London's Ham Yard Hotel has been drawing crowds since it opened in June, but now they're coming for the hip new boutiques in the area, dubbed Ham Yard Village.
We all know the adage it takes a village to raise a child. And now, the Ham Yard Hotel has taught us it also take a village to raise a brilliant hotel.
This three-quarter-acre property was a First World War bombsite tucked behind a pleat of London’s covetable Soho neighborhood, and had remained shockingly undeveloped since the 1960s. After an injection of $142 million and the intrepid vision of Tim and Kit Kemp (the couple behind the Firmdale Hotel group—Crosby Street Hotel, Soho Hotel, Covent Garden Hotel), the eccentric property opened in June 2014.
The hotel itself is bulging with amenities—a 190-person cinema, an original 1950s bowling alley imported from Texas, a rooftop garden, a discerning library, the city’s chicest new spa, and an urbane bar and restaurant, to name but a few.
But it’s the 13 specialist shops that line the perimeter of the hotel’s verdant courtyard that solidify the property as a standout destination. Each store is beautifully turned out and designed—aplomb with ambiance. This hamlet of boutiques—nicknamed Ham Yard Village—offers everything from threads to breads.
There’s the pastel-pretty florist Bloomsbury flowers; exquisite specialty drinks courtesy of My Cup of Tea (pictured, top); salubrious fresh juices created by Press London; fragrances, men’s grooming and skincare products from the world’s top boutique brands curated by Brummells of London; the delightful and witty beachwear of Frescobol Carioca; and the can’t-leave-without-something from favorite children’s clothier Caramel Baby (pictured above).
Bridget Arsenault is the associate editor, print and digital at Vanity Fair UK. and the co-director of the Bright Young Things Film Club. She covers the U.K. beat for Travel + Leisure; follow her on Twitter at @bridget_ruth.
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