RESTAURANT REVIEW: 1901 WINE LOUNGE
Andaz Hotel Liverpool Street’s new wine lounge offers sumptuous luxury in an obscure location, connected to Andaz’s breakfast room and the main hotel with high sweeping ceilings, grand staircases and colossal artwork. Cheese, charcuterie and wine make their way across the intricately tiled mosaic floor on wooden platters carried by impeccably dressed waiting staff, while the seating arrangements are so soft and plush, you could drop to sleep on them in an instant.
Words: Rachel Mantock
Discreetly and obscurely attached to Andaz London Liverpool Street Hotel, with 1901 unobtrusively scribbled by the doorway, you wouldn’t expect to be met with the grandeur that greets you once inside the new 1901 Wine Lounge at 40 Liverpool Street. Intricately tiled mosaics sweep in elegant patterns across the floor and pillars grow into arches underneath the ornamental, vaulted ceiling. A sweeping, round chandelier drops down above the central island, like something out of the medieval period, fit for an ancient castle inhabited by Celtic Kings of the Iron Age, dimly lighting the whole affair with the help of miniature candles. Lacquered and glass finishes perfect worktops as the plush, grey and deep blue velvet seats add glamour and comfort.
Sat in the luxurious seating area, surrounded by understated, mirrored tables, a waitress appears to talk me over the wine and platter offerings. When asked what she would suggest, she succinctly but informatively explains her preferred choices, quickly bringing me to a decision. Impeccable service is finding the exact balance between attentiveness and respecting the privacy of others. Over keen waiting staff often buzz around finer dining establishments in an over enthusiastic manner, unintentionally resulting in an invasive and obtrusive style of waiting. This was not at all the case at 1901 Wine Lounge, the staff focused on creating a bespoke, relaxed sociability between you and your guests rather than with them.
Before I could even delve back into WhatsApp and Twitter on my iPhone, a wooden platter full of cheese, charcuterie, olives and a selection of breads was placed in front of me, along with a glass of fruity, floral wine. This platter was never ending, despite my feral gorging, magical like the two fish and five loaves of bread. The atmosphere and setting inside 1901 can be described as tranquil relaxation meets sophisticated luxury. It is quiet enough that you can delve into a deep catch up with a friend, yet busy enough that you feel like you are inside somewhere special and coveted.
Cocooned inside an opulent pod of cloud-like cushions and vast, delicately designed ceilings, I didn’t even notice the hours pour past or the rain gushing down outside. I made my way up the winding staircase, complete with huge, refined paintings overhead to my suite in Andaz’s main building, drifting straight to sleep as soon as my head touched the pillow, the smell of fresh cotton lulling me into dreamland.
Bottles of wine are on offer from £31 upwards, while glasses range between £6 and £20
Deep, plush comfort, catch-ups with friends and date nights
What to eat…
Every cheese and charcuterie platter on offer, plus the salmon selection small plate
What to know…
You can enter this lounge from Andaz Hotel or from the main street, though it’s easily missed
40 Liverpool Street EC2M 7QN; 020 7618 7000; londonliverpoolstreet.andaz.hyatt.com