Although London decided to deliver Monday in particularly grey and damp fashion, I was lucky enough to start the week off in opulent surroundings with breakfast at The Ned. The much talked about new hotel and members club opened in the City at the end of April from the team behind Soho House.
While the sumptuous surroundings of the Soho House group’s other London locations are usually the reserve of members, a big chunk of The Ned is open to the public with a smorgasbord of different spots to eat, drink and drool over the interiors.
Five years in the making, The Ned (named after the original building designer Sir Edwin ‘Ned’ Lutyens) is a former bank and now a total treat for anyone with even a passing interest in interiors or architecture.
So why not swing by, grab yourself a coffee or a cocktail and check out my five favourite features:
1. The sheer scale and grandeur of the space
The 11 storey building is huge and imposing, with the former banking hall remaining at the heart of the space, complete with the original 92 African verdite columns. Yes, 92! The imposing structures in beautiful emerald green deliver a punch of Art Deco drama and make the space feel really special.
2. The abundance of texture and pattern
Everywhere you look at The Ned, there is a riot of different texture and pattern. Tactile pleated velvet sofas sit on deep pile paisley carpets and brushed brass light fittings hang from walls covered in a forest’s worth of polished walnut. Where you might expect wallpaper, rich wool and silk covers the walls to add more depth, making the whole space an amazing blend of luxurious layers.
3. A perfectly curated colour palette
The emerald green of the columns which frame the space happen to of course be a colour of the moment and are wearing the shade well still after all these years. It contrasts perfectly with dusky pinks and jewel-toned velvet across the seating and cushions. Set this all against rich dark wood panelling, monochrome marble floors, deep red and brown leather seating and a mix of polished and brushed brass and you have the colour palette for the ultimate space to indulge.
4. The nods to The Ned’s former life
The Ned was once a very imposing bank, and the design of the new space has more than a passing nod to this past. Wood panelled bank tellers cabins make up some of the seating in the restaurant and bar areas, safety deposit signage can still be seen etched into the stone of the main stairwell and what was once the bank’s reception desk has now been made into a stage for a soundtrack of live jazz. Heaps of character, and a lovely nod to bygone days.
5. The Instagram shot
It’s hard to resist snapping the most talked about part of The Ned, its bank vault private bar and dining area. Retaining the 20 tonne door which once protected the goods, the old bank vault preserves the 3,000 original silver safety deposit boxes it once protected but now plays host to a unique new place for a fortunate few to hang out in. It was once used in James Bond’s Goldfinger, but now it’s the new star of Instagram.
If you’re in London, it’s well worth popping in for a look, and if you love it that much you can of course now take some of it home from the Soho Home range.