“The Ned is all about feeling that little bit more sparkly than you did before”
Total wow factor is what The Ned has in spades. In the City of London, until recently it was the disused Midland Bank building, until Jones spotted it and with a cohort of other movers and shakers decided to return it to its former glory and more. What greets you today is a building that fuses historic architecture and style with contemporary know how and hospitality. It has a distinctly heritage vibe to it but with an abundantly clear sense of 21st century flair. This is London travel at its finest.
There’s a hint of 1920s sparkle to The Ned. Between the four poster beds and the shimmering surfaces, it is glitz and glamour – the perfect place for a romantic mini break or a coffee that will impress your next business venture. From the bathrooms to the bar, everything is an experience to behold but there’s also a distinct humour to the stylish hotel. Rooms come in the most striking array, starting with the ‘Crash Pad’ – the most simple room for those looking for a bed for the night (an extremely nice bed we hasten to add), all the way up to ‘Grand Heritage’ rooms. There are even family rooms showing that amongst all the decadence, proprietors actually understand that the people staying here are not limited to 20 something celebrities. There are 252 rooms but it’s surprisingly intimate – relaxed and memorable all at once.
Channel your inner Zelda Fitzgerald
From lunchtime manicures at Cheeky to head-to-toe maintenance using the famed Cowshed brand as well as Sultane de Saba and Annee de Mamiel , the spa and grooming area is designed with city chic in mind. There are eight treatment rooms, a relaxation lounge, a sauna, steam room, swimming pool and hair salon as well as a gym and exercise classes, as well as a IsCLinical Express bar, which offers anti-ageing LED light facials. For men there’s also Ned’s Barbershop – a classic speakeasy-style environment for gentlemen in need of a quick spruce including a cold beer and a shoe shine.
In the heart of London’s financial district, The Ned’s owners have recognised a gaping hole in the market. This part of London which has grown so rapidly has a dearth of stylish hotels. Following similar projects in New York, Jones has said: “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. And – like New York’s own Financial District – it’s developing at a rapid pace.” So what The Ned brings to the area is hospitality with style, form as well as function, and a reason to visit beyond simply going to the office… although if you are going to the office on a business trip, you may as well have somewhere excellent to stay or go for coffee.
The size of this hotel must not be underestimated. We’re so used to the idea that there’s a lack of space in London that we forget that architectural gems like this are in fact huge and glorious buildings are monumental. So within this phenomenal building the hotel has housed a plethora of restaurants. The famous Cecconi’s brand – an all day Venetian brasserie; Millie’s Lounge – a restaurant and bar with a 24-hour menu of British food where design pays homage to St Mildred’s Church, which occupied the site until the Great Fire of London in 1666; The Nickel Bar for American staples and classic cocktails; Zobler’s delicatessen for New York style deli food; the Asian-Pacific restaurant Kaia; the Parisian Cafe Sou, and the Malibi Kitchen for Californian fare and superfood salads.
“If you’re on your lunch break and fancy a quick pedicure, get on over!”
It’s not so much about who would this venue suit, as who wouldn’t it suit? The Ned is the ultimate London experience. For anyone who has enjoyed dinner at Chiltern Firehouse, coffees at Shoreditch House or lunch at The Ivy, The Ned is right up your street. If you haven’t done those things but fancy it, this is the place to go. If you fancy yourself as feeling a tad like Zelda Fitzgerald for the day, definitely go here; if you’re a New York lover – head over; if you’re looking to treat your partner, pop by; or if you’re on your lunch break and fancy a quick pedicure, get on over. The Ned is all about feeling that little bit more sparkly than you did before. It’s not a health retreat, it’s all about pampering, and the experience is only really complete by doing it all – have coffees, have lunch, have your spa treatment and then go shopping at Liberty’s or to the theatre – this is about soaking up the best of London.
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