Firstly, while it’s unlikely that I have a hoard of dedicated followers (as opposed to a few sweetly supportive friends) who are particularly disappointed by my lack of recent posts, I do apologise for being absent from The Imagined Abode for so long. But I have some exciting news that goes some way towards explaining my distraction: on the first of September the bear proposed to me in the suitably stylish Parlour at Fortnum & Mason (that’s an ice-cream parlour by the way - all the better!), in true Sex and the City fashion with my best friends springing out to surprise me and celebrate with us. We are getting married next year. So I have been busy planning a city-chic wedding with my betrothed over the last couple of months. But we have now found and booked our venue, and discovered some new interiors inspiration in the process.
YORK & ALBANY, LONDON
The York and Albany is a John Nash-designed townhouse turned bar, restaurant, and boutique hotel, just a giddy hop across the road from Regent’s Park. The slick service and excellent British fare (supplemented by scrumptious stone-baked pizzas from Nonna’s Deli, adjoining) are as you’d expect from a venue under Gordon Ramsey’s wing, but there’s no snobbishness or ceremony accompanying this smartness: this place is a lesson in how to be laid-back but well turned out. The period grandeur of the rooms is complimented by tranquil and elegant hues (think Farrow & Ball shades of beige and blue), vintage furnishings such as wing-backed chairs and fish-eye mirrors, the odd flash of clean, modern elegance in sophisticatedly structured lamp-shades, and just a touch of the urban in the bare brick walls of the Regency Room. All bask in the light that floods in through the huge sash windows.
Where we will toast our nuptials with Prosecco and tuck into pizzas, sliders, Scotch eggs and charcuterie boards:
Opening out onto a little walled garden dotted with fairy-lights:
Pop in to pick up a picnic hamper or pull up a table for an intimate and informal supper:
Where we’ll be dancing the night away:
Make that the honeymoon suite!:
Bagsy this one for the mother of the bride: