“Boutique Camden hotel by Gordon Ramsay: fantastic food and a relaxed mood”
The elegant John Nash Georgian townhouse is bang opposite Regent's Park. It was resurrected from dereliction and sympathetically refurbished with antique wardrobes and sepia photographs in its 9 rooms. Downstairs, the bar features more contemporary vintage pieces such as worn leather sofas and oversized wing-backed chairs. But the restaurant’s the main draw; split between the ground floor and basement, you get views out to a terrace upstairs, and in the basement a ringside seat to the theatrics of an open kitchen. And it goes without saying that the food’s terrific. All in all, an asset to this neck of the woods.
- The food: think wood-fired pizzas, Barbary duck breast with seven spices, and mango rice pudding
- Super comfortable beds in the 9 elegant rooms and some have superb park views
- First-rate service from enthusiastic staff, yet a pleasingly informal ambiance. Any minor issues were expertly handled
- Camden is a cool and quintessentially London neighbourhood, plus you're just 10 minutes' walk from the Tube station
- Right by Regent's Park for jogging, picnics, London Zoo and the open-air theatre
- The rooms are small for the price, especially the Classics, and one is above the kitchen and you can hear the noisy extractor fan all night
- The restaurant menu is gastro rather than fine dining - a high for some, plus it's excellent and well priced
- Due to building regulations there’s no double glazing so you do hear some traffic noise, but this is London so it didn’t bother us at all
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- Restaurant and bar (open daily)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
With only 9 bedrooms, York & Albany has an intimate feel, and we loved the original features, including wonky floorboards and an elegant stairwell. You'll find antique furniture and period prints on the walls, but rooms have all the mod cons too, including digital radios, Sky TVs, and fluffy robes and slippers. Bathrooms have a mix of tubs and showers, plus revitalising toiletries by British brand Green & Spring, and you get fresh fruit and mineral water on a side table. You need to call reception if you want fresh milk for your tea or coffee, but there are plenty of capsules for the machine.
The smallest are the Classic Rooms; Superiors are bigger and more luxurious. Deluxe Rooms are vast with super-kingsize beds or twin beds, and there's a Suite, designed by Russell Sage.
We stayed in Deluxe 7: a plum-toned room, which had a fabulous shower room with underfloor heating, but the water pressure was annoyingly erratic during our stay. We also found the towel rail curiously small given the heap of fluffy towels provided. However, we loved the squishy leather armchair and grand wardrobe that provided plenty of space for our stuff. Big windows overlooking the park kept the room light, but excellent black-out blinds ensured a good night’s sleep in the super-comfy beds.
For light sleepers, we’d recommend a side room, such as Deluxe 2 or Classic 9 or 10; there’s less traffic noise. When we revisited in 2017, we stayed in light and bright room 2, which has two huge windows and a slipper bath in the ensuite.
Deluxe 5 has a fancy four-poster bed, and the Suite feels even more special as it has a private entrance and is enormous, with park views from the bed and dining table; you really have to have room service if you stay here! There was a huge desk for workaholics and a plush sofa to cosy up on and watch DVDs (reception has a collection). Best of all is the bathroom, which had a glass ceiling so you'd feel like you were showering under the stars.
- Air conditioning
- Central heating
- DVD player
- Extra beds
- Ipod dock
- Safe box
- Satellite TV
Rather than fine dining and Michelin-starred presentation, the Y&A shows Ramsay taking a more low-key and relaxed approach. This is good, honest food, presented simply and served with aplomb. It's a mixed bag and, alongside bistro classics such as steak and béarnaise sauce, you’ll find wood-fired pizzas and a house burger.
When we revisited in 2017, we enjoyed some delightfully spicy salt-and-pepper squid with sweet chilli dipping sauce while we browsed the menu. Delicious mains of melt-in-the-mouth harissa roast lamb with summer ratatouille and a classic plate of fish and chips with mushy peas followed. Our waiter made some excellent wine suggestions to accompany each course. Our dream dessert came in the form of a tasting platter - we were almost beaten by it, but we couldn’t resist finishing off the rich chocolate nemesis.
The clientele covered a broad range, from young couples to small groups and families with young children (and a dog!). There was a relaxed and buzzy ambiance, and plenty of staff to keep things flowing smoothly. We rounded off our meal with an espresso martini. Note that the team do everything they can to accommodate hotel guests in the restaurant, but it's advisable to book in advance, just in case.
If, after a long day, you’d prefer something casual, opt for room service or order a takeout from York & Albany Pizza. During the summer, picnic hampers can be arranged for sunny days in Regent's Park.
Hot and cold breakfast options include Eggs Benedict or Florentine, the classic full English, and traditional porridge with honey. Everything we ate was very good, but our standout was the granola with yoghurt and fruit compote.
If you’re staying a few nights, you might want to explore other local dining options. The team at Y&A can make recommendations, and hotel guests get priority booking at all Gordon Ramsay restaurants.
- Children's meals
- Organic produce
- Restaurants nearby
- Room service
- Vegetarian menu
- Make the most of your proximity to London’s largest park - Henry VIII claimed Regent's Park for use as a hunting ground but the only animals you’ll find today are being nurtured at London Zoo. In summer catch an open-air show at the theatre; the Shakespeare plays are fantastic
- Camden is well known for its music scene and you can see fantastic live acts and eclectic line-ups at Koko, Dingwalls, The Electric Ballroom and the Jazz Café
- The market at Camden Lock is also world famous. Just remember that on Sundays it gets so busy they close the Tube station for a few hours during the middle of the day. Search amongst the stalls for vintage clothing, music and art
- The Jewish Museum reopened in a former piano factory in Camden in 2010. With regular exhibitions and events, it aims to offer a social history of Jewish people in London
- Jump on the Tube and head to Old Street, from where you can walk to Brick Lane and Columbia Road, home to London’s weekly flower market (Sunday). Nearby, Spitalfields Market has a wide variety of cool shops and enticing restaurants and cafés
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Live music
- Museums / galleries
- Plantlife / flora
- Shopping / markets
The hotel is geared towards adults but children are welcome - they provide colouring kits in the restaurant and kids’ toiletries for mini overnight guests. There's heaps for families nearby from gaping at the latest fashion trends in Camden to visiting London Zoo.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Family friendly accommodation:
Some rooms, though not interconnecting, have a main entrance that can be locked and then separate doors to the actual rooms themselves, so they're good for families. All rooms except Classics can fit a rollaway bed (for 2-12 year olds) or have space for a travel cot.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
There's a children's menu and high chairs in the restaurant
Kids Activities nearby:
- Teens will be fascinated by the shops and scene of Camden Town
- Regents Park (its Open Air Theatre in the summer has plenty of family shows)
- Sherlock Holmes Museum
- Madame Tussauds at Baker Street
- Airport: 45 minutes
- Hospital: 10 minutes
- Shops: 1 minute