Afternoon tea at Ham Yard designed by famous Kit Kemp is one of the best in London
If I cannot have in my home all the creations of my favorite interior designer, I should at least enjoy them in my hotel. This is something I often have in mind and hence the designer of a hotel often plays a major role in my selection.
In the case of Ham Yard Hotel in London, added to its star designer Kit Kemp, the hotel offers spaces bustling with life, favorite to both locals and travelers, since it is situated in a vibrant neighborhood with history and culture.
The style of Kit Kemp is easily recognizable. Bright fabrics, patterned wallpapers and modern works of art, contribute to the creation of the unique universe of Kit Kemp, the acclaimed interior designer, famous for her original approach to the way she transforms and arranges spaces. With her husband Tim, they are renowned for breathing new life into dilapidated areas, transforming overlooked properties such as warehouses and car parks into world-renowned successful, luxury hotels. They launched Firmdale Hotels in the mid-Eighties, starting with the Dorset Square Hotel in Marylebone.
Ham Yard Hotel of Firmdale Hotels Group has its own history and is a star in the Pinterest era. It revolves around a unique tree filled pedestrian thoroughfare connecting Great Windmill Street to Denman Street, opening up historic Ham Yard and Denman Place to the public for the first time since the 1960s. Its centrepiece is a specially commissioned large scale bronze sculpture by Tony Cragg.
The afternoon tea of Ham Yard is among the most insta famous tea rituals of London. A few days before Christmas I was at the Ham Yard to make a tour (during which I couldn’t stop taking pictures of headboards, armchairs and tapestries) and to enjoy its popular afternoon tea.
The rooms of Ham Yard have a homey and arty feel, dominated by the signature fabric combos of Kemp as well some very Londonish views to Soho neighborhood.
At Ham Yard, the first thing they did was buy five 30-foot-tall oak trees. So, when the hotel opened, there was already a beautiful green area with mature trees to complement the room views.
The Library at Ham Yard Hotel is a hand-picked reading and reference library to inspire, entertain and better inform. Its book collection includes a large section on London, its history, arts, literature, culture and politics and a wide selection on travel, world history and global issues. For those who want to escape, there is an abundance of prize winning literature and thrillers. The walls are lined with Kit Kemp’s Christopher Farr fabric, Ozone, with hand embroidered Suzani curtains from her Chelsea Textiles collection. The large honesty bar encourages guests to make themselves at home by fixing themselves a cocktail, coffee or nightcap
Afternoon Tea at Ham Yard Hotel
After visiting The Library, it was time for us to settle at L’ Οrangerie to enjoy an afternoon tea. Our tea was served in the brand new tableware by Kemp called The Sailors and was accompanied by mulled wine cocktails.
The Afternoon Tea at the Ham Yard Hotel includes alternative menus including savoury, healthy, reduced sugar, gluten free and vegan options. Firmdale Hotels Executive Head Chef, Robin Read and his talented team are constantly producing new ideas for extraordinary cakes, macaroons, desserts, scones and home-made jams.
Those were our first hours from the time we arrived in London, and there couldn’t have been a better way to adapt to the vibe of the city than that of the elegant ritual; served in an immaculate way, in a place which attracted a cool crowd of Londoners that enjoyed the ambience as much as we did.