I check into the Ham Yard hotel to escape the four walls of my own house, which I have spent serious amounts of time in over recent months. Clearly, other guests have the same idea, because the Ham Yard has put together a dedicated staycation package, complete with a bath product welcome gift by RIKRAK (Firmdale’s own brand) and a delightful afternoon tea.
For those not familiar with the Ham Yard hotel, it occupies a special location, hidden in the backstreets where Piccadilly Circus meets Soho. Usually, you would step out into hustle and bustle, but now it’s so quiet it feels positively quaint, like your very own village in the heart of London. The hotel has made serious steps to be Covid-safe, with a very strict one-way system.
There are 91 bedrooms and some apartments. Our room is spacious but decorated so as to be cosy. Co-owner Kit Kemp is big into fabrics, so there’s plenty of colour and beautiful upholstering. The bathroom is notably huge with separate sinks and – wait for it – a TV in the bathtub, for the ultimate night of relaxation. Although there’s no mini bar in the room, everything is available on request.
There is much to do within the hotel. Wonder around and survey the interesting artworks and sculptures. This hotel is very much designed as a labour of love – it is well curated and beautiful. The basement bowling alley is a real highlight, with bar snacks and cocktails served to your booth as you play – do try the cauliflower risotto balls and berry Margarita. It would be the perfect place for a private party – in fact, it’s usually booked up for months in advance.
The spa is well worth visiting. My masseuse, Sue, has what I can only describe as magic hands. It’s possibly the best massage I’ve ever had.
There are also multiple beautifully decorated bars, a great gym with everything you could possibly need, a theatre and a roof terrace, which is dreamy in warmer months.
The food at the Ham Yard can’t be faulted. The main restaurant is airy and relaxing with cosy booths and great service. You could also dine al fresco – the courtyard is charming. Basically, the vibe is perfect for any occasion, be it birthday or business meeting. For dinner we feast on Caprese salad, fishcakes, truffle chips and steak. Be sure to ask for the sommelier, who will suggest great wine recommendations to match your meal.
Breakfast opens downstairs at 7.30 but we opt for an even earlier room service the next day. Poached eggs on toast with a ginger shot is the perfect zingy start to the day.
When the world opens up, this is the perfect spot for a romantic getaway, a girls’ night, or simply a solo recharge.
Ham Yard’s staycation package starts from £504 per room per night
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Charlotte is a London girl through and through. She sweats through spin and puffs through Pilates to justify trying the latest restaurants and devouring copious amounts of sweet potato fries, burrata and bread – preferably on holiday. Her favourite destinations include Italy, the Maldives and anywhere where the sun’s shining and there’s a strong breakfast buffet. She’s obsessed with walking, visiting farmers’ markets and reading. She’s also learning to cook. Wish her (and her husband) luck.