I can still remember the very first time I laid my eyes on The Ned Hotel. It’s a moment that will stay with me forever.
I’d heard whispers the year it was opening that something very special was coming to London, a place that would change the city forever, but I shrugged it off as I had heard it all before. So when I went to visit a few weeks after their grand opening I had absolutely no expectation.
But my gosh the rumours were more than true. You could feel the magic the second you stepped through the opulent brass doors, into the grand and stunning marble open plan foyer. Without sounding dramatic it was my equivalent of Lucy stepping through the wardrobe into Narnia for the very first time. One moment I was standing on a cold wet street in Bank with cars and cabs honking, the next I was taken back in time to glitzy and glamorous New York in the 1920s in the most unbelievable setting whilst a jazz band played Frank Sinatra in the background.
Had I died and gone to heaven? Yes. Yes I had.
Well that was it. I was totally and utterly head over heels in love with this magnificent new venture in London, and thus began the start of my beautiful love affair with The Ned. (Which is still very much an ongoing relationship).
Those of you that have been with me for a while know how much I adore visiting this hotel and absolutely love to dine in their assortment of restaurants as much as I can when I have some down time in-between studio shows.
Every time we have to leave to catch the train home I would always whisper to the hubs or friends, “oooohhh could you just imagine if we were staying here, wouldn’t it be wonderful?”…. Whilst I trudged on through the central line wishing and dreaming that one day I could experience it for myself.
But this year, my dreams came true as I got to spend an entire weekend at The Ned for my hubby birthday and I am SO happy to report that it was even more magical than I could have wished and hoped for.
Well you know what’s coming next… I am bursting with excitement to tell you all about it!!!!
A STAYCATION IN LONDON?
I had nearly made it to the grand old age of thirty without EVER staying a night in the city. Sob. All the hotels in London absolutely blow me away, but working in the city, you just totally take it all for granted don’t you? And lets face it… most of the hotels are ridiculously expensive for one night so it its not something you would just do off the cuff.
Every November when the hubby’s birthday comes round it has become a lovely tradition that we would go away somewhere to celebrate it. Over the recent years we have been to Rome, Paris and Disney but this year with me being preggers and working on quite an intense studio show things were slightly different. I had booked the weekend off knowing that I wanted to take Wayney somewhere really special but ummed and ahhed over the location for weeks.
Until suddenly it hit me.
We were only months away from PG being a family of three. Why not try some where that would be unrealistic when we had a little one with us…. to stay somewhere we knew we loved and adored and hopefully experience something we both had never done before…. A London staycation…. At the one and only NED HOTEL!!!!!
The second the idea came into my head it was like a light bulb went off in excitement and I began gleefully planning the surprise knowing how perfect it would be for us.
The week before his birthday I sent a cryptic itinerary and packing list to his work telling him we were going away for the night and to meet me at the station where all would be revealed. That Friday at work I was like an over excited child clock watching and looking at the seconds (that felt like hours) counting down. But finally, finally, the clock struck 5pm and me and the 300 balloons I had got blown up were on our way to the magical Ned for a weekend of birthday fun. (By the way if you were on my carriage on the central line I apologise for the absolute ruckus and carnage I created oops).
THE NED HOTEL
For those of you who do not live in London, or even the UK for that matter let me quickly fill you in on this magnificent hotel, and tell you why it is not just your ordinary run of the mill hotel in London.
The Ned Hotel was a joint venture between Soho House and the Sydell Group, who spent over 200 million pounds turning the old headquarters of the Midland Bank into an extravagant and breath taking hotel. Every where you turn features of the old bank remain, reminding you of the incredible history of the building. What I love the most is how they have kept so much of the original buildings features including the gigantic marble columns, the outrageously high ceilings and the sweeping marble staircases.
To put it bluntly this hotel is an absolute show stopper and there is nothing quite like it in London.
The interiors are absolutely divine and whilst the ground floor is huge and totally open plan, the unique vintage furniture pieces, and soft chandelier lighting dotted around the hotel very cleverly turn this gigantic open space into one of the cosiest settings in London.
Despite the hotel being a members only club, the ground floor is open for the general public to visit and dine at, where its selection of seven restaurants and bars are always packed and full of atmosphere. The centrepiece of this floor is the round elevated stage where musicians and swing bands perform to all of the hotel guests whilst they munch away on foods from around the world creating the most perfect atmosphere i’ve ever experienced in London.
PERKS OF BEING A HOTEL GUEST AT THE NED HOTEL.
I know what you lot are thinking…. What’s the point of staying at a hotel I had already visited so many times for dinner before?
But guys oh my goodness there are SO many perks to being a hotel guest at The Ned and we experienced so many magical things I would never be able to do as a normal ‘dinner guest’.
1) COWSHED SPA AND POOL
Firstly, as a hotel guest you get access to the SPA, which is absolutely divine and oh so luxurious.
