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Don't get lost in the Ned

Walk into The Ned - the former home of Midland bank before it was turned into one of London’s most popular hotels & member’s clubs – and it’s clear to see why this was the number one visited spot of London Cocktail Week 2018! In total there are ten restaurants and seventeen bars with food & drink offerings from around the globe… some are open to the public and others are just for hotel guests and club members – so how does one even know where to start when visiting this infamous London venue?

As you walk into the ground floor of this magnificent space you are bowled over with the sense of grandeur – high panelled ceilings, sexy low hanging lights, a grand piano softly playing in the background and the gentle buzz of just enough people to let you know that this is the place to be. A Grade I listed building, the transformation was no easy feat… the restaurants and bars on this floor, not surprisingly still known as the Banking Hall, had to be cleverly separated by the existing giant green marble pillars and the gorgeous old walnut banking counters.

We start our tour at the entrance on Princes Street and are greeted with a friendly face on our left in the form of Café Sou. This Parisian-inspired café serves classic French dishes and great coffee throughout the day, then at night the candles are laid out and it becomes a wine bar - ooh la la. Continuing into the hotel is Kaia, with counter seating that runs both sides of the walkway, its own small bar and a kitchen on the right cooking up modern Asian-pacific-inspired bowl food, a Japanese afternoon tea and on Sundays an all you can eat brunch… (which we've thoroughly enjoyed and really can't recommend enough) then finally in this part of the room tucked behind the counter seating on the same side as Café Sou is Zobler’s Deli & Diner – a New York style deli and your go to stop for bagels and cheesecake.

Head on past the reception desk and down the discreet aisle to your left and there behind the giant curtain you’ll uncover the newest drinking nook in The Ned, The Library Bar. You’ll need to be a member or hotel guest to get in, but it’s worth it for a snug bar specialising in two of our favourite things – Martinis served from a trolley and Champagne cocktails, the perfect accompaniment to the inviting armchairs and old books as you wait for your room.

undefinedCecconi’s City of London

Back into the Banking Hall and on your left you’ll find Cecconi’s City of London, the all-day Venetian brasserie and sister restaurant to the Cecconi’s in Mayfair, which serves modern Italian dishes and has an impressive vermouth selection to sample with your food. (They also run a bottomless Sunday brunch, which is truly fantatsic value for money). Carrying on clockwise round the room is Malibu Kitchen tucked alongside the outer wall. This Californian-themed restaurant and bar serves up superfood salads, flatbreads, juices, some fab tequila cocktails and on a sunny day - is the best seat in the house.

To the left of entrance and taking up a large space on this floor is Millie’s Lounge a British brasserie with a late-night menu and a popular spot for afternoon tea. Continuing clockwise and just behind the Nickel Stage bandstand you’ll spot the Nickel Bar, best for a classic American cocktail and grabbing a pew on one of the gorgeous green velvet banquette seats with the after-work crowd.  

undefinedMillie’s Lounge

Enter the door behind the Nickel Bar and you’re in Lutyens Grill, the former Bank Manager’s office turned steakhouse with an old-school clubby feel enhanced by the wood-panelling, trolley food service and European heavy wine list… And now - we head up to the roof!

undefinedMillie’s LoungeThe Roof Bar 

This part of the building is strictly for members and hotel guests in larger rooms and as you can imagine fills up pretty quickly on sunnier days. You’ll enter into The Roof Bar with its retractable roof, Soho House vibes and views across the city and St Paul’s Cathedral. Round past the heated pool and cushioned deckchairs and you’re in The Poultry Dome, which is home to another bar serving rooftop worthy cocktails to be enjoyed in the sun and has two more bars outside on the terrace in case you simply couldn’t walk that far… then if you’re lucky when you get to the Prince’s Dome on the next part of the roof they’ll be hosting one of their pop-up or bar takeovers from around the world. Right now - it's Tiki themed with some heavy-hitters taking up residency. 

For the final part of the tour we head to the belly of the building, to Ned’s Club… you’ll also have to be a member or hotel guest in any room to gain access to this part of the hotel, but when you’ve seen how special it is, you can understand why.

undefinedThe Vault

Step in through the original 20-tonne vault door, past the stuffed swan and into the The Vault bar, lined with 3,800 safety deposit boxes and now filled with plush armchairs. Turn the corner and you’ll get your first glimpse of the bar itself – inspired by the steamer ships of the 20’s & 30’s, this one’s a stunner. Perfect for a drink at any time, this all-hours cocktail lounge becomes the spot to be later in the evening with DJs, live music and events.

Also down in the underbelly of this historic building you’ll find The Dining Room, also a relatively new addition, serving a modern British menu; The Long Bar and lounge for a more relaxed feel than The Vault bar and the Parlour Bar… now all that’s left to do is pick a spot in one of the very-many bars, tucked into a snug booth or comfy leather bar stool and indulge in a Ned-groni perhaps!?