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Hotel Highlights

  • Regent’s Park and London Zoo close by
  • Delicious dining and wining
  • As laid-back as it is luxurious

Overview

If name-dropping were a crime, York & Albany would be in trouble, with its John Nash-designed building, Russell Sage interiors and Gordon Ramsay’s culinary captaincy. The Regent’s Park location, fabulous food and stash of antiques will lure you in, and the relaxed atmosphere will keep you here.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking York & Albany with us:

A glass of prosecco each on arrival

Facilities

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York & Albany Hotel – London – United Kingdom

Need To Know

Rooms

Nine, including one suite.

Check–out

11am. Check-in, from 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $196.02 (£125), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates exclude breakfast (full English at £12, or à la carte).

At the hotel

Deli, DVD library and free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, DVD/CD player, free bottled water, a selection of books and magazines and bathrooms stocked with the White Company or Green Spring products. iPod docks are available on request.

Our favourite rooms

The two deluxe rooms on the second floor (Rooms Eight and Nine) overlook Regent’s Park’s leafy green stretch. The suite feels like a private loft apartment, with its own separate entrance accessed from a short staircase outside. Inside, it’s decked out in neutral hues, with an art deco desk carved from syrup-brown wood, heavy pieces of antique furniture, soft silk wallpaper and a vivid red rug.

Packing tips

Some vintage threads to match the antiques; a picnic hamper for sunny days in Regent’s Park.

Also

The bar and ground-floor restaurant are wheelchair-accessible, as is one of the superior rooms (Room Seven).

Children

Little Smiths are more than welcome – the hotel provides crayons and colouring paper to keep them busy. The restaurant has a menu tailored to tots.

Food & Drink

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York & Albany Hotel – London – United Kingdom

Hotel Restaurant

The restaurant is spread across three dining areas: the bar, a ground-floor dining area with floor-to-ceiling windows and a sultry, ruby-red basement opposite the open-plan kitchen. Offerings are hearty and traditional, with dishes such as braised shoulder of beef with crushed turnip and red wine jus, and Bakewell tart with clotted cream.

Hotel Bar

In the 1920s, York & Albany was a pub, and the bar still has the kind of warm, relaxed atmosphere that you can keep you in your local from noon ’til night. The soothing palette of mushroom, taupe and aubergine gets a shot of drama courtesy of splashes of black – leather chesterfields and a glittering black and glass mirrored bar. On Tuesday nights, a jazz pianist tickles the ivories in the corner.

Last orders

Dinner is dished up until 11pm Monday to Saturday (9pm on Sundays) and drinks are served in the bar until midnight.

Room service

The 24-hour room service spans the full menu during the restaurant’s opening hours, or a range of alcoholic and soft drinks during the night. You can also order snacks from the bar or grab some very upmarket takeaway pizzas from the hotel's pizzeria.

Smith Insider

Dress code

‘Smart casual’ could have been invented for York & Albany – though the atmosphere is relaxed, the setting is stylish. Be as tactile as the surroundings and pair a silk-crepe shirt or vintage lace top with jeans.

Top table

Sit out on the courtyard if the sun is shining, or head downstairs to the red banquettes and watch the chefs at work.

Local Guide

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York & Albany Hotel – London – United Kingdom
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Regent's Park and London Zoo are just across the road, so be sure to promenade round the park and admire the animals.

Local restaurants

Reception can book you into any of the other outposts within Gordon Ramsay’s culinary empire. Market, just down the road at 43 Parkway, is garnering a trophy-cabinet of awards for its seasonal and honest cooking (+44 (0)20 7267 9700). Gilgamesh delivers pan-Asian goodies (dim sum, tempura, sushi, curries and co.) in glitzy surrounds – you can WAG-spot as you dine. Finish off with a cocktail or three, as the restaurant is a short stumble away on Chalk Farm Road (+44 (0)20 7267 5168).

Local bars

Art gallery by day, music venue by night, Proud’s building used to be a horse hospital. It’s a great place for cocktails, conversation and dancing, and it’s not far from the hotel, at Chalk Farm Road (+44 (0)20 7482 3867). Join the Camden cool kids at the Hawley Arms, at 2 Castlehaven Road (+44 (0)20 7428 5979) – look out for Amy Winehouse’s beehive. The Engineer, on a quiet corner in Primrose Hill, is a casual pub serving breakfast, lunch and dinner – don’t miss the American-style pancakes with honeycomb butter. Part of a dying breed of privately owned London pubs, the leafy, walled garden is perfect for a pint, or alfresco dining in warmer months (+44 (0)20 7722 0950).