The secret spa is hidden at in the basement of the hotel, and feels like Londons best kept secret. Ive had to take this photo from their website as there is a strict no phones policy, which I for one was all for, as I currently resemble Shamu the whale.
(Photo Credit: The Ned Hotel)
The second we were handed over our room keys, we dumped our stuff, raced into our swim wear, wrapped ourselves up in the cosy dressing gowns and slippers provided and headed on down to level minus three to check out this spa of dreams. And have you ever seen an indoor pool so pretty and blue and grand? Just heavenly! There was also a sauna and steam room to enjoy, which sadly I couldn’t experience but it looked so peaceful and tranquil!
The spa itself is owned by one of my favourite ever brands CowShed! And they have taken over the bottom floor of the hotel to look after hotel guests with hundreds of fabulous treatments on offer. On the Saturday morning I was so lucky to experience my first ever maternity massage, which was one of the best half hours of my life and it was the most relaxed and peaceful ive felt since being pregnant. The hubs had a Cowshed signature massage which he claims is the best his ever had (and this has now taken over his top spot of the massage we had in the Maldives, so that says it all).
What I loved the most about my experience at the spa was that I still felt so relaxed and happy even after my massage had ended. I was also beyond excited to discover that as part of the Cowshed spa, there is a ‘library’ to relax in after treatments and I truly died and went to heaven. I was Belle in her grand library and I never ever ever wanted to leave.
I took a sneaky picture to show you just how cosy and comfy the room was, and I just want you to try and imagine yourself there in a snuggly dressing gown, drinking hot cups of tea and reading magazines. Could there be a better way to spend a Saturday?
2) THE ROOFTOP POOL
To be honest I think this photo does the talking and no words are needed.
Because we visited in cold and rainy November, we didn’t get to enjoy the rooftop pool in all of its glory because I probably would have caught pneumonia, but can you just IMAGINE how unbelIevable it would be to experience swimming underneath the stars here in the summer, or enjoying a lazy Saturday/Sunday morning swim in the fresh crisp open air.
The rooftop was another fantastic priviledge of being a member/hotel guest, and we enjoyed a cheeky pre-drink upstairs at their bar before dinner on the Friday night and toasted to a wonderful weekend ahead whilst taking in the most incredible views of London which truly took my breath away. It was the most wonderful way to kick off the birthday celebrations!
3) THE SECRET VAULT
So if you’ve ever been to the toilets at The Ned you would have walked past those incredible Vault Doors, wishing you were cool enough to enter through and experience how the other half live.
Nope? Just me?…. I don’t believe you!!!!….
Do you remember when I told you that the hotel once used to be one of the most exclusive and grand banks in London? Well, those clever clogs over at Soho House decided to keep the interiors of the mysterious bank vaults and turn it into A NIGHTCLUB. I REPEAT. A NIGHTCLUB.
As a hotel guest we were lucky enough to be able to experience what lies beneath those vault doors after dinner.
As we queued to get in we both actually held our breath, worrying that it was all one big fat lie and actually we would get turned away at the doors. But then a miracle happened, we each got stamped and ushered through the doors, before being given strict instructions that once we entered we were absolutely not allowed to take any photos. (But a quick selfie by the Vault entrance was a must obvs.)
I felt sick with excitement. I was about to enter one of Londons best kept hidden secrets and I wanted to squeal with happiness.
Now I need you to use your imagination here as there was absolutely no way I was breaking the photo rule and risk being chucked out.
The Vaults is hand on my heart the coolest most incredible bar I have ever experienced in London, maybe the world? Firstly the interiors resembled being in Harry Potters Gringotts, but this was Gringotts with a twist….. lets call it a Gringotts lock in?
Shiny silver bank lockers lined the walls, and it was crazy to imagine that once upon a time these drawers were once filled with peoples hidden treasures. The Vault bar had a mixture of rooms, with each one having extremely low ceilings and dim lighting creating a mysterious and exciting atmosphere. Mix that with a DJ playing RnB and House music and some of the most delicious cocktails ive ever seen, well, you tell me, what could be better? We sat for hours and chatted/danced the night away whilst the hubs devoured the delicious drinks and I looked on in sadness whilst sipping on water.
Once it hit 1am we slowly waddled back upstairs to our cosy bedroom, climbed into bed and stuffed our faces with cookies whilst reminiscing on the wonderful evening we had just experienced!
THE NED BEDROOM
Speaking of cosy that brings me nicely on to the next section of my review… the bedrooms!
There are lots of options of room sizes when booking accommodation, and they range from intimate to extremely grand.
I decided to book us into the Cosy bedroom, which looked fabulous, whilst not breaking the bank (do you see where I’m going with this… I know, I know) …although if I could I would have loved and adored to have stayed their large heritage rooms as they look fit for a princess. Next time, next time.
So our room…. It was Cosy by name…and cosy by nature! It was absolutely perfect for a weekend away in the city!
Whilst not being the hugest room i’ve ever stