Stylist’s acting executive editor Gemma Crisp has a night of decadence at brand new one-stop party palace The Ned in London’s financial district
For me, Wednesday evenings aren’t usually that exciting. Last week, however, was an exception. That’s when I found myself flanked by innumerable celebrities (Poppy Delevingne, Eddie Redmayne), fashion luminaries (Laura Bailey, Jade Jagger), artistic genius (Tracey Emin) and actual royalty (Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie) at the opening of The Ned in the former Midland Bank in London’s City. There was a singing flash mob, Twenties flapper dancers, free-flowing negronis and performances by Tinie Tempah, Paloma Faith and Gary Barlow. It was epic. This temple to high-end hospitality – named after the building’s architect Sir Edwin ‘Ned’ Lutyens – is the new joint venture between celebrity favourite Soho House & Co and Sydell Group (the American hotel company behind the Saguaro in Palm Springs, the Freehand in Miami and NoMad in LA) and it will be clogging up your Instagram feed over the next couple of months. Because, unlike other Soho House & Co properties, the majority of the building is open to the public (not just members). The enormous 3,000 square metre former banking hall on the ground floor is home to the poshest food court I’ve ever had the pleasure of gracing, offering Hawaiian-inspired poké at Kaia, Northern Italian carbohydrates at Cecconi’s, Parisian fare at Cafe Sou, Jewish soul food at Zobler’s Delicatessen, superfood salads at Malibu Kitchen, classic British at Millie’s Lounge (which is open 24 hours – including the bar. Hello, late night G&Ts) and prime steak at Lutyens Grill. If you have to choose just one (andI really don’t envy you if you do), Cecconi’s spaghetti lobster is an epicurean dream.
Also open to the public is the hotel – and as a hotel guest, you can swan up to the rooftop to Ned’s Club Upstairs to enjoy the panoramic views of St Paul’s Cathedral and the City’s ever-increasing number of bizarrely nicknamed high-rises. Or duck inside one of the two rooftop domes to order a cocktail to enjoy while perched on the sunloungers that line the pool. There are 13 types of rooms, starting from the cosy-butminiature Crash Pad (17-19 square metres) to the 100 square metre, two-bedroom Lutyens Suite, which boasts its own bar and private access to the rooftop. As befitting of a Soho House project, the rooms are stocked with thoughtful amenities to make your stay seamless – phone chargers and adapters, Babyliss hair straighteners, Cowshed bathroom products, pre-mixed cocktails (the Old Fashioned is lethal) and cold brew coffee in the mini bar. When it comes to the decor, ‘plush’ is the word. Vintage-inspired fringed lampshades, velvet sofas strewn with impossibly plump cushions, sparkling chandeliers, four poster beds, flocked wallpaper… Scandi minimalism has no absolutely place here.
The Ned will be the place to be seen this year – not just on Wednesday evenings. And luckily, there’s plenty of room for everyone.
Rooms at The Ned start from £150; 27 Poultry, London, EC2R (thened.com)