After leaving Manchester you would think the sight of red brick is long left behind, until you’re stunned by the five-star Andaz London Liverpool Street.

While the exterior poses 19th century traditional grandeur, step inside and you’ll be overwhelmed with creative decor influenced by its artsy neighbourhood of East London’s Shoreditch.

With iconic artwork sourced by local group Le Gun from the Royal College of Art complementing vibrant colours and patterned soft furnishings, there’s a bold balance of dark metals and other fine detailing such as rivets adding an industrial feel - nodding to the hotel’s railway heritage.

And this is just the foyer.

'Step inside and you’ll be overwhelmed with creative decor influenced by its artsy neighbourhood of East London’s Shoreditch'

But this is what Andaz London has mastered so effectively in creating an open and welcoming space from the get-go; from a decadently designed bar to the right of the reception desk where the hotel hosts a complimentary Canape and Wine Hour every evening, to a comfortable lounge area reminiscent of a first-class Victorian train carriage with upholstered seating and lavish drapes.

This mix of contemporary design capturing the hotel’s prime location and heritage continues into its 267 spacious rooms, including 15 suites.

Here, pinstriped carpets echo the uniforms of the nearby bankers, with stitched ‘jeans’ fabric around the base of the bed in recognition of the area’s sartorial past. Tattoo art by local illustrator Sophie Mo on the tan-leather bed headboards also pays homage to the silk weavers that used to dominate Shoreditch’s textile industry.

Pinstriped carpets echo the uniforms of the nearby bankers

And Andaz London offers so much more than just a room for the night as it boasts a health club, along with six of its own restaurants and bars, making it the perfect staycation in the capital as it has everything you’d need on its doorstep.

On our pre-Covid visit, we spent two evenings in Rake’s Cafe Bar drinking cocktails, where the barman said he could make whatever we wanted, accompanied by tasty dishes including the best cauliflower wings I’ve ever eaten.

Rake’s comprises of the garden-influenced The Front Room, the sophisticated The Parlour and No. 3, a secret hideaway for those looking for extra privacy. It’s most definitely a setting to share on Instagram with its hot pink paint and mirror wall feature.

Just one of the hotel's dining areas

We started the next morning with a yoga class in the hotel’s Masonic Temple, which was hugely unexpected to find a slice of serenity in the middle of a large hotel in the capital.

Candles were lit which flickered against the Italian marble as we gazed up at the blue dome ceiling - adorned with an eye-opening gold star in the centre with zodiac symbols looking back at us.

The Grade II listed space, that’s available for private hire, is the city’s only original Freemason’s meeting lodge, which was discovered by chance during the hotel’s refurbishment.

The Masonic Temple - the city’s only original Freemason’s meeting lodge

Soon after, we headed out on a walking tour to explore the history of the East End where we learnt tales of Jack the Ripper outside Christ Church and meandered through Spitalfields Market.

There homed stall upon stall of clothing, jewellery, vegan leather bags, and countless eateries but most memorable was The Last Stop For The Curious stall. Here we were introduced to eccentric owner, Colin, who sells vintage hats in a range of colours and styles making it impossible not to try one on as he gave even more interesting insight into the history of the area. We continued to weave through some of the oldest streets in East London while admiring the street art and bustle of Brick Lane.

The route came back in full circle returning to the striking hotel where after working up an appetite, we were more than ready for the drag queen bottomless brunch, which is the hotel’s latest entertainment addition to Saturday afternoons at their Eastway Brasserie. Guests clapped and cheered as flamboyant Velma Celli sang classic dance hits making her way around the restaurant’s tables.

The Eastway Brasserie

At £28 per person, it features weekly-changing dishes made with locally sourced and organic ingredients, and allows guests to enjoy all six sharing starters of the calibre of Boozy Gin & Tonic Cured Salmon, followed by a large brunch main course that includes such archetypal comfort food as the fish finger sandwich.

However due to Covid-19, Eastway Brasserie has since closed temporarily.

To top the day off, we then took part in the hotel’s sushi making experience, which has to be the highlight of the stay. The hospitality was exquisite as we were warmly welcomed with chilled sake by Kosei Sakamoto - head chef of the hotel’s Japanese restaurant, Miyako - and his accomplished team.

The sushi making masterclass is not to be missed

At the centre of the studio stood a long table immaculately set up with square plates of seaweed, bamboo rolling boards, rice, and fresh fish. We were taught how to look for the freshest fish in the market if we wanted to try making sushi again at home, and the team calmly talked us through how to slice the fish correctly and how to roll the different styles of sushi - which is so much harder than it looks!

When most residents in Manchester think about a trip away to the capital, its famous sights come to mind which can become repetitive, and the thought of traipsing around among the thousands of other tourists can feel overbearing, especially sardined on the Underground.

The hotel is set in the heart of artsy Shoreditch

Yet Andaz London offers a unique and quirky stay enriched with local culture, creativity, and exactly what you’d need for an effortless weekend away in a vibrant neighbourhood.

You can travel from Manchester to London on a direct train in just two hours, with the Liverpool Street hotel situated just a stone’s throw away from the Underground station.

This trip was taken in March, before the coronavirus lockdown. Since then, measures have been introduced that cover cleanliness, physical distancing, and safety.

These include contactless check-in, social distancing in the dining areas, and rooms disinfected in between stays.

Prices start at £195 for per night, visit the website here.