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10 Things To Know About The Ham Yard Hotel, London

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Oak Leaf SuiteSimon Brown Photography
Calling all maximalists and design lovers, the Ham Yard Hotel is for you. Situated in central London, it’s just a stone’s throw away from the top sights and attractions; cue the buzzing bars and restaurants of Soho, West End theatres, Oxford and Regent Street shopping, and the National Gallery, to name a few.

Upon entry, setting the artistic tone is the Tony Cragg bronze sculpture that sits in the garden. The creativity continues indoors with stylish and eclectic interiors for which Firmdale is known and loved, courtesy of award-winning interior designer Kit Kemp (she also serves as Co-Owner and Creative Director for Firmdale Hotels).
The Terrace Suite BedroomSimon Brown Pohotgraphy

Expect 91 rooms and suites, along with 24 apartments that have all been individually designed, plus a restaurant and bar with outdoor dining and a leafy rooftop terrace that’s ideal for summers in the city. The is also a cozy drawing room and library to give a home-away-from-home feeling (a signature trait of this hotel group), a spa and gym, a 190-seat state-of-the-art theatre, private event rooms and The Croc 1950s-inspired bowling alley. There’s also a curated selection of independent stores for those who want to do some shopping.

At the helm of the hotel is General Manager Julie Le Sauvage-Barry, and she shares her insight from its rooftop beehives to its rich heritage.
Ham Yard Hotel LobbySimon Brown Photogrpahy

A site with a history
Ham Yard owes its name to an early 18th-century public house called The Ham. In 1756 it was amalgamated with The Windmill on Great Windmill Street to become the Windmill and Ham, until 1892, when the name was changed to The Lyric Tavern, which still exists today on the corner of Ham Yard and Great Windmill Street. In the mid-1920s, the popular Hambone club started to attract a party set of writers and journalists. The 1940s saw the arrival of the first regular paid modern jazz club for London musicians, Club Eleven. It was run from a basement on Great Windmill Street involving musicians such as Ronnie Scott, Hank Shaw and Johnny Rogers. In the Second World War Ham Yard was damaged during the blitz. The site’s long connection with music clubs extended to the 1960s and 70s with the opening of The Scene on the same site as Hambone. Bands that appeared there included The Who, The Rolling Stones and The Animals. Following this, the site sat closed off and unoccupied until Firmdale Hotels redeveloped the area and opened Ham Yard Hotel in 2014.
Ham Yard Hotel Courtyard Simon Brown Photography

Sustainability in design
Kit and Tim Kemp, Firmdale’s co-founders, are known for breathing new life into dilapidated areas, transforming overlooked properties such as warehouses and car parks into world-renowned successful luxury hotels. Ham Yard Hotel was awarded the BREEAM Excellent rating. BREEAM assesses the sustainability and environmental performance of buildings. Ham Yard Hotel exceeds the standards by more than 40%, using CHP units and solar panels to generate electricity. Many interior design schemes throughout the hotel include antique furniture, found objects and artwork which are often restored and given a new lease of life.The Terrace Suite Living AreaSimon Brown Pohotgraphy
A sense of arrival
The hotel’s centerpiece is a specially commissioned large-scale bronze sculpture by Turner Prize winner Sir Tony Cragg named ‘Group’, which sits in the courtyard outside the entrance to the hotel. As guests enter the hotel, they are greeted by a neon silk thread installation hanging above the reception desk by RCA graduate Hermione Skye. In the lobby, there is also a mixed media art piece in the form of an ever-moving clock that creates patterns before centering itself on telling the exact time every minute as well as works by British artists including Terry Frost, Sandra Blow and William Scott.Bronze sculpture by Turner Prize winner Sir Tony CraggSimon Brown photography
A curated hotel library
The books in The Library and Drawing Room have been carefully selected by a literary expert and founder of Ultimate Library, Philip Blackwell, to inspire, entertain and inform. The collection includes an extensive section on London, its history, arts, literature, culture and politics, and a wide selection on travel, world history and global issues. For those looking for some escapism, there are lots of prize-winning literature and thrillers.Hotel librarySimon Brown Photography
In-house bowling alley
The Croc at Ham Yard Hotel houses an original 1950s bowling alley imported from Texas and manufactured by the iconic Brunswick Company. The solid maple bowling lanes have been specially commissioned, making it one of only a few of its kind in the country. Backlit bowling balls, vintage bowling shoes and bowling pin lamps sit perfectly alongside two large Howard Hodgkin artworks and the silver baby grand piano in the stylish lounge, bar and dance floor.In-house bowling alleySimon Brown PHOTOGRAPHY
Seasonal dining at Ham Yard Bar & Restaurant
Group Executive Head Chef, Joe Fox, oversees the menus and operations across the six London brasserie-style restaurants and vibrant bars across Firmdale Hotels. Ham Yard Hotel has a roof terrace garden home to its beehives and vegetable garden. Its produce is used in the restaurant’s daily special dishes. Ham Yard Bar & Restaurant recently popped up at Frieze Masters, where Joe combined traditional British Cuisine with contemporary flair using Autumnal ingredients such as pumpkin, venison and wild mushrooms.Joe Fox – Group Executive Head Chef Simon Brown Photography
Ham Yard Hotel is home to Firmdale Hotels’ first SOHOLISTIC urban spa
Tucked away from the busy streets of Soho, Soholistic spa offers three treatment rooms, including a luxury nail salon. The spa has just introduced a new Stress Not CBD Massage. This calming and anti-inflammatory massage targets muscle pain and melts away tension using the power of warmed Jade stones. The CBD balm naturally eases muscle stiffness and calms busy minds.Soholistic Spa Simon Brown Photography
Beekeeping on The Roof Terrace
There is a large, leafy rooftop garden on the hotel’s fourth floor. There are two bee hives that are tended to by a dedicated beekeeper. We employ eco-friendly methods for bee management and hive maintenance. Our first batch of honey was produced in August 2015 and is used by the bar staff in the cocktail menu. As our beekeeper explains, local honey has a wonderfully complex flavor as it has not been blended or subjected to high temperatures, so all the aromas of the local flowers are preserved, and the health-giving elements are untouched. The Roof Terrace can also be hired for private events, including company celebrations, birthday parties and more.Beekeeping on The Roof Terrace Simon Brown Photography
Ham Yard Urban Village
There are 13 individual boutiques, including Kit Kemp Design Studio, which features Kit’s own designs from brands such as Wedgwood, Porta Romana and Annie Selke. Other shops include My Cup of Tea and Dinosaur Designs. Ham Yard Urban Village will host a Christmas shopping evening on Thursday, 8 December, with live music and festive offerings.
Exclusive luxury apartments
One Denman Place houses 24 exclusive luxury apartments designed by Kit Kemp. The apartments offer a residential experience with all the facilities of a luxury hotel, including 24-hour room service, concierge and housekeeping. Guests have access to the hotel’s Soholistic spa, gym and public spaces.Apartment at One Denman PlaceSimon Brown Photography
See more about the hotel via firmdalehotels.com.

