Unique, refreshing and stylish
Sitting in the heart of London, The Ned London opened a couple of months ago and we were lucky enough to be invited to stay and see the new hotel in all its glory.
Housed in the former Midland Bank building, The Ned was designed by Sir Edwin ‘Ned’ Lutyens in 1924. It’s a truly stunning spectacle as you enter, stepping onto the black and white chequered floor and through the banking hall – the rows of desks that once hosted bank clerks, now transformed to cool booths and bar areas.
Sunday brunch was in full swing and, as we arrived, strains of jazz wafted through the foyer creating the most relaxing atmosphere.
The Ned hosts nine restaurants, situated off the reception, and 252 bedrooms, all boasting 1920s and 30s design. Bedrooms range from the super cute ‘Crash-Pad’ to the ultra luxurious Lutyens Suite. The buzz as we checked in was fabulous, and the service exquisite. A trend of the stay, as we were to discover!
We were led to our lodgings – the Heritage Suite – through long corridors and up in a beautiful lift. The décor is so grand and stylish, it felt as if we had been transported to the 1920s!
The Heritage Suite
Located on the Grade one listed fifth floor, the Heritage Suite used to be the office of the bank’s CEO. With original panelling, beautiful wooden floor and authentic rugs, the suite combined 1920s glamour with modern comforts. A super comfortable sofa, elegant leather lined desk and sparkling chandelier created a fabulous welcome for us, and the view over London is simply magnificent.
The bedroom is very impressive, with a half poster bed, stand alone bath and gorgeous panelled wardrobe which hides beautiful tapestries on the doors.
The bathroom has amazing marble floors and gorgeous brass fixtures as well as a rainforest shower. The hotel’s Cowshed spa products made a really welcome treat – they’re wonderful, and a great taste of what’s on offer in the spa!
Having been utterly stunned by our suite, we ventured off to explore the vast hotel.
It has two pools – one indoors and one outdoors – as part of the Ned’s Club membership. Hotel and spa guests have use of these facilities as well, during their stay.
We visited the gorgeous heated pool up on the roof of the hotel. Looking out on the London skyline – St Paul’s Cathedral and the London Eye – the infinity pool is surrounded by loungers and bars for relaxing and making the most of your stay, above the hustle and bustle of the streets below. The staff were so welcoming and friendly up there as we took in our surroundings.
The members club is, of course, adult only, and as we took our young daughter with us, we didn’t visit most of the facilities. We do love the idea of Ned’s Club downstairs, though. Through a two metre wide, 20-tonne vault door lies an all hours cocktail bar and lounge, holding more than 3,000 original safety deposit boxes.
The Club also offers a gym, indoor pool, sauna, steam-room, traditional Moroccan Hamam and a range of treatments.
In addition to spa and leisure facilities, The Ned offers a nail bar, barbers, salon and makeup parlour – everything you need for top to toe maintenance!
Choosing where to eat for dinner was a challenge! With nine restaurants, we really were spoiled for choice! Italian, British, American, French…. We settled on Kaia, an Asian Pacific inspired restaurant offering delicious and healthy food.
Not only is the food delicious, but it is so prettily served, it seems a shame to spoil the dishes by eating them! But we did and enjoyed every bite. From the cute cocktails we started with, to the amazing black cod I chose for my main, to the roasted pineapple dessert, I couldn’t fault anything. We also ordered loads of side dishes and it truly was one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten!
After enjoying our meal we wandered through the hotel, soaking up the evening vibe and enjoying the elegant light thrown about by the flickering candles. The place has such a chic, sophisticated feel, without feeling stuffy and forced.
Returning to our room, the turndown service was beautiful. A lovely note from the hotel accompanied a cute London charm bracelet for our daughter – such a sweet thought! Two gorgeous cakes also accompanied the gift – a chocolate ganache and a lemon curd – heavenly!
The bed was so comfortable – fresh, new and clean, such a treat to sleep in!
The next morning we again, had to choose where to enjoy our breakfast! We went for classic British this time – Millie’s Lounge – where they offer traditional fare – full English breakfasts, breakfast baps and toast, as well as every kind of egg you could imagine! The avocado and poached egg on toast were simply divine.
The restaurant was bustling and busy, with lots of guests dining and business meetings going on, but the staff were attentive and friendly – so helpful.
Weddings at The Ned
Once we had enjoyed our breakfast, we took a tour of the wedding and event facilities. There’s only been one wedding there so far, so you could be among the first to wed there! The Ned has six Grade one listed meeting rooms and two outdoor terraces available. The Tapestry Room is bold and impressive, with high windows and historic wall coverings, holding up to 210 guests. The Saloon is light, and elegant, with low windows looking out over the city and accommodating up to 120 guests.
This would certainly be an amazing wedding venue – the hotel feels like a breath of fresh air and a break from the norm. The unique building stood vacant for eight years and has truly been reborn in a most magnificent way. The service is stunning, the leisure facilities and Member’s Club are magnificent, and the styling is elegant, stylish and chic. The Ned is most definitely worth experiencing for yourself.
The Ned London
+ 44 (0)20 3828 2000