Entering Andaz 1901, you leave behind the hustle and bustle of Liverpool Street for an altogether more serene experience. Opened in 1884 as the Great Eastern Hotel, it was designed by Charles Barry Junior whose father designed the Houses of Parliament. The dining room was the original railway hotel’s ballroom and has an impressive stained glass dome. Beautifully lit, it is interspersed with a bar area. This gives the place a certain buzz and relaxed vibe which we particularly appreciated.
The tables would benefit from being spaced out a little more but the lighting and general ambiance is lovely.
We began with a glass of Veuve Clicquot that accompanied the complimentary entree nicely.
My starter, a jerusalem artichoke mousse was pleasant but lacked seasoning. Mr Luxe was luckier with his pork belly starter!
My main of pan-fried pollock with fennel was light and healthy.
Mr Luxe went for pan-fried chicken with a lentil and corn salad. By now we were feeling virtuous, so it was time to bring on the deserts!
These were most definitely the highlight of the meal. I don’t know if they have a specific pastry chef but these deserts displayed a particularly high level of technical skill and complexity of flavour. My chocolate desert was served with candied hazelnuts, giving the dish a pleasing contrast.
If you get the opportunity, do have a look at the sumptuous Masonic Temple. It was also designed by Charles Barry Junior at a cost of £50,000 – around £4million in today’s money. As it wasboarded up during the war and does not appear on the plans for the building, it lay undiscovered until a workman found it in the 1990s during renovations. It can now be hired as an events space.
Andaz 1901, 40 Liverpool Street, London EC2M 7QN