Ham Yard Hotel – One Hell of a Looker

Ham Yard Hotel is Firmdale Group’s 8th outfit in town and to refer to it as ‘trendy’ is a bit of an understatement. Stepping foot inside, i almost felt as if i’d wandered into a private gated community in the heart of Piccadilly Circus. This multi-million pound hotel boasts its own 188 seat theatre, a 1950s bowling alley imported from Texas & a rooftop garden.

Now no-one can deny Kit Kemp’s talent for designing interiors – the modern British styled decor throughout the venue is simply stunning – from expensive furnishings to bespoke quirky artwork, there’s always something to look at everywhere you turn.  It really is amazing how despite the riot of fabrics, bold prints and bright colours, along with the mismatched furniture, nothing seems to clash – it just all works harmoniously together.

I was pretty much in awe from the moment i entered – aesthetically pleased, i just wanted to explore every inch of every room (of which there are plenty). Each with a unique design & each as fabulous as the last – from the buzzing bar to the calming conservatory to the wonderfully cosy drawing room & library, i loved every inch of it.

The space is huge and flooded with natural light – it does amaze me how owners Tim & Kit Kemp managed get hold of such a large space slap bang in the middle of Soho and create such a beautiful oasis.

Now, onto the main purpose of my visit: a girly Sunday afternoon tea.

Ham Yard’s afternoon tea can either be taken in the light & airy bar & restaurant area or in the intimate & cosy Drawing Room (unless it’s been hired out for a private event).  For £18 you can choose the set tea menu which includes a selection of savoury items, cakes & scones or you can create-your-own menu by choosing individual items as you desire. N.B. Such flexibility of choice is rare for an afternoon tea in London, so this counts as a brownie point for Ham Yard’s tea.

And here’s another brownie point: Ham Yard allows the sharing of one afternoon tea between two people (which if i’m not mistaken, is another rarity in London). Admittedly, this wasn’t even something we’d considered until the 2 gentlemen sat next to us kindly gave us the tip.  We concluded that if 2 guys triple our size were satisfied with one platter, then the same should go for us, so that’s what we did.



I really enjoyed the lovely variety of savoury items (so much better than the boring sandwiches you often get with afternoon tea).

Pulled Duck Slider & (half-eaten) Ham Yard house-glazed smoked ham, Fontina and truffled mascarpone melt

“If only all sausage rolls were chorizo sausage rolls” i thought as i devoured the little tasty morsel.

Unfortunately, the cakes & sweet items perched on our stand were unimpressive, and although the scones were perfectly nice, they weren’t anything to shout from the rooftop about.  Resultingly, savoury won the battle over the sweets in this afternoon tea.

Scones with Clotted Cream, Raspberry & Strawberry Jam

Scones with Clotted Cream, Raspberry & Strawberry Jam

Service was disappointing, to my surprise.  Despite plenty of staff milling around, not many were attentive or appeared ‘on the ball’.  Highly frustrating it was having to ask for one of our pots of tea twice, and then being left with no option other than to get up mid-meal (from my oh-so-comfy spot on a very cosy armchair) & hunt down our waiter to remind him yet again – not something a customer should have to do.

Pretty crockery

Pretty crockery

Wander off to the gorgeous Drawing Room for some post-tea cocktails…

Or have a nosey around the cosy Library…

Overall, the afternoon tea is decent value for money for London standards.  So minus the below-par service, and add in the beautiful setting, and i’d recommend a visit to Ham Yard Hotel.  I shall certainly be back for a drink at the bar which seems like it would be a  buzzing spot on a Friday or Saturday night.

The Bar

The Bar

Dips Bites:  Ham Yard Hotel is a true triumph of modern design & has surely got to be one of, if not the most stylish hotel in town.  With an atmosphere crossed between eclectic & super chic i felt very happy in this design haven & would encourage you to check it out.  Ham Yard’s well priced afternoon tea is good value for money & worth a visit, just don’t go expecting a service to match the setting – just go and take in those gorgeous sights.
1 Ham Yard, Soho, London W1D 7DT

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