Those well aquainted with Blackadder the Third will know that The Prince Regent was not blessed with political prowess. Instead he was more of an extravagant dandy dedicated to a lavish lifestyle resulting in life-threatening obesity and a nasty laudanum habit. Fortunately for us though some pretty spectacular architecture & aesthetic follies survive from his indulgent reign. including a coaching inn overlooking Regents Park that now houses York & Albany.
I think the porky prince would have approved of this Ramsay restaurant with rooms headed up by Angela Hartnett and head chef Colin Buchan. This multifaceted operation includes three dining areas; a bar, slightly beige main area and a cosy downstairs with a view of the pass and open kitchen. Rooms are available upstairs and a deli is open next door during the day, all adding to the self appointed ‘lifestyle experience’ that is popular with a range of customers from preened waggies to business men and more casual Camden types.
We ordered the quail breast ravioli with spinach, truffle and shallot along with grilled ox tongue with macadamia, carrot and pickled mushrooms. Mains might include cannon of lamb, onion purée, rainbow chard, confit potatoes & green olives or roasted pollock on toast, cauliflower purée, pine nut cream & caper beurre noisette. These dishes aren’t shy but self-assured with the main ingredient sitting proud. Clever portion sizing means that the richness doesn’t overwhelm and there is room for pud. Location and splendid surroundings do come at a price don’t forget, with starters at around the £10 mark and mains more like £20.
Attention to detail makes all the difference. An aversion to wheat was expertly accommodated and gluten free bread was bought out. Wine by the carafe and a list organised by flavour is a real help and knowledgeable unfaltering staff bolstered the experience.
York & Albany
Tel: 020 7388 3344