Now boasting some 250 guest bedrooms, a host of different restaurant options, an array of grooming establishments and a private member’s club, The Ned is something of a showstopper.
Created in a partnership between world famous Soho House & Co and US-based Sydell Group, The Ned was born when Soho House founder, Nick Jones, came upon the building in 2012.
Despite having been empty for many years, Nick felt the potential of the space and began to investigate its possibilities, outreaching to Sydell Group, of hotels such as NoMad in Manhattan, in order to tackle the project with a number of skills and perspectives.
The Ned opened its doors in 2017 after a reported £200 million renovation and, with its location in the heart of London’s financial district, is now a stylish spot at which to see and be seen.
Given its prime location in the centre of London’s finance district, it is little wonder that The Ned has become a popular venue for city workers. However, that is not to say that the area doesn’t also offer something for those visiting London for recreational purposes.
The Ned is situated on Poultry, a short street steeped in history which is easily reached by tube via Bank Station. For those looking to make the most of their time in the capital, landmarks such as St Paul’s Cathedral and The Barbican Centre are within easy distance of this five star establishment.
The architecture of the building forms a key component in the hotel’s styling, even taking its name from the building’s designer, Sir Edwin ‘Ned’ Lutyens. The building of this enormous property was completed in the late 1930s when it became the headquarters for the Midland Bank. Today, many of the features that were designed for the building’s original incarnation still take centre stage with the interiors highlighting Lutyens’ attention to detail such as spiral staircases and walnut panelling.
With The Ned’s main entrance opening into the main food court, guests are immediately hit by the awesome scale and grandeur of the Grade I listed building. The vaulted ceilings and 92 green verdite columns of what was once the Grand Banking Hall, are truly breathtaking and even the original teller desks are still in situ, although they are now used to divide the space’s differing dining options.
The vaults of the Midland Bank now house the members-only Ned’s Club and the original door is still in place. So impressive is this vault door in its design and engineering, that it was the inspiration behind a similar door in 1964’s Bond movie, Goldfinger.
EPR Architects worked on the ambitious conversion and say of the renovation work, “Our design creates a seamless transition between old and new, using the finest materials in a modern context and complimenting the stunning interiors.”
As with the careful preservation of the original architecture, the interiors of The Ned have been handled sensitively to ensure the heritage of this iconic building can truly sing.
Alice Lund, in house designer at Soho house describes the concept as, “The brief was to create a beautiful old hotel as if it had been around since the inception of the building itself, so very opulent, very beautiful, but also slightly faded around the edges.”
Taking inspiration from ocean liners of the 1930s, luxury and opulence are visible at every turn. Velvet upholstery, aged brass lighting and a palette including dusty rose pinks, emerald greens and pale amethyst, create a look that exude characterful decadence without feeling heavy handed. Care has also been taken to ensure that The Ned’s interior steers away from feeling themed or gimmicky in line with the tastes of the hotel’s discerningly stylish guests and visitors.
The furnishings in The Ned bring together elements of the period with enough contemporary twists to make a nod to the recent renovations. Button back sofas and highly polished dark wooden furnishings meet elegant cocktail armchairs and leather upholstered bar stools to create a look that is at once meticulously curated and yet intriguingly eclectic.
Rooms & Suites
With over 250 rooms on offer at a range of prices and scales, The Ned has accommodation to suit an array of guests. Starting with more modestly sized ‘Crash Pad’ rooms and going all the way up to the 100 square metre Lutyens Suite, style is still at the centre of each of the offerings.
Soho House designer Adam Greco explains, “One of the things that we were very conscious of with The Ned, since it’s the largest project we ever built, was making sure there was variation and new surprises in all of the rooms. So we came up with many different pillows – we must have hundreds of different pillow types and styles in the building.”
These kinds of unique touches have ensured that the hotel retains the kind of character and personality that boutique guests have come to desire. Richly patterned curtains, well stocked cocktail cabinets and luxe club chairs feature in many of the rooms while marble fireplaces and four poster beds make old world glamorous focal points in others. The bathrooms have a more modern aesthetic with slick marble finishes and Soho House’s signature Cowshed toiletries.
The charm of the period is also enhanced by elements such as handpainted tea sets and wireless radios that heighten the feeling that you have stepped into a bygone era. However, this nostalgia is balanced by aspects such as Hypnos mattresses and rainfall showers. This union ensures the perfect balance of period charm and the mod cons of 21st century hospitality.
Food & Drink
The Ned’s wide array of dining options ensure that it is a popular venue for those in search of a post-work meal as well as among those staying as guests.
A number of the restaurants jostle alongside each other in the old Grand Banking Hall, creating an opulent food hall feel. Alongside Cecconi’s Venetian style brasserie lies Californian inspired Malibu Kitchen offering super healthy and super tasty options such as Ahi tuna poke and salads of young coconut and green papaya. If you are in search of something a little more laid-back, Nickel Bar can provide a hot dog alongside your cocktail while Zobler’s brings the New York deli experience to central London. This diverse collection of eateries provides busy guests with the option to sit back and enjoy the striking surroundings or dine on the go for those with a busy schedule.
However, some of the bars and eateries are reserved for members only and for those staying in the superior room categories. These include the exclusive Roof Bar with its breathtaking cityscape views and the famous Vault Bar & Lounge located in the very belly of the building – perfect for the most intimate of nightcaps.