Between ticket prices, strikes, and the cozzy livs (sorry; I’ve officially come round to this term now), you’d be forgiven for skipping out on a trip abroad over the summer holidays. We do live in one of the most visited cities in the world after all, so why not take the opportunity to check out the best things the Big Smoke has to offer instead? Vibrant hotel Andaz London Liverpool Street has a summer campaign all around staycationing, so I marked the start of summer with a stay there. Here are my thoughts, if you’re thinking of doing the same.
1. The location is spot on
Andaz London Liverpool Street is literally right next door to London Liverpool Street station. You know where that buzzing Wetherspoons by the escalator is? Yeah, it’s right there, housed in a glorious building, originally designed in the late 1800s by the same architects who designed the Houses of Parliament.
With such a prime location, next to the hub of tubes, trains and buses, it bagged ‘staycation points’ for me from the get go. Whether you’re a Londoner treating yourself to a stay at a swish hotel, or a tourist in the capital for the first time, you can get around the city with ease. What’s more, if you’re all about activities in the daytime, and partying at night, the bustling bars of Shoreditch aren’t far away.
2. Their interiors were definitely ‘a bit of me’
Andaz means ‘personal style’ in Hindi, and the spot really boasts bags of personality. It truly embodies ‘historical quirks meets modern attributes’ – right up my street. It gave me kind of art gallery vibes, with concentric circles, graffiti art, stained glass domes, grand staircases, traditional paintings, and so much more under one roof. I was excited to see where each corridor led. My favourite room by far was where I ate breakfast; every weekend, breakfast is served in the grand events room, with its high ceilings, ornate pillars, and the gorgeous stained glass dome.
The guest rooms are way more modernised; they’re minimalist, but with pops of colour. I stayed on the sixth floor, and enjoyed a lovely view of the surrounding area from the almost nautical circular windows.
3. There are five food and drink outlets
The hotel boasts not one, not two, but FIVE food and beverage outlets, and I opted to dine at Rake’s. Billing itself as a cafe-bar, as opposed to a restaurant-bar, I wasn’t too sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised – and left very full. Everything was cooked fresh; I particularly enjoyed my starter of calamari and shrimp. It made for a great combo, and the batter was light, flavoursome and crispy.
As for the mains, I opted for the salmon. The skin was moreishly salty and crisp, while the salmon meat was lovely and soft. The bulgar wheat also had lots of flavour – something unexpected, as I normally would not have opted for such a ‘healthy’ option for a meal out. I enjoyed this dish so much that I did not leave room for dessert. My guest, however, did, and highly recommended the mille-feuille pastry, as it was light, not too sweet, and not too creamy; a soft dessert to cleanse the palette and round off the meal nicely. Have a peep at the meal yourself over on London Mouthful.
Rake’s is spread across two rooms of differing styles. One is sumptious, with sofas and plush linens, adhering more to the ‘bar’ vibe, while the other – where I chose to eat – was the lighter, brighter, more ‘cafe’ of the two. With the music, it gave off more after work hangout vibes, which I enjoyed.
4. The cocktails and rum is where its at
Rake’s boasts a small, but fantastic, bar, which of course I made use of during dinner. While they had a selection of classic cocktails and wine, I was particularly enthralled by their Rake’s specials. Detailed in a separate book with old-world paintings, this menu spanned a range of flavours and spirits. I opted for ‘the marriage’; it was sweet, dainty, and rather pretty with a flower atop.
Away from cocktails, I’m a particular lover of rum, and thoroughly enjoyed the selection of premium and regular rums the bar at Rake’s had available. I tried a 15 year Havana, and my goodness, it was one of the smoothest rums I’ve ever drunk. It costs a pretty penny, so I stopped at one, but I’ll be saving up for another…
Away from Rake’s, there are plenty of other spots for a drink at the hotel. Although I didn’t partake myself, the host at reception advised there was a ‘wine hour’ everyday in the lobby. Upon further investigation, I found out that everyone gets a free glass of wine during this time.
5. They’re offering summer deals
Five-star hotel in central London? Yeah, the price tag is as you’d expect – and given the desire to save, not splurge, with a staycation, you may be reluctant to splash out on a London hotel at first. However, Andaz are well aware of the current dollar dollar bills situation (or lack thereof), so this summer, they are offering a few deals in London to alleviate the price a little.
💸 HYVALUE offer – this includes £50 dining credit, valid across the hotel’s five specialty restaurants (one use per stay); a complimentary breakfast; complimentary mini bar; and early check-in and late check-out (on availability).
💸 Free breakfast and 20% off the room rate – this one is exactly what it says on the tin, and is available between July 21 and September 3.
For those who are members of Hyatt, a double points scheme is also available.
All in all, if you fancy an upmarket, but well connected, stay in the capital this summer, Andaz London Liverpool Street is a pretty strong contender. Alternatively, if you’re after a nice meal, some cool cocktails, or some rum, simply pass through Rake’s before you head home – and it’s an easy run to your platform if you get a bit carried away!