After hearing some good comments about this 5 star hotel "The Ned", which opened in May 2017, I decided to pay a visit and experience this space myself. As I mentioned in my previous post, I will be visiting some places in an attempt to discover their "atmosphere" - in other words to find a "cozy corner".
A bit of history "The Ned".
Originally it was the head office of the Midland Bank, which at the time it was the World's largest clearing bank. An elegant building was designed by an English architect Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1924 - 39 in collaboration with Messrs. Gotch and Saunders. Described as Britain's greatest architect he was known simple as "Ned". To honour architect, this remodelled hotel takes name "The Ned".
I was not disappointed.
By contrary, I was pleasantly surprised, like a child entering a Disneyland - with big wide eyes of excitement and in my mind I shouted "WOOOOW!".
This elegant space greets you with a mix of sounds: people's conversations, bartender shaking a cocktail, suitcase wheels on a marble floor, footsteps of a leather sole shoes, plates, glasses... - that pleasant buzz whisks you in - place feels so alive! Vast, open space with tall vaulted ceilings, supported by green verdite covered columns, that span around the main bank hall and original double height windows somehow make you feel very welcomed here.
8 of 9 restaurants are located on a 3000 square meter former banking hall as you enter. Friendly staff give a brief history and new layout explanation - basically you can spend all day here without needing to leave, having food in each restaurant, which have their own style and character, but at the same time they manag to create unified feeling of one, massive open space. What I rate highly about this place is that Soho House and New York based hotel developers the Sydell Group managed to keep the heritage essence of this elegant building. All the historic details and the layout of the main banking hall almost have not changed - a enormous respect to the past and that is what makes this place so unique. I spent a good 4 hours here just wondering around, having food in a cozy corner, be guided by lovely manager Elsa in other facilities to discover secrets of The Ned - the Golden Monogram on the coved ceiling of The Saloon, the Top Hat boxes, a Chairman's lift, the oldest Tapestry in London, the Vault Doors (used in the filming of the third James Bond movie "Goldfinger"), hand-painted wallpaper and much more!
A place with a story makes you want to stay there for little bit longer and "get to know" that story. It is definitely my favourite space so far - it managed to rise a high "atmospheric standard" for other places. I felt like The Ned has been here for years and has managed to blend in into a demanding XXI century lifestyle. The detail-rich interior offers more than one "cozy corner" to sit and take everything in. Main materials like marble, portland stone, leather, walnut wood dominates throughout the building creating sophistication and calmness. A lot of natural light, a smell of fresh flowers and fresh food, a sound of all that buzz around you; emerald green columns, white ceilings and aged brown leather colour contrast, classic details, space scale - reawakens all 5 senses! A place not just to have a cocktail, but to reconnect with the past.
But don't just take my word for it - go and visit it yourself!
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