The restaurant is spread across three dining areas: the bar, a ground-floor dining area with floor-to-ceiling windows and a bright basement space overlooking the open-plan kitchen. Offerings are hearty and traditional, with dishes such as Berkshire venison with field mushrooms and spiced red cabbage, and treacle tart with spiced-pumpkin ice-cream.
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. If you prefer a glass of wine to a pint, pop into the wine bar in the stables of the former coaching inn. Its cobbled floors and exposed brick walls have a Dickensian charm, and the wine list merrily skips from Patagonia, to the US to France, picking up their best bottles. Pair your plonk with charcuterie from Cobbled Lane in Islington and Brit cheeses (Bosworth Ash, Berkswell, Brighton Blue and Tunworth). Small plates such as venison meatballs and salt-baked beetroot with goat's curd, tempt too.
Dinner is dished up until 11pm Monday to Saturday (9pm on Sundays) and drinks are served in the bar until midnight.
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.
‘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.
Sit out on the courtyard if the sun is shining, or head downstairs to the lime-green banquettes and watch the chefs at work.