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When London makes a fuss about a new hotel, we want the details, fast. Norah Casey went to visit The Ned, the hottest new opening from the Soho House empire, with 10 restaurants, 15 bars and a rooftop pool with views across the iconic City skyline.

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Published by Harmonia Norah, 2018-11-26 05:50:55

The Ned London

When London makes a fuss about a new hotel, we want the details, fast. Norah Casey went to visit The Ned, the hottest new opening from the Soho House empire, with 10 restaurants, 15 bars and a rooftop pool with views across the iconic City skyline.

Keywords: london,britain,soho house,the ned,hotel conversions,private members club

Soho

NIGHTS

When London makes a fuss about a new hotel, we want the details, fast. Norah Casey
went to visit The Ned, the hottest new opening from the Soho House empire, with 10
restaurants, 15 bars and a rooftop pool with views across the iconic City skyline.

Transforming old banks into hotels Manhattan and elsewhere). It turned about a place that everyone else wants
is a bit of a trend in the financial out to be the perfect match. to get into and, as an overnight guest,
capitals of the world. The dramatic you get exclusive access to all private
lofty ceilings, ornate columns, marbled The re-imagined space took £200 member club areas. Getting there was
floors and vast open spaces make for million and four years to complete. straightforward. We flew into City
interesting ‘wow factor’ interiors. The London’s most talked about opening Airport so we were on the right side of
iconic Midland Bank building in the finally arrived when the ambitious and London. It took us only 30 minutes to
heart of London City was the largest, audacious hotel was unveiled to largely navigate the Docklands light railway
and almost certainly the grandest, rapturous reviews. I couldn’t wait to and tube connections to Bank. The
bank in the world when it was built get over there to see it first-hand. Ned is just a few minutes’ walk away
in 1924. It is now home to a colossal at 27 Poultry in the Square Mile with a
urban hotel-come-private members A DESTINATION second entrance on Princes Street.
club in the heart of the City of London, Firstly, don’t go there if you plan
an inspired idea from Nick Jones, to see the sights of London because WELCOME TO THE NED
founder of the Soho House empire, you won’t want to leave once you’ve A smartly dressed doorman opened
who was captivated when he first saw landed. There is simply too much to the door with a big welcoming smile.
the unused building back in 2012. He see and do. The hotel is set over eight ‘Is it your first visit?’ he asked. (I
wanted to create something spectacular, floors above ground and three below. suspect the jaw drop was a give-away.)
but a project this big needed more The Ned is a destination hotel in a The show-stopping, vaulted-ceiling
brainpower and resources than his own city with a strong sense of place. It is lobby is quite a sight to behold. We
Soho house stable so he partnered with uniquely London, or at least the City of literally stood for minutes taking in the
Andrew Zobler, CEO of the Seydell London. The location is perfect for The 3,000-square metre banking hall with
Group, (owner of the NoMad Hotel in Ned but it’s not where tourists usually towering windows and soaring green
venture. There is something alluring

LIVING

art deco columns. There are still faint echoes The Vault at Ned’s Club
of the legions of pinstriped and bowler-hatted
men who strode across those marble floors, but
the current clientele clatter in Louboutin heels
or shuffle in Gucci loafers. Money still changes
hands in this 100-year-old building but at a
much more discrete level. The former banking
hall is home to eight food and drink spaces,
separated by Grade I-listed walnut banking
counters, catering for 850 people. We landed
at 11.45am and it was all but deserted. By the
time I checked in and re-emerged into the hall
at 12.15pm it was packed with lunchtime City
workers with a queue at the door.

A FEAST FOR THE EYES The Large Blue room
The building is a fascinating mix of styles
created by architect Sir Edwin ‘Ned’ Lutyens
who paired classicism from nearby St Paul’s
with stately Edwardian and more than a nod to
his passion for India (he built much of colonial
Delhi). The new incarnation preserves the
eclectic mix of architectural styles and adds an
overlay of clubby glossiness from the period.
The austere, polished oak and expanses of
marble are paired with opulent leathers and
soft furnishings which transform the banking
heritage into more of a gentleman’s club
from the roaring twenties. It has a strange,
disorientating feel that takes a bit of getting

Retro phones adorn each Standalone tubs and used to. While waiting for our room key we
bedside table exquisite detailing sat snug and cosy on plush, velvet chairs but
unable to chat with so many visual distractions.
My own mini I lost moments looking upwards at the stunning
drinks station vivid green African verdite Corinthian columns,
rumoured to be worth a million pounds each,
A nod to the Ned’s that dominate the lobby area (92 in total).
heritage on the walls
I was there for a fundraising lunch for The
Hope Foundation hosted by the charity’s
ambassador Christopher Biggins with actor
Jeremy Irons as a guest speaker. The lunch was
held in the old Tapestry room on the sixth floor
which features a grand tapestry from 1929
with 120 different coats of arms. Just by the
door are beautifully preserved ornate walnut
cabinets with specially designed individual
compartments designed by Lutyens so the
directors could store their top hats and canes
during meals and meetings.

