Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant the York and Albany has opened up a pop-up winter cabin as part of the East London foodganza- Night Tales.
We made a booking for opening night and after tucking ourselves under their blankets, we realised the word ‘cabin’ was a bit of an overstatement. It’s more like a tartan clad, Christmas-themed garden shed that fits 4 and one handsome bartender.
Don’t worry though, there is seating outdoors for larger groups but you really want to be wrapped up inside among the cinnamon wreaths and soft candlelight. It’s easy to get into the Christmas ‘spirit’ with cocktails so lethal you wonder what happened to the mixer. For 30 pounds you get a platter of savoury and sweet food plus two cocktails. We started off with duck liver pate followed by venison game sausage rolls, cookies and marshmallows. Sadly there were no scotch eggs to devour so they reduced the price down to 20 pounds. Out of all the food stalls our winter cabin was far by the most festive and it definitely made me feel nostalgic. Christmas is particularly hard for me as I rarely celebrate it with my family, who always made the holiday such a joyous time of the year. Out of everything we ate I loved the pâté the absolute most. It was incredibly rich and creamy and I could’ve easily eaten had two more jars. For dessert, we were allowed to toast our marshmallows by the fire, which really made it feel like you were inside a cosy winter chalet. Our final cocktail was a deadly hot chocolate with enough buttered Bacardi to light the place up in smoke. Even though it was a Thursday night, the entire of East London was here. The DJs were playing deep house and the place was heaving with people all the way out to the entrance. Just as we were about to go home I get a text from Mister C inviting us to Callooh Callay for an office Christmas party. We looked at each other, read the words “Open Bar” and skipped off down the road. Once inside the bar we found this secret cubby hole perfect for silly photographs. Only downside- it’s hidden behind a curtain, which the waiters kept pulling back. So every time we started to really get into the Vogue photoshoot, the curtain would be drawn and the entire room would turn to stare at us. Mortifying isn’t even close to the right word. When it comes to this bar, I saved the best till’ last. Behind this cupboard door is a hedonistic Narnia that spills over two floors. From the entrance it looks like a cramped East London bar but once you step through this cupboard you realise how much more this place has to offer.