Mere steps from the chaotic London Underground lies Andaz Liverpool Street; a five star luxury hotel in the heart of the capital.
As the revolving door spun me into the hotel lobby, my eyes frantically wandered from one corner of the room to the other. Plush velvet furnishings filled one entire side of the room, while the other side stole the show with an impressive fully-stocked bar. High ceilings made the already large open space feel twice the size, and with that I was rid of the sometimes claustrophobic feeling of London.
As I let out a sigh; a polite smile from behind the check-in desk invited me over. As I stood waiting to be checked in, I was told all about the design of the impressive lobby, and there is certainly more to it than first meets the eye.
Housed in one of the original railway hotels just outside Liverpool Street Station, the lobby is reminiscent of a Saloon Carriage. With dramatic curtains adorning the walls, a reception and concierge desk detailed with rivets and metal banding to resemble vintage travel trunks; the entrance to the hotel is simply stunning.
The bar area in the lobby takes on the identity of a Royal Carriage with stacked vintage trunks serving as a DJ booth and upholstered electric blue bar stools reminiscent of Victorian carriage style seating. Ultra-modern with nods to the period in which the hotel first existed; Andaz London Liverpool Street stands to tell the tales of time.
It wasn’t long before I found myself wandering through the hallway of the fifth floor to where I’d be spending the night. As I pushed open the door, I was welcomed by muted grey walls and an orange leather headboard which occupied almost the entire length of the wall. A bespoke bijou walnut desk and a wing-backed chair caught my eye from the corner of the room, but I found myself utterly distracted by the dimly lit lamps which put me in the mood for nothing but a soak in the tub.
A modern space with a retro twist; the bathroom was slick with a black and white colour palette and touches of marble.
As comfortable as the room may be, I longed to explore more of the hotel. As I stood in the elevator and the doors drew to a close, I realised I wasn’t certain where I wanted to go and therefore I wasn’t certain of how to get there either. That’s when a smartly dressed man next to me smiled and asked whether I had been to Rake’s yet. I shook my head. “Then that’s where you should go” he said, smiling.
I could hear the distinctive hum of conversation coming from Rake’s as I walked through the hotel lobby. As I approached the café-come-bar, I was taken back by how beautiful the Lounge was on the way through. Plush upholstered seating surrounded by vibrant red walls complimented the gold tasseled lamp shades that sit on every other side table. A grand staircase lies in one corner of the room taking you back to a different era entirely.
Designed to take guests on a train journey through the old British Empire interpreted through the avant-garde local area; the Lounge is inspired by the ornate aesthetic of a traditional Victoria train station waiting room.
Tearing myself away from the beautiful Lounge, I continued to walk towards Rake’s. The perfect place to escape the city; Rake’s is a café by day and a bar by night, offering simple and comforting food alongside artisan coffee and a specially crafted cocktail menu of both modern and classic concoctions.
An absolute must-try are Rake’s Cauliflower Wings with Peanut Ranch, Sriracha and Sesame Seeds, and their Chicken, Chorizo and Cheese Croquettes with Chipotle Mayo. We also ordered the Skin on Fries for good measure which were sprinkled with Rosemary and Smoked Maldon Sea Salt.
The dish that absolutely stole the show, though, has to be the Tequila Cured Salmon which was accompanied with Pickled Cucumber, Tequila Sunrise Pearls, Avocado Cream and Smoked Cod Mayonnaise.
With all of London on the hotel’s doorstep, I spent the afternoon wandering around Covent Garden and my evening at a West End Show. I even ended up at The Ned later that evening, whiling away the hours listening to the unmistakable sound of jazz.
The following morning, as I felt myself begin to stir and my eyes begin to open, I shuffled beneath the sheets refusing to do anything but snooze. It was a Sunday morning, and I remembered being told that breakfast would be served as late as eleven o’clock, and so I cosied up in the crisp bed linen for as long as what seemed acceptable.
I could hear the soft whisper of the Nespresso coffee machine calling my name from across the room. I slipped out of bed and into a robe and slippers to make myself a coffee, and it wasn’t long after the first sip that I longed for breakfast.
I made my way downstairs to the 1901 Ballroom – an impressive building in London that only few know of. At the centre of the Grade II listed ballroom lies the building’s original stained glass dome which is one of few surviving original domes in London. It outstandingly survived the bombings during the Blitz in the 1940’s as staff and guests threw mattresses from their bedroom windows to protect the dome.
Remarkably, only one small piece of glass was damaged which is now marked in red to remind us of the building’s past.
Beneath the stained glass dome lay a breakfast banquet fit for royals. I pondered over the Pain au Chocolat, and then the Fresh Fruit Salad, before being told that there was also a menu to order from at the table. I didn’t know where to begin.
Coffee is where I began. An extra hot skinny latté later and I was in a better state of mind to make decisions.
I opted for the Chef’s Crépes accompanied by a Berry Compote. With an entire banquet laid out before me; I didn’t stop there either. I circled the pastries, selection of breads and freshly squeezed juices until I eventually decided to treat myself to some British Strawberries and a small pot of Granola with Natural Yoghurt.
After breakfast, it was only right to make my way to Columbia Road Flower Market.
Within ten minutes I was roaming the quaint cobbled streets of Columbia Road, resisting the urge to purchase twenty bunches of flowers. I settled for five and wandered off to look in the antique stores and pottery shops. The heavenly smell of flowers one minute and Lily Vanilli’s bakery the next is what I so love about Columbia Road Flower Market.
After a memorable morning, I made my way back to the hotel to collect my things before heading home. Andaz Liverpool Street is situated in the heart of the city just a stone’s throw away from everything that London has to offer. A true blend of heritage with contemporary creativity; Andaz London Liverpool Street is the luxury hotel to stay at in East London.
Prices at Andaz London Liverpool Street start at £169 per night for a Queen Room
Andaz London Liverpool Street
40 Liverpool St, London EC2M 7QN