“The City is as busy as Soho and much better looking; it’s the capital’s engine room for commerce but also has more than its fair share of culture for one square mile.” Nick Jones, founder of Soho House & Co
Located right in the heart of London’s financial district, The Ned has breathed new life into the historic Grade 1 listed Midland Bank building at 27 Poultry. The transformation from disused former bank to vibrant entertainment establishment is impressive and it certainly has the wow factor. Visitors have an array of restaurants and bars to choose from that are laid out across the sizable ground floor former banking hall.
With a prime City location right outside Bank station, The Ned (named after the buildings architect, Sir Edwin ‘Ned’ Lutyens) enjoys a steady stream of business clientele and after work drinks schmoozers, it’s a great place to hold a meeting or catch up with friends. Beside the regular city dwellers it also attracts a wealth of international tourists looking for that quintessential London experience amidst all the financial towers and bustling commuters, it was super busy even at 2pm on a Tuesday afternoon.
As it’s part of the Soho House & Co, that are responsible for so many stylish and trendy venues (Soho Farmhouse, Soho House hotels, Cowshead etc), The Ned was always going to be of a certain standard. There’s no doubt that every inch of this space has been given great thought, the interiors are reminiscent of a period movie, think 1920’s glamour and glitz and yet it has all the modern touches. All the eight restaurants housed in the banking hall have their own designated areas but equally blend into one another as you stroll through the space that has its own unique kind of grandeur. The 3,000 sqm hall is separated by ninety-two verdite columns and rows of Grade I-listed walnut banking counters, there are open kitchens, bars and a raised stage for live musical performances.
Diners can choose from several international cuisines across ten restaurants; Cecconi’s offers Italian, Zobler’s is a New York style Deli and Diner, expect classic French dishes at Cafe Sou, Asian-Pacific fusions at Kaia and American at Californian Kitchen, Luyten’s Grill and The Nickel Bar. My friend and I were there to sample afternoon tea at Millie’s Lounge, a plush affair in a cosy corner serving the best of British cuisine and beverages.
The traditional afternoon tea is served from Monday to Saturday in the lounge that’s situated in the far corner with it’s own bar and a delightful pink and green colour scheme. Served on bespoke Burleigh china, we enjoyed a variety of sandwiches which are refilled on request should you have a favourites, cakes including one of my favourites Battenberg and of course scones with jam and clotted cream all with a choice of tea or like us a glass of Perrier-Jouët NV Champagne.
The food was really delicious and ticked all the classic afternoon tea boxes (if you have ever read one of my afternoon tea reviews you will know I prefer the traditional route in a ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ kinda way). Crustless sandwiches with a really tasty egg version (we had both a vegetarian and ‘normal’ selection as requested), the aforementioned childhood favourite of battenberg (pink and yellow squares covered in marzipan if you are wondering) and two varieties of moorish moist scones. The botanical Burleigh chinaware was particularly eye catching too. In keeping with our period surrounding the champagne was served in crystal coupe glasses and was divine, thoroughly recommend adding a tipple to enhance your experience.
In a nod to the former banking era that took place in this part of London and the gentlemen’s clubs that still exist to this day (Soho House & Co has built and run eighteen members’ clubs to date), The Ned is home to a private members club. Ned’s Club Downstairs, as it’s officially known, sits behind the two metre wide, twenty 20-tonne vault door , which wasis the original Midland Bank strongroom that is now home to the Vault bar and lounge.
Ned’s Club Upstairs is located on the rooftop offering members spectacular panoramic views across London. There’s a heated swimming pool with its city skyline backdrop and two converted domes that house outdoor terraces for dining and drinking. With its retractable roof and heaters, The Roof Bar enables guests to enjoy the bar and facilities all year round.
It’s not all about just restaurants either, The Ned also offers discerning guests looking for a city locale to lay their heads a choice of 250 bedrooms all stylishly decorated with a nod to 1920s glamour. All hotel guests benefit from access to Ned’s Club Downstairs and those staying in the larger rooms and suites can visit both Ned’s Club Upstairs and Downstairs. There’s also Ned’s Club Spa built around a 20-metre indoor pool and offering the perfect place to relax with it’s sauna, steam room, traditional Moroccan hammam and eight Cowshed treatment rooms. There’s also ladies hair parlour and nail salon as well as a traditional style barbers shop for the gentlemen.
I would thoroughly recommend a visit to The Ned if you are in London and looking for a stylish place to dine, stay or spa. I’m looking forward to returning this summer to try out some more of what this fabulous establishment has to offer. Spa day anyone?
Location: The Ned, 27 Poultry, London. EC2R 8AJ
+ 44 (0)20 3828 2000
Telephone: + 44 (0)20 3828 2000
Afternoon Tea is served daily from 2pm-5pm
All views are my own. Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2018. All rights reserved. Additional seven photos used with courtesy of www.thened.com
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