York & Albany
Given his inclination for outbursts, you’d sympathise if York & Albany’s neighbours were somewhat disgruntled to have angry überchef Gordon Ramsay arrive in late 2009, with his first venture into hotels in London. But most are apparently pleased that the John Nash-designed Regency mansion-turned-Victorian pub that stood empty for 20 years has finally been put to good use. And besides, at the helm is Ramsay’s altogether more amiable protegee Angela Hartnett MBE. As such, the 10 Russell Sage-appointed rooms (all different, all with king-size beds, Victorian antiques and discreet modern luxuries) are in much demand with gastro-tourists hungry for Hartnett’s food morning, noon and night – on the ground floor is her upscale gastropub (complete with Sunday roasts, Monday pub quizzes, and a mean range of pizzas) and the retro-styled Nonna’s deli for picnics on Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill. When not at Murano (see Eat), Hartnett will happily oblige an audience, even taking a Saturday master-class (£350). And because Hartnett is rather more popular than some chefs, her loyal team has stuck with her since Connaught days – including restaurant manager Odessa, hotel manager Fran and a homely, first-name feel. And not an f-word in sight.