Even if you’re a lifelong Londoner, you’ve probably never visited the patch behind Piccadilly Circus that is now home to the Ham Yard Hotel.
In the 18th century it was home to a tavern called The Ham (still there, as the Lyric pub), in the 19th century it saw Alexis Soyer (the world’s ‘first celebrity chef’ serve Christmas dinner for 22,000 poor Londoners), and in the 20th century… well, it got razed to the ground in the Blitz.
For decades it lay untouched as a rubble heap – before Firmdale Hotels lovingly carved out a new little tree-lined urban village in Soho, home to restaurants, shops, a beautiful bronze statue by the Turner Prize-winning artist Tony Cragg… and their own, quintessentially elegant Ham Yard Hotel.
Like we mentioned – this place has its own tree-lined village. And not only does Ham Yard (the village in question) boast more than a few places worth checking out – a juice bar, coffee shop, and a couple of restaurants – you’re also smack in the heart of Soho and therefore a huge hub of amazing bars and eateries like The Palomar, Paradise, or The Blind Pig, not to mention the centre of London’s theatre scene. There’s Ronnie Scott’s, the world-famous jazz club; Swingers, the bar with two crazy golf courses; and all of Soho’s best bars.
You’re also particularly close to Mayfair should you be in the market for a bespoke suit or just fancy a mosey down the famed Savile Row. Ten minutes on foot and you’ll reach Green Park, the other side of which you’ll find Buckingham Palace. Or, if you’ve got a whole twenty minutes, you’ll get to Hyde Park where you can wander around The Serpentine (and not feed the swans); check out what’s going on at The Serpentine Gallery; and visit the Albert Memorial, Royal Albert Hall, and Kensington Palace, all of which will no doubt leave you feeling pretty exhausted and up for heading back to –
As per all the Firmdale Hotels, Ham Yard is dressed up bright, bold, and British, and that goes for all of their ninety one individually designed bedrooms. Think huge patterned headboards, striped sofas plumped with colourful pillows, and floor-to-ceiling windows that allow the sunlight to flood in over everything. All rooms are fully air-conditioned with high-speed internet, a DVD player, and a fully stocked minibar of course. Which would make it pretty difficult to leave if it wasn’t for the rest of –
For starters, there’s an original 1950’s bowling alley fit with bar AND dancefloor. Then, there’s an 190 seater electric blue and tangerine cinema where you can watch films framed by fuchsia pink silk curtains. If you’ve got some energy in you there’s a fully-equipped gym and hypoxic studio (the oxygen content of the air can be manipulated to mimic different altitudes), with personal trainers available.
Alternatively you can kick back in The Library and read one of the books lining the shelves, OR if you’re feeling particularly luxurious treat yourself to one of many body and beauty treatments available at the spa, or just hang out in the steam room and relaxation area. On the fourth floor there’s a guest-only rooftop bar and terrace where you’ll find two beehives (from which the hotel gets all its honey), as well as also low-hanging lanterns, tables crafted out of tree branches, and wicker sofas with blankets, which make evenings particularly pleasant in any season.
THE FOOD AND DRINK
All four of the hotel’s bars offer a drinks list inclusive of cocktails, wine and beer. They also have a selection of small plates, including prawns in garlic, Sriracha, coriander and lime; and spinach and truffle croquettas and crème fraiche for nibbles. Or if you fancy something a little larger, Ham Yard restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner, serving up meals like fillet of beef carpaccio ‘tonato’ with pickled cucumber; Rhug Estate venison Wellington, parsnip and stuffed cabbage for mains; and cinnamon pavlova, chai pastry ice cream and redcurrant gel for dessert.
You should blitz straight through that.
NOTE: A double room at The Ham Yard Hotel starts at around £300 a night (breakfast not included). You can find out more and reserve on their website HERE.
Ham Yard Hotel | 1 Ham Yard, London, W1D 7DT
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