous velvet fabrics, gilded furniture and original works of art, the Terrace Suite bathroom is set under a suspended crystal chandelier and features Grown Alchemist bathroom products. The room is really immersive and draws you in with thick carpets, lush artwork and a bathroom with a massive free standing bath. And of course that shower reveal button!
Wellness at the Mandrake
Wellness and wellbeing is critical to The Mandrake. Their Spiritual Wellbeing Concierge service led by Marie Lodetoft is the first of its kind in the world and born out of a belief that the soul needs to be nourished just as much as the mind and body. The team have taken inspiration and rituals from the all over the world to create wellbeing experiences.
There are weekly events that take place throughout the hotel, including Tea Ceremonies, Crystalline Sound Baths, Gong Baths, Crystal Facials and Readings or have a consultation to create a ritual or treatment that addresses your personal needs.
In the evening, we started with a cocktail at Jurema, one of the largest terraces in London so space is never an issue. Trees and plants are reminiscent of Kew Gardens but still allow for people watching. When discovering The Mandrake, make sure you view the priceless and eclectic art collection that includes works from the likes of Salvador Dali, Francesco Clemente and Jonas Burgert. The loos in the basement are also a must see and rival any other London lavatory. My favourite feature – showbiz dressing room mirrors festooned with lights that will make you feel like a star.
Dinner at YOPO
Dinner at YOPO was a massive highlight and chef George Scott-Toft is a master of his craft. The menu is a result of George and the team travelling around South America for a month to create the menu at YOPO full of well thought out and well executed sharing plates. Highlights from dinner included:
Brioche with crab, fennel and caviar – A buttery soft brioche was stuffed with tender crab with fennel and topped with caviar. An elegant yet simple dish full of flavour.
Beef tartare – One of the finest beef tartares around. The ingredients arrived beautifully presented and I mixed this at the table. The key differentiators of this dish were the cashew cream and the puffed buckwheat. The cashew cream added a nutty earthy umami taste to the tender beef and the puffed buckwheat added a superb texture.
Tostada – A crispy tostada was topped with sweet potato and goats cheese. This came with a chilli oil you rarely see in London, a full of flavour salsa macha.
At the epicentre of The Mandrake 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.
Jurema will be serving an al fresco Botanical Sunday Brunch all summer. From 12pm to 4pm, you can indulge in a spirited and gastronomic brunch experience exclusively available on Sundays. Cool tunes by sound sommelier DJ Karen Lopez add to the fun and lively ambience of the relaxed weekend afternoon sharing-style set menu full of South American fare.
The set menu starts with delicious seasonal starters like Padron peppers sprinkled with smoked chili salt and crab and fennel tostadas with sea herbs and lime. Brunch continues with plates including chorizo and poached egg muffin with a chimichurri hollandaise, mushroom and kale tacos with grilled spring onion, and a buttermilk fried chicken bun with pickled jalapeno coleslaw.
In a nutshell
Wherever you turn at The Mandrake, life is sexy, playful, fun and sometimes a little mysterious. The Mandrake strikes a delicate balance between hedonism and healing and is a melting point for luxury. One of the most unique properties in London, if not the world.
To discover more, visit: themandrake.com
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All imagery courtesy of The Mandrake.