The artefacts and uniqueness of the space
creates surreal moments – from eating a steak in
the wood panelled former bank manager’s office
to sipping a drink in the rooftop dome looking
out over London’s high-rise skyline. Later that
night we repaired to the, members only, Vault

The superior scent of Cowshed
products fill the bathroom

The unique treatment room at a silver tray of Ned’s mini bottles of gin, The 20-metre pool
The Cowshed Spa whiskey and vodka with crystal glasses.
A vintage oxidised mirrored safe-housed Millie’s Lounge, for classic
bar, entering through a metre thick the mini-bar with pre-mixed cocktails. British fare
25-tonne circular door, which was used For a woman, it was heaven, with hair
as inspiration for the vault in the 1964 straighteners, hair dryer, robes, slippers,
James Bond film, Goldfinger. Even then 10 full-sized Cowshed shampoos, body
it was hard to switch the awe factor off washes, creams and lotions to lather on
as we shared a nightcap while staring after the walk-in rain shower. (Cowshed
in fascination at the neatly numbered is owned by the Soho House Group
brushed-steel safe-deposit boxes lining so not surprisingly it features largely.)
the walls. More than 3,000, the barman The hotel has a special partnership
tells us. with Mr Porter and Net-a-Porter so
you can order clothing you forgot (or
YOUR HOME FOR THE always wanted) from the retro phone
NIGHT in the room. The richly dressed king
The 252 rooms come in various shapes sized walnut bed was almost too comfy
and sizes to suit all budgets and needs to crawl out of…but the lure of the
from the smallest, the Crash Pad, Cowshed potions got me moving.
to Cosy, Medium, Large and a host
of suites including the grand two- HEALTH & BEAUTY
bedroom Lutyens Suite, with a private GALORE
bar, dining area, and rooftop space. The lower three flows of the hotel are
home to some real gems that make this
The vintage-inspired rooms are a city destination hotel like no other.
reminiscent of the glamorous twenties The Cowshed Spa has eight treatment
and thirties with plush velvets, art deco rooms along with a sauna, steam room,
inspired lampshades and palm tree Moroccan Hammam and a 20-metre
chandeliers. The retro designed Roberts pool. No need to hit the streets for a
digital radio sat on my bed locker cardio workout as the gym features
was a lovely touch (my late husband a boxing ring, spin, Pilates and yoga
Richard was a huge fan of Roberts studios and a Technogym kit. The suite
radios). The rooms were exceptionally of health and beauty offerings also
well-stocked with everything you could include the Cheeky nail bar, an old-
possible need. The usual, of course, but fashioned barbershop, Miguel Perez
all with a little bit of an edge over the hair salon and a makeup parlour.
standard – free Wi-Fi, Apple chargers,
adapters, movies, coffee machines and
a beautiful hand-painted china tea set
with silver dispensers. On the table was

LIVING

FOOD TO BEAT THE BAND is international with a rotisserie grill Delectable extras
The Ned has ten restaurants and 15 and wood oven but the main dish is
bars with oodles of menu choices the incredible 360º views over the Dining in style
and dining styles from banquette rooftops from St Paul’s Cathedral to The grand façade of The Ned
to high stool. Lutyens Grill, the iconic new builds like The Gherkin.
aforementioned oak-panelled As well as the members only Vault bar
steakhouse in the manager’s office, and lounge there is also the Long Bar
is only open to club members so running parallel and some other spaces
of course we opted for that, purely including a lounge area called the
because we could. It’s an old-fashioned Parlour and the Dining Room (also with
grill with the meat carved at the table. an international menu). For smaller
Great steak and a great wine list. Other meetings and more intimate dining there
restaurants at The Ned include the are three booths called The Kennels and
all-day Italian restaurant Cecconi’s, the Snug and the Sitting Room.
part of a very successful chain owned
by Soho House with restaurants in SKIP THE QUEUE
Mayfair, Berlin, Barcelona, Istanbul, The lobby is a food and drink
Miami and West Hollywood. Bagels emporium like no other with a buzzy
and sandwiches are served to go or open plan American bar, The Nickel,
eat in at the New York-style Zobler’s featuring a raised stage playing live
Deli & Diner. The Parisian Cafe Sou jazz in the evening. The bar staff are

“The hotel has a special partnership with Net-a-Porter, so
you can order clothing you forgot (or always wanted) from

the retro phone in the room”

serves baguettes, salads and charcuterie ever-present and the mood lighting and
boards while Millie’s Lounge features décor manages to create that cocktail
British classics. Superfood salads, bar feel. And it’s busy. I left the hotel
flatbreads, smoothies and more are to go for an early evening walk and
dished up at the Californian-themed there was a long queue down the street
Malibu Kitchen and a healthy Asian- of City workers trying to get into the
pacific restaurant Kaia serves up Poké coveted bar. The doorman repeated
bowls and robata grills. over and over ‘Sorry, no walk-ins
tonight’ and still they stood in line. If
In the evening, I headed up to the anything, the queue was even longer
Roof Bar (part of the exclusive Ned’s when I got back half an hour later.
Club) to say hello to Lorraine Barry,
judge with Dancing With the Stars, If you don’t want to queue while
who was dining there (it’s definitely enjoying quite possibly one of the
the place to be right now). The menu world’s most interesting destination

The Ned Nickel Bar city hotels, then book a room. An
overnight stay includes temporary
membership to Ned’s Club with
reserved spaces including the rooftop
restaurant, bar and pool, and the
lower ground bar gym and pool.

The Ned, 27 Poultry, London EC2R
8AJ; Tel: +44 20 3828 2000; thened.
com; Double rooms from circa €170
(prices change based on demand)


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