We are now in May and despite the unusually chilly weather, it is officially springtime. A walk in the park can easily convince you of that, with the cherry blossom reminding you to put your jackets away and bring out the picnic blankets!
You may not associate central London with tranquil garden sanctuaries but head up to the roof of Ham Yard Hotel and this is exactly what you will find. A glorious co-existence of wild flowers and birds thrive in our vegetable and herb garden, complete with our own beehives, set against a backdrop of Soho’s rooftops.
Four floors below in Ham Yard Hotel’s courtyard, five majestic 30-foot oak trees add greenery to this urban heart of central London. These trees were the very first purchase we made for Ham Yard Hotel. I love to see people sitting under the trees, unaware of their story.
At Crosby Street Hotel in New York, we created an award-winning environmentally sustainable kitchen garden on the roof. It is home to four Araucana chickens producing lovely blue eggs for the hotel’s restaurant and bar. In recognition of our ecological approach to the building, we received the first Gold LEED Award to be awarded in New York.
Whenever possible, we try to create secret gardens and celebrations of nature for our guests. In the Meadow Suite at Crosby Street Hotel is a hidden bower complete with a luscious lawn, an unexpected haven in the centre of downtown Manhattan.
We have added touches of greenery to tucked away balconies at The Whitby Hotel and The Soho Hotel, creating cosy spots to enjoy your breakfast on a warm day; or larger terraces at the One Denman Place apartments where long-stay guests can host an al fresco dinner party.
At Number Sixteen you will discover South Kensington’s best kept secret. A hidden garden, complete with a gazebo and shady mulberry trees set around a tranquil koi pond.
This hidden oasis has matured into a beautiful ‘room’ in its own right. There is something magical about creating a garden scheme. I have always felt that a room needs people to exist, yet without us, a garden will continue to blossom, grow and mature.