Tennis and fine food are two of our passions, so we planned our trip to London long time in advance in order to attend the ATP Tennis finals (Barclay Cup) at the O2 arena and dine at Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay`s restaurants. For that purpose we booked at two different hotels. The first week in London we stayed in the area of CanaryWharf (close to the O2) and then we moved to the York & Albany in Camden Town. Since we had read some very good reviews of the Y&A and we just had a good experience at the Marriott the days before, we were a little bit disappointed.
The first impression: The Y&A entrance is located besides the trash containers of the restaurant. That would not be too much of a problem, except for the fact that the containers are continuously in use. This creates a lot of noise because some bedrooms are precisely few meters away from them. Therefore, very late at night and very early in the morning, you can hear people disposing or retrieving trash. Also, the side street of the hotel has a lot of traffic and every time a heavy truck passed by, our room vibrated. It was quite difficult to sleep and we were tired most of the time.
On the positive side the room service was reasonably good and the wireless internet connection was excellent. Rooms are clean (although old fashioned), but not very spacious. People at the reception were friendly.
Service at the bar and at the restaurant was frankly disappointing. We noticed that there were too many waiters, but they spent most of their time chatting and away of sight, when their supervisor was not there. We confirmed this impression after we had lunch at other restaurant listed on Ramsay`s website: Maze, which was precisely the opposite. Service at Maze and its food were excellent. (Could it be because Ramsay supervises Maze more closely?) As for the food at Y&A, we were not particularly impressed. Maze was clearly a better choice. We must add though that the Deli at Y&A (Nona) offers a very good selection of traditional pizzas baked in the oven.
The experience as a whole was very interesting though. Somehow we understood the point that some critics make. Namely, that once a celebrity chef decides to create an empire and allows his name to be associated to other projects and other chefs, high quality might be put at risk. For our next trip to London we will look for other options.
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- Also Known As:
- The York And Albany
- The York & Albany Hotel London
- York & Albany London, England