THE NED LONDON
What do you get when the creatives of Soho House work together with the ones at the Sydell Group in a former bank? The Ned. One of London’s hottest openings of the year.
Inside the former Midland Bank
Of course I saw some pictures of The Ned before booking a room there, but when I walked in my jaw dropped immediately because I didn’t thought it was this big. Later I was told that 850 (!) people can eat together in all of the 8 restaurants on the ground floor what used to be the Grand Banking Hall of the former Midland Bank. It’s not the place if you’re looking for a small and intimate drink or dinner, but it is definitely the most buzzing place in town right now.
Attention to details
The check-in desk is a beauty. A black cabinet full of key-chains and hand-written post cards (which make you kind of nostalgic to times when people still wrote letters instead of WhatsApp messages) with a striking red couch in front of it. I’ve booked one of the Medium Rooms, a spacious room with a seating area, bathroom with shower and bedroom. Just like in the other Soho Houses attention to detail is formidable: you don’t have to bring your own mouth wash, deodorant or razors because they have it there for you. And you can try all of the Cowshed shampoos, bath gels and conditioners in the shower. The bed is heaven with 8 soft pillows. And they have free movies for you to watch on the big flatscreen television. There are 252 rooms. I had one looking out to a patio above the restaurants. I’m a good sleeper – especially with my head on 8 pillows – but if you’re allergic to sounds I would ask for a more quiet room.
Eight restaurants on the ground floor
Pablo, one of the general managers, worked at Paul Smith before and now tells me enthusiastic about the hotel. About Ned, the nickname of Edwin Landseer Lutyens, the architect of the building and one of the most important British architects. He shows me the restaurants which all have a different theme. You go to Cecconi’s for the Italian truffle pizza and to Kaia if you’re more into Asian food. Millie’s Lounge is full all day. And at night everyone gathers at the Nickel Bar. Apart from the public restaurants The Ned also has three restaurants for members and hotel guests only. Like Lutyens Grill, a chic steakhouse and two Ned’s Clubs.
Inside the vault
You’ll enter the Downstairs Ned’s Club via the door of a 20-ton heavy vault. Inside you can have a drink inside the former vault. It is so impressive that even the makers of James Bond’s Goldfinger took inspiration from this vault for the film. They couldn’t film inside at that time as it was filled with more than 300 million pounds. The upstairs Ned’s Club is located on the rooftop of the building and is the place where members and hotel guests can have a drink or dinner at the Italian half open restaurant or sit by the pool.
Beauty and sports
Also in the hotel you’ll find a gym, a boxing ring, a yoga studio and a spinning studio. There’s a Cowshed Spa of course as Cowshed is Soho House’s own organic beauty line. And you can get your nails done at Cheeky. There’a also a hair salon by Miguel Perez and men can go to Ned’s Barbershop. And if you’re having a party at night and want to look your best you can book a 5-minute touch up or a complete make-over at Trish McEvoy’s beauty salon.
Check out: www.thened.com