Readers, you know I’m always seeking out the best for you and here’s something quite unique to be found in one of London’s oldest railway hotels. What was once the long-established Great Eastern Hotel (1870′s I think), it has been through several guises over the years including a refurbishment a few years ago to become a five-star boutique hotel belonging to the Hyatt group, under the brand Andaz which means personal service in Arabic. I have been past this place so many times throughout my years in London and had no idea that the series of great looking bars and restaurants are all part of a hotel, and that when you walked inside them that they would be so lovely and tranquil.
The fact that it’s only a fifteen minute door-to-door journey from my East End Abode, had me quite excited to check this out and give my thoughts on it. I dragged an ever so reluctant R along (I lie, she’s never reluctant, her appetite is as strong as mine and her palate ever so much more refined, hence why you see her a lot on here). As always with the high standards that London commands for an establishment of this class, we were in for a treat.
Set in the Grade 2 listed, Great Eastern Hotel’s, original ballroom, Andaz Liverpool Street’s 1901 restaurant provides afternoon tea Monday to Saturday from 3pm. When you walk in from the hustle and bustle of Liverpool Street you are immediately greeted with a smile and a sense of calm. The restaurant, with an exquisite dome that has lasted through both world wars is in a beautiful setting and we were to have a very lovely afternoon. While 1901 do a traditional afternoon tea, we were there to try this intriguing ‘Winter Club Sandwich’.
Everything about this was fantastic. It was so quirky yet absolutely delicious. The sandwich is made up of layers of different sweets including a fine sponge on top, fillings that included plums, thick but not sickly caramel and a ‘fried egg’ made of marshmallow and lemon curd. There’s another fried egg on the side along with cinnamon fries (we could have eaten a bucket full of these on their own, they were that good), Earl Grey ‘mayonnaise’ which was a stunning dip made of Earl Grey tea and what may have been sweetened condensed milk, and ‘plum ketchup’ which was this delightfully tangy and light plum sauce.
What can I say? We were really really really happy digging into our sandwiches. I said to a friend later that I thought it would be too sweet when I first saw it, but it wasn’t. Not at all.
The loose leaf tea, supplied by Emeyu, to go with Andaz afternoon teas, was excellent. R went for an Assam which she had many refills of and I had a very nice white tea, described as leaving one with a gentle aroma of early morning clouds and butterflies. I enjoyed it. On the menu they’re £3.50 per pot which is quite reasonable for the quality they were and the endless refills that R & I both had.
R described our club sandwiches and tea as a slice of affordable quirky luxury. Now that I know this lovely piece of quiet exists inside Liverpool Street Station I can see myself returning many times over the years.
R and I were guests of Andaz Liverpool Street. The Winter Club Sandwich costs £10 and our pots of tea would have been £3.50 each plus service charge. If we had paid £15 for this we would have been more than happy. The service was great and we had a very good 2.5 hours just catching up on our week in style with some remarkably inventive and delicious sweets. Thank you Andaz, we will be back.