The Ned – London’s Finest

Since its inception, The Ned – Soho House’s latest hospitality project in the heart of Bank, has been held in high regard as a social hub for the capitals trend setting elite. The enviable location of the old Midlands Bank HQ, beautifully restored to its former glory, only further adds to the excitement around this unique inception. With a stunning £200 million, four year renovation complete – The Ned has not only lived up to its own hype, it has been redefining the London social scene ever since.

The massive, ornate lobby is reminiscent of a Vegas hotel with its huge floor-plan busily filled with dining outlets that can hold an eye watering 850 guests at any one time. The original green verdite marble columns (92 in total) tower high overhead and the clever layout of various dining options for all tastes (7 restaurants in total separated by the re-used bank counters) as well as bars and lounge space ensure this lobby has a continual hum of vibrancy and atmosphere through day and night.Central to this (quite literally) is the original bank reception bandstand which now hosts an ecliptic mix of musicians and singers performing daily to add a genuine level of theatre to this already bubbling cauldron of society.

Upstairs, the 252 Rooms are meticulously laid out with the simple, understated elegance of the 1920s. Modern touches such as smart TV’s (hosting a fabulous array of up to date movies and box
sets), DAB radios and a fully stocked mini bar are complimented by period features including leather chaise lounges, crystal tumblers and even scents lovingly provided in ornate perfume bottles of the period. The in-room literature is as interesting as it is informative with a wonderful focus on the buildings history and the carefully restored original features which are scattered around the entire property like a treasure map of the bygone era of banking opulence. But the true piéce de resistance in these rooms must surely be the bathrooms. The choice of hotel miniatures is usually an afterthought for most hoteliers but not here – Cowshed products are quite literally in abundance, with several full size products available to suit any

shower need. A basket of care products includes everything one would need to enjoy a true hotel experience (and I do mean everything!), whilst rainfall shower heads and spacious layouts ensure that you will certainly feel like your own bespoke spa has found its way into your stay.

Pitched as a members club and hotel, The Ned champions its ‘members only’ spaces (available also for hotel guests) and non are more impressive than the iconic Vault. Heading deep into the underbelly of the building you will find yourself face to face with the original 20 tonne round vault door (the model for the legendary bank vault in James Bond classic ‘Goldfinger’) which now leads into a stunning layout of drinking snugs, the walls of which still house the original safety deposit boxes. Heading to the top sees you find the rooftop bar, which serves wood fired pizza’s poolside whilst offering stunning vistas of the juxtaposed images of the city. To one side, views of the historic St Paul’s Cathedral in all its glory and to the other, the city’s most recent innovators – The Gherkin and The Walkie Talkie skyscrapers.

Named after the buildings original architect Edward ‘Ned’ Lutyens, The Ned achieves that almost impossible blend of historic preservation and modern appeasement with an elegant ease. A social club, members club and hotel rolled into one and yet equally serviced – The Ned has already found itself as the envy of London’s hospitality elitists and one suspects its dominance will continue one for some time yet.

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