One of the last remaining scars from the Blitz in central London is to be healed. Ham Yard, behind Piccadilly Circus, was never redeveloped after a sound drubbing from the Luftwaffe in the 1940s. Now, boutique hotel operator Firmdale have announced plans to build a £60 million hotel on the site. The company currently own six London hotels, two of which will be sold or leased-back to raise funds. The new hotel will cater for the luxury market and become the firm's flagship property.
We've no idea if the buyers are aware, but the site of Ham Yard occupies a laudable position in the history of catering. In 1852, the 'first celebrity chef', Alexis Soyer, laid on Christmas Dinner for an estimated 22,000 poor Londoners in this shabby space. Now wouldn't that be a wonderful tradition for the new owners to revive?
Image by M@