Ham Yard Hotel comes courtesy of the Firmdale Group, who are certainly no strangers to churning out grade-a hotels and restaurants styled down to a tee. An ideal spot for impressing clients, having a modern afternoon tea or catching up with chums over cocktails.
To drink, go for one of the house signatures like the fresh and fruity Berry Smash with Tanqueray gin, lemon, berries, mint and honey. For a stronger and more savoury berry concoction, try the Black Margarita with thyme-fatwashed tequila, lime, blackberry purée and a black salt rim. Small plates are sophisticated and all at a reasonable £5. We’re partial to a bit of braised oxtail with avocado, crushed peas and mint. However the melts get the five-star treatment here too with numbers like the Ham Yard house-glazed smoked ham, Fontina and truffled mascarpone served on a homemade rosemary focaccia. And definitely get one of the ice cream sandwiches — cinnamon palmiers with espresso ice cream? Don’t mind if we do.
The quirky, bright and graphic decor manages to mash together everything you think wouldn’t work but really does here. And if the bar impresses you, wait until you see the in-house cinema, spa and bowling alley (yes, bowling alley).
Best Bars tip: Afternoon tea is a rather special affair. Grab a table in the sun room, so no matter what the weather is … you’ll get to bask in that daytime glow (as well as munch down on seriously tasty cakes).
— Sasha Filimonov, @SashaSips