The Ned is one of those whopping, fun-house hotels where there’s so much to do you can stay for a few nights and have absolutely zero reason to leave the front door. And we don’t.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Ned, it’s the joint venture from Soho House and Sydell Group, who own NoMad hotel in New York. A lot of millions has been spent turning these old headquarters for the Midland Bank into a City boy and girl playground.
As is always the way with Soho House, the rooms are appointed beautifully. No matter what the size (they range from ‘Cosy’ to ‘Grand Heritage’) it’s the little touches that make a difference.
The bathroom is stocked with a gazillion Cowshed products to use. There’s more drink than a Booze Cruise on the mini bar tray. There are custom made pieces of furniture everywhere you look. The queen sized bed, with pillows galore, is one of the best nights sleep you’ll have.
If fitness is your thing, the gym is rather large and beautiful. We join a morning spin class (House Ride) which is included in our room rate. In the men’s changing room there’s a grooming parlour where I treat myself to a beard trim. The basement swimming pool, with large steam and sauna attached, is perfect for lengths.
If paddling is more your thing, the rooftop pool, with views of St Paul’s, The Shard and the higgledy piggledy City of London, is glorious. There’s a restaurant up there too where breakfast is served. A full English (£9) and a side of banana bread (£4) is the perfect start to the day.
Food is a recurring theme at The Ned; there are LOADS of restaurants to choose from. deep breath Millie’s, Zobler’s, Malibu Kitchen, Kaia, Café Sou, Lutyens Grill. We take dinner in Cecconi’s which serves simple, hearty Italian classics. Calamari fritti (£15), burrata with heritage tomatoes (£15) and vitello tonnato (£14) are all exquisite.
A giant veal milanese (£32) is a blanket of thinly bashed out veal, breadcrumbed and fried til crisp. A good squeeze of lemon juice cuts through that richness brilliantly. Accompanied by the echo of the live band from the podium in the foyer it’s a marvellous thing.
We descend to the basement Vault bar for a nightcap. You enter through the bank’s old safe door (hello Instagram!) where you’re then surrounded by safety deposit boxes. It’s super cool and gets pretty raucous as the evening progresses.
What’s most impressive about The Ned is just how busy it is. With all those bars, restaurants and rooms, there never seems to be a downtime. People keep endlessly pouring in and having a good time. I don’t blame them.
Would we go back? Absolutely
We stayed and dined as guests of the hotel