If you love Bicester Village, then you will love the brand new retail village that has opened its doors only one hour outside of London.

I attended the launch of Ben’s Yard on June 29, an Instagrammable, family-friendly retail village in Ely – just one hour on the train from King’s Cross.

Ben’s Yard is packed with independent, local retailers selling everything from flowers to home décor to bikes.

Ben’s Yard founders wanted to create a family-friendly space without sacrificing the feel of luxury.

Your Local Guardian: Ben's Yard Ely: A new retail villageBen's Yard Ely: A new retail village (Image: Emma Fradgley)

There is a children’s park right next to the retail village for parents to let their little ones play while they browse the beautiful shops.

Before taking the time to wander through all of the stores, I stopped at Ben’s Yard restaurant for some lunch.

The inside is bright and airy, with an outdoor terrace that staff can open on sunny days.

Your Local Guardian: Ben's Yard restaurantBen's Yard restaurant (Image: Emma Fradgley)

I loved that the ceiling of the restaurant is draped with vines and greenery, giving a rustic and Mediterranean vibe.

The menu is made up of healthy, nourishing options that are full of flavour.

To start, I opted for the smoked haddock fishcake made with Stutney Estate potatoes, a herb and lemon sauce and watercress.

Your Local Guardian: Ben's Yard restaurant: My starterBen's Yard restaurant: My starter (Image: Emma Fradgley)

The fishcake arrived piping hot. It was golden and crispy on the outside but soft and buttery on the inside.

The freshness of the herb and lemon sauce complemented the smokiness of the fish perfectly.

For my main course, I could not resist the linguine with prawns, tomato, fire roasted peppers, chilli, basil and citrus.

Your Local Guardian: Ben's Yard restaurant: My main courseBen's Yard restaurant: My main course (Image: Emma Fradgley)

The sweetness of the peppers and tomatoes came through and was matched by the spiciness of the chilli.

To drink alongside the meal, I enjoyed a glass of Whispering Angel rose which went perfectly with the fish I had ordered.

My first stop after lunch was to The Hair Company because I was in desperate need of a haircut.

Your Local Guardian: Ben's Yard: The Hair CompanyBen's Yard: The Hair Company (Image: Emma Fradgley)

Sacha managed to squeeze me in on the launch day and give me a cut and blow dry.

By the end of the appointment, I was beaming from ear to ear – my hair had been transformed.

The dead ends had been chopped off and Sacha had given it shape and life again, I walked out of the salon on cloud nine.

Your Local Guardian: Ben's Yard: The Hair CompanyBen's Yard: The Hair Company (Image: Emma Fradgley)

I also popped into Love Lane by Abi, a home décor shop, which was brimming with stunning, chic homeware.

I was shocked by how affordable it was considering how gorgeous it was and I just had to purchase a cute, cloud shaped mirror before I left.

For anyone looking to get some ingredients for dinner while they visit Ben’s Yard, there Malloys Craft Butchery where shoppers can purchase high end meat.

There is also Thatch and Roses, an amazing florist with some breath taking bouquets to choose from, either as a gift for a loved one or a way to brighten up your home.

Your Local Guardian: Ben's Yard: A new retail village in Ely Ben's Yard: A new retail village in Ely (Image: Emma Fradgley)

Sports enthusiasts will not be bored as they can browse Spoke and Motor, an electric bike shop.

There are so many more spots to peruse, as well as a pop up shop space which will home a different local, independent businesses every week.

All in all, paying a visit to Ben’s Yard is a great way to get out of the city and spend some time shopping with some independent businesses that you may not have come across before.

The food was faultless and the shops are beautiful – I truly felt like I was on holiday while I was meandering through the village.