SquareMeal Review of
Waeska at The Mandrake
Given the mandrake root’s trippy herbal reputation, it’s fitting that the mind-bendingly exotic, sensual interior of this boho-deluxe boutique hotel is a magical mystery tour de force. At its heart is a baroque Babylonian palace-style courtyard, open to the stars, with mature palms and lush cascading fragrant flora: The Hanging Gardens of Fitzrovia as imagined by artist MC Escher and French rapper MC Solaar, perhaps. There’s a choice of three bars, although our favourite is Waeska – a decadent clubby cocktail lounge overseen by a fantastical creature that is half-gazelle, half-peacock. Come here to enjoy restorative plant-based sips such as She-Devil (Champagne, Calvados, Campari, rhubarb cordial and sea buckthorn tincture) or White Witch (a truffled Grey Goose Martini with wattleseed bitters) accompanied by snacks of cheese and tarragon croquettes, lightly battered onion rings, charcuterie and boquerones. Meanwhile, those dining at Serge et Le Phoque (the hotel’s restaurant) have a darkened art deco-style wine bar at their disposal.