+ Enlarge
Right by Regent’s Park

York & Albany

York & Albany, 127-129 Parkway, Regents Park, London NW1 7PS, United Kingdom

Planes

The drive to London Heathrow will take around 45 minutes by car, depending on how good the traffic is to you.

Trains

Eurostar travellers will be pleased to know that 10 minutes in a cab will get you to or from St Pancras. As far as London Underground services go, both Camden Town and Mornington Crescent Tube stations (on the Northern line) are a five-minute walk away.

Automobiles

You’ll find the hotel overlooking Regent’s Park, on the northern edge of the central park. There’s street parking available, but watch out for meters and permit requirements.

Reviews

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York & Albany Hotel – London – United Kingdom

Anonymous review

by Allegra McEvedy , First lady of fast food

‘I’m taking us away for a romantic weekend,’ says pregnant Mrs Smith to her (not-pregnant) Mrs Smith. ‘Excellent, where?’ she replies, Parisian hideaways and Moroccan oases virtually visible in her thought bubble. ‘Regents Park!’ I say as quickly and enthusiastically as I can, watching her face crumple ever so slightly before regaining its usual glow. But …
Read more

York & Albany

Anonymous review by Allegra McEvedy, First lady of fast food

‘I’m taking us away for a romantic weekend,’ says pregnant Mrs Smith to her (not-pregnant) Mrs Smith. ‘Excellent, where?’ she replies, Parisian hideaways and Moroccan oases virtually visible in her thought bubble. ‘Regents Park!’ I say as quickly and enthusiastically as I can, watching her face crumple ever so slightly before regaining its usual glow. But Mrs Smith and I have indulged in away weekends in our hometown before and there are serious plus points... 20 minutes to pack, doing door-to-door in under half an hour, and locals who speak the same language.

Let me set the scene. We rock up at York & Albany about 7ish on Friday evening; it isn’t a spirit of adventure that prevails, more a couple of broken spirits the result of brutal work weeks for both. Opening the door to this boutique boozer, we’re bombasted by Camden trendies on their Friday night out. Mrs Smith’s eyes light up in a way that I’ve learnt means ‘martini!’. This worn-out preghead is more tempted to spray venom on the assembled crowd. Not the ideal start to a romantic escape.

As the bar and restaurant is all that most people know about Y&A, it’s with great delight that I'd like to nudge you beyond the Gordon Ramsay-polished front of house to the demure hotel part of this beautiful Regency building. Like Dorothy and Toto post-twister, we pass through to the other side, an entirely contrasting setting. Chatter is replaced by calm; where we saw trendies we see trees; and in place of rowdy comes roomy. Cue these Mrs Smiths find the ticket to their dreamy weekend away.

Food, as you can imagine, is important at this stylish London stay. So it is after regrouping in our attic room, we head eagerly down to supper. A table-booking tip: I say, book a table downstairs. The ground floor is a dining room in the usual Gordon group get-up (not that noteworthy, more indiscriminately posh); in the burgundy bordelloey space below diners can eat next to an open kitchen. Bringing colour and life to the dining experience, we think we’d have preferred the subterranean option. The culinary highlights for us? A raviolo with garlic potato puree and a poached hen’s egg inside. Silky spuds + oozy yolk = sexy plate of food. Other memorables are a great lamb dish with a prize-winning salsa verde – well, I’d have given it a prize if I’d had one to hand – and a salted caramel parfait accompanied by a pear sorbet that brings clarity to all senses.

Flanked by Grade-I listed buildings, Regents Park and a pretty canal, the York & Albany is situated on the crossroads of a somewhat sprawling London junction. So we’re not expecting such peace to greet us as we breakfast downstairs on Saturday morning. It is as though we’ve been transported from a corner of NW1 to a private lodge in the country thanks to leafy park views, minimal traffic and a wonderful sense of space afforded by the fine Regency architecture and its huge windows. Reading the hotel’s literature, I glean that this fine John Nash building was a 1820s coaching inn and for a moment I feel a world away from modern-day London. Over home-made yoghurt with seasonal fruit – for once, this word that’s lost meaning through overuse, applies to our strawberries and raspberries – and we plot the rest of our day in NW1.