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Graduate Organist vacancy in London and Home Counties – Church Times

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Graduate Organist vacancy in London and Home Counties  Church Times

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The dwindling case for living in London

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The recent debate around ‘levelling up’ may be missing something. I would argue that there is another way to consider geographical inequality – and, by this alternative measure, a levelling has been under way for more than 20 years.

I’ve spent three decades working in advertising, so it’s unsurprising that I tend to view economic life through the lens of consumption. By contrast, mainstream economists tend to view disparities through the medium of earnings or wealth. To me, measures of wealth should include not only the quantity of money you have but the breadth of worthwhile options available in choosing how to spend it.

Let’s put it another way. If you live in a boring village, and suddenly a great pub or café opens on the high street, then by my measure you have become richer; by the economist’s measure you have not.

Things that would once have been available in London decades before the provinces now appear everywhereat once 

There was undoubtedly a time when you were richer in London in two ways. You had more money, but you also had a far more exciting range of ways to spend it. Now not so much.

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London is a great city but, in terms of consumption quality, it has not improved markedly in the past 20 years. Over the same period, many smaller cities and even towns have advanced rapidly, significantly narrowing the gap. The kind of things that would once have been available in the capital decades before making it to the provinces – like sushi – now appear everywhere at once. Consider Turkish barbers, who seem to have taken over the country in only five years. (I can remember a time when it was enough just to get a haircut without having burning methylated spirits flicked in my ears. Back then I just didn’t know any better.)

This levelling is especially true of anything in the digital world: Amazon gadgets, Netflix films, Asos fashions and PlayStation games hit Aberystwyth the same day they hit Islington. But it also applies to the physical environment, as anyone over 50 can attest. I went to Manchester and Sheffield for the first time in 1989. Compared with London, they were then, let’s be honest, utterly rubbish. Now, when I visit those same cities, I experience mild ‘northern envy’. There are interesting places open everywhere. Northerners have better cars, because they have more money left over after paying for housing. And they are much better-looking, because they can nip home to get changed before going out.

Relatively speaking, London has improved far less dramatically than these provincial cities have. (New York, many aficionados argue, has got worse.) OK, the Tube is better than it used to be. Uber is a handy addition. But some things are awful – the last pleasure of driving in London ended when they put speed cameras on the Westway. Accommodation costs for the young wipe out any salary gains.

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By my measure, high property prices won’t just hit Londoners once – they’ll hit them twice. Not only do high rents wipe out what you earn, they also put at risk London’s once unassailable advantage as a great place to spend what money you have left. Creative businesses of any kind require space at a price which allows them to take risks. For a time, London found this space by moving its heartland from west to east. But suppose the people supporting what Douglas McWilliams calls ‘the flat white economy’ flee altogether? In my own experience, Kent suddenly seems weirdly full of fascinating restaurants founded by London exiles. If more of these people leave, the case for staying weakens further.

Londoners always say things like ‘Yes but there’s the theatre’. Let’s face it though – even Shakespeare left London for Stratford in his mid-forties. As he no doubt found, the theatre is all very well, but it’s nothing like being able to park outside your house.

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Gentrification is not a sin

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Gentrification is not a sin – UnHerd

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