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July 27, 2017, 04:12 PM

Clean eating and a clean slate for the Ned in the City

By Sara Morel

Malibu Kitchen at The Ned İReclaimed Woman

London East, UK - You have to be a member to get beyond the deliberately discrete entrances of other Soho House buildings, but anyone can walk into new London hotel, The Ned. An entrance worth experiencing, the former Midland Bank building, designed in 1924 by Sir Edwin "Ned" Lutyens features original African verdite columns and several hundred banking counters. Soho House founder, Nick Jones has numerous restorations under his belt, counting clubs from Malibu to Mumbai, but the renovation of the Portland Stone building on Poultry Street required partnership with the Sydell Group. Known for creating luxury hotels sympathetic to their locations and architecture, the Sydell Group - Soho House partnership spent £200 million taking the unused 320,000 square foot building to its next incarnation.

The Ned has 252 guest rooms, nine restaurants, a gym, spa and hamam. Guests and members can enjoy an infinity pool made of Italian marble on the rooftop with views of St Paul's Cathedral, which shares the same level of protection as the grade 1-listed building of The Ned.

Corporate entertaining is discouraged in Soho House clubs, and the dress code discourages suits - a detail critics have been keen to dig at Nick Jones, given The Ned is neighbour to The Bank of England, slap bang in the heart of the Square Mile. Sure, it would be crazy to exclude bankers with members only perks like the Vault bar, lined with 3,600 preserved safety deposit boxes, but The Ned avoids the 'w' word that rhymes with banker. Decor delivers homely charm synonymous with Soho House and unique art like a FTSE 100 in reverse. The art installation called 'Vault 100' highlights the ratio of 93 male CEOs to seven female CEOs with 100 paintings by 93 women, such as Tracey Emin, to seven paintings by male artists.

I dined in the inclusive food-court at Malibu Kitchen, one of the eight public restaurants situated in the former banking hall. The restaurants have received mixed reviews. I am not convinced fried fish tacos would cut it in California's healthy eating establishments, but the food was affordable and delicious.

In an interview with City AM, London's free daily business newspaper, Nick Jones said "I've done all my art house movies, this is my chance to do a blockbuster." Having watched The Ned in action, it feels like Nick Jones wanted more than his normal niche audience to experience the respectful restoration of Ned's building.

Sara Morel, Reclaimed Woman

The Ned
City A.M Interview with Nick Jones

Story Type:  News

ID: 101299

Date Modified: July 28, 2017, 10:26 AM

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