Camden Market, with all of its bustle and people-watching, is a 10-minute walk away – perfect for those after the full-on London experience. Having done it to death as a teenager, I have different plans. A weekend this close to London Zoo surely has to incorporate a some gorilla gawping. So we stroll to one of my favourite foodie pubs the Lansdowne in Primrose Hill for some pre-primate Bloody Marys (for the missus) and a spot of lunch. Our afternoon of animal ogling is rounded off perfectly with tea and cakes back at our lodgings. This has honestly been one of our best Saturday afternoons in the city in a long time.

Now, a confession: we move room for our second night. The first was in a smallish boudoir right at the top of the building where we enjoyed gorgeous park views. And a game of ‘How on earth did they ever get that huge wardrobe into the room?' Also a round of ‘How many variations on beige can the decor include? (From walls to curtain, all trims are differently textured hessian hues.) Still, it isn’t taupe overload that drives us out, but the lack of a bath. This hippo-sized Mrs Smith (with nearly complete baby hippo inside) needs somewhere to wallow. And the move proves a good one: although we’ve lost the treetops, they’re adequately replaced with tub enough for a bloat of hippos – my new favourite collective noun. Plus the original Regency details in the ceiling and the four-poster bed win top marks. A bed that ends up playing a bigger role in our Saturday-night story than we were expecting.

I’ve made reservations at nearby restaurant Market on Parkway, but after the excitement of the day and the calming cake, a nap seems in order. You know where this is (or isn’t) going… Several hours later we come to. Befuddled by the fact it’s nearly 9pm, we apologise to the restaurant and order room service and a movie. This is no club sandwich scenario. Picture a full-on gastronomic experience thanks to an excellent bar menu; exemplary polpette and a stunning pinot noir from the cellar – all without leaving our bed. Lying under the canopy of our four-poster, I’m the antithesis of the person I was 24 hours earlier. I can’t remember being this happy and chilled – and certainly not in the Capital. So, in the words of Gordon himself… job done!

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in York & Albany's Guestbook below.

 

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Really lovely hotel, beautiful boutique style, lovely staff, great decor, very comfy bed.

Don’t expect

Doesn't have a bath, just a shower.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the attentive and helpful staff and shabby-chic look, and the room and hotel were clean. Breakfast was very good and I'm only sorry that we could not take an evening meal there.

Don’t expect

Our curtains would not draw properly due to a broken pull cord.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The hotel is beautiful a low key quirky way; I loved it because it was small and intimate. The staff was brilliant, room lovely and breakfast very good.

Don’t expect

The shower (Room 7) was luke warm then decidedly chilly; I could not get it to work. The tap in the basin indicated hot when cold and vice versa.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked everything, especially the service.

Don’t expect

If I'm really being picky, the bathroom sink plug was missing.

Rating: 10/10 stars

GoldSmith

Stayed on

We loved

We got an amazing rate at this hotel, and enjoyed the speedy check-in. Room 7 has an exceptionally comfy bed, a large bathroom with an excellent rain shower, and fruit and water in the room. The rate included continental breakfast, which was very good, and a Pimm's cocktail at check-in which was a welcome touch. It was a very comfortable stay and an excellent location for us, especially with the bar/restaurant downstairs that I used for a business meeting. There was good service to boot.

Don’t expect

Only a very few slight touches could be improved: the door lock was broken, and the grate in the shower was slightly loose. I didn't see a lift, but the two flights of stairs were not a problem for us. Parking was hit and miss; there's a bay right across the road that's free on weekends. They're very minor issues; overall, the stay was excellent.

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The rooms were tastefully decorated and the bathroom was amazing with lovely bath products to use. Additional touches like classy mags, bottled water and fruit also made the stay more special. We loved the fact we were treated to a glass of bubbly on arrival. Breakfast was gorgeous and service for this was great. Location: fab.

Don’t expect

Check-in and check-out could have been quicker. Room service after a late-night concert would have been great.

Rating: 10/10 stars

GoldSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Staff incredibly helpful and accommodating. I was going to a concert in the evening, which meant missing the room service deadline. They arranged for a delicious seared tuna loin and other equally yummy bits to be in my room when I got back. Breakfast in the pub the following morning was pleasant and leisurely.

Don’t expect

Next time I go, I'll ask for the room temperature to be lower as it was pretty warm!

Rating: 7/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

We visited the York Albany for a one-night break and had a fantastic time. Room 2 (a Superior room) was perfect for us – lovely comfy bed, and even a bath! The food was, as expected, fantastic, as were the cocktails in the bar. The excellent service from all the staff, particularly the bar staff, made our stay really relaxing, despite being just a few minutes away from central London! We would highly recommend it.

Don’t expect

Quite small bathroom.

Rating: 9/10 stars