January 20, 2023
The Mandrake – renowned fusion of art, culture and design
“Every aspect of The Mandrake has been thoughtfully curated and designed to offer guests a unique, immersive and truly unforgettable experience.”
January in the UK; the weather is cold and miserable; you wake up to dark mornings and dark afternoons by 3 pm, and those January blues start manifesting into your days. I was up all evening writing my goals and creating my vision board for the new year; I thought a staycation was a perfect way to reset!
The Mandrake Hotel is an award-winning luxury boutique Hotel in the heart of Fitzrovia, London, 5 minutes from Oxford High Street, the perfect location for shopping, Westend shows and nightlife. When I first arrived at the hotel doors, I was met with a darkened corridor with a huge white heart at the end of it; it set the tone of my anticipated stay; I knew it would be special. The darkness throughout the hotel plays with your senses; it can make you feel calm and relaxed but also has a sensual side, creating a playful, open-minded atmosphere. I instantly felt waves of positive energy once I walked through the entrance; I heard this hotel is known for its healing properties, and I was amazed at how the design can impact your mood in such a positive light.
Something interesting that I picked up on during my first meeting with the hotel staff was their uniform. After interacting with three or four staff members, I picked up on their dress code; the women all looked glamorous in black and well put together. Their clothing was a little sexier than the usual hotel staff uniform I’m used to seeing; they clarified that their dress code is to wear anything black, and there are no rules on what you can or cannot wear. So, if lingerie and a pair of leather trousers are what they feel comfortable in, that’s their uniform! I thought this was a great way of liberating your staff and letting them be who they are without limitations, which I admired. As a guest who has stayed here, I felt the freedom to be who I am and to express myself how I wish with no judgements; it was refreshing.
Surrounding the hotel walls is interesting artwork; some are provocative, including nude paintings, and some are unusual yet alluring. Art is a huge theme here at the Mandrake Hotel; the owner, Rami Fustok, has collected many artefacts and objects throughout his travels. These captivating pieces sit behind the Waeska Bar and are compelling to view whilst enjoying your Mangosteen cocktail, a Mandrake special.
The hotel has 33 beautifully designed rooms, including three opulent suites and an award-winning penthouse. The designs of each are all so unique and individual; they are all great for different reasons. I also picked up on a few mischievous elements during my stay, including a leather tassel whip on the end of my hotel room key, masquerade masks in my bedroom and a sliding mirrored door directly opposite my bed. These intricate details of the hotel give an elusive, mysterious vibe, something that intrigued me during my time here.
I stayed in the Terrace room, overlooking the beautiful hanging gardens of jasmine and passionflower surrounding the hotel. In the morning, I didn’t mind the miserable weather outside; I got cosy on the sofa in my Mandrake robe and watched the rainfall hitting the Tasmanian ferns; it’s in those moments that you feel so present and grateful to be here. The room was spacious and clean with an open plan bathroom and had a mirrored door connected should you want more privacy. There was also a jukebox in the bedroom which was surprisingly easy to navigate; I enjoyed a sing-a-long before my anticipated dinner reservation at YOPO
My experience dining at YOPO Restaurant was such an unforgettable evening. When I first entered, I immediately gasped with excitement, it felt like you were dining in the jungle. The light and dark sensory elements created the most electric atmosphere; we sat opposite a giant ostrich, designed by the incredibly talented Enrique Gomez De Molina; it was so beautiful!
Critically acclaimed executive chef, George Scott-Toft, created the new menu for YOPO; it’s south American with European influences, inspired by his travels to Argentina, Chile and Peru.
Small plates; my guest had Ostra Regal Oysters, served with champagne, granita and lime and said they were the best oysters she’d ever had. We also ordered some small plates recommended to us by the fabulous Veronika, Portland crab with brioche and caviar and grilled octopus, and potato with hot smoked paprika. My guest and I practically inhaled the octopus; Veronika didn’t let us down on her recommendations. By this point, anything Veronika recommended to us, we ordered it! She also recommended Mangosteen cocktails, I was hesitant about ordering one as I usually stick to what I know, but she reassured me that I would love it and how right she was. That cocktail has been the best cocktail I’ve had in a very long time. So good that we ordered a few more, whoops!
Plates, meat and seafood; We ordered scallops with mango and yellowtail with plantain chips; both were incredible however, the yellowtail was my favourite. We also ordered Josper grilled sirloin, medium rare, with spring onions and chimichurri; the portion size was generous and went amazingly with our grilled aubergine with sesame and soy. The aubergine blew our minds and was our favourite dish of the evening. I didn’t know aubergine could taste that delicious!
Amongst all the incredible food, amazing vibes and wholesome atmosphere, Genevieve and Veronika made our evening one to remember. They shared interesting stories, gave us great recommendations, were acquainted with the dishes and made us laugh all evening. One of the main reasons I go back to a venue is how the staff treat you because when you build up a great rapport, you can’t wait to go back! I’m already thinking about my next Mangosteen cocktail!
Breakfast is served in YOPO restaurant; I ordered what I refer to as a ‘breakfast of dreams’, a colourful array of fresh fruits, warm croissants, nutty granola and a teapot of Earl Grey tea with a ginger hotshot on the side to wake me up. As expected, breakfast was great and looked so pretty; I even took a photo of it for my memories.
The Mandrake hotel believes that the soul needs to be nourished just as much as your mind and body do, so they’ve created a menu of spiritual well-being to choose from.
Sound frequency alignment
Crystalline sound healing
Cosmic gong bath
I was lucky to experience a beautiful sound healing session with the lovely Victoria; I could feel her good energy from the moment I entered the room. She has a calming, gentle nature and makes you feel comfortable instantly. Throughout the day, I felt inspired and more present; I put that down to the meditative state from the sound bath. This type of therapy is also great for helping to release stress and tension whilst awakening your dormant energies. I had to drink plenty during the day to flush out toxins and negative energy which I thought was super interesting. It was soothing for the soul; I’d love to try it again!
I would like to say a huge thank you to all the staff who looked after me and my guest during my time at The Mandrake, we had an unforgettable weekend and left feeling relaxed, restored and inspired. We cannot wait to come back and for those reading, make sure you add this to your bucket list for 2023!
A: The Mandrake, 20-21 Newman Street, London, W1T 1PG.
T: +44 (0)203 146 7770
W: The Mandrake Hotel
W: The Mandrake Yopo Restaurant
Written by Danielle Tobin for Luxuria Lifestyle London and International