Squatters who took over Gordon Ramsay’s £13m London pub served eviction papers

Gordon Ramsay’s lawyers have accused the Camden Art Cafe squatters of trespassing

Barney Davis
Tuesday 16 April 2024 17:51 BST

An anarchist group of squatters who have taken over a Gordon Ramsay pub in London have been served legal papers kick-starting the process of having them evicted.

The group of squatters set up an "autonomous cafe" after locking themselves inside the chef's Grade II-listed York & Albany hotel and gastropub near Regent’s Park last week.

However, they announced the cafe was “cancelled” on Tuesday after Gordon Ramsay Holdings International Limited filed High Court proceedings against them.

The case says the group are trespassing and aims to initiate an “accelerated possession to reclaim control of the property”.

The group of around 20 squatters posted on their Instagram: “Apologies to everyone wanting to come along today. Papers served. Cafe cancelled.”

The Independent visited the pub on Monday for a “Paint N’ Chinwag” session open to everyone, with one squatter saying: “It is so peaceful at night and you can hear the lions roar from London Zoo.”

(Barney Davis/The Independent)

The celebrity chef had long run his York & Albany gastropub at the former nineteenth-century coaching inn near Regent’s Park, but following legal battles between Ramsay and the site’s freeholder, film director Gary Love, the property was reported in December to have been put on the market with a guide price of £13m.

Mr Love purchased the property in 2007 and subsequently leased it to Mr Ramsay on a 25-year term with an annual rent of £640,000.


The squatters earlier announced their ambitions, writing on Instagram: “We are occupying the York and Albany Hotel in Camden as the collective Camden Art Cafe. We aim to open our doors regularly to anyone and everyone, particularly the people of Camden who have been victims of gentrification and parasitic projects like HS2.

“We provide free food, drinks, and a space to display their art without the ridiculous red-tape galleries that require people to jump over. We believe all of us and our art deserves dignity.”

The occupation of a person’s non-residential property without their permission is not itself a crime in the UK, athough police can take action if crimes are subsequently committed, including damaging the property or stealing from it.

Mr Ramsay previously called the police but was unable to have the squatters removed.

Inside the squat (Barney Davis/The Independent)

Last week, the Metropolitan Police said in a statement: “Police were made aware of squatters at a disused property in Parkway, Regent’s Park, NW1 on Wednesday, 10 April.

“This is a civil matter and so police did not attend the property.”

According to government guidance, squatters can apply to become the registered owners of a property if they have occupied it continuously for 10 years, acted as owners for the whole of that time and had not previously been given permission to live there by the owner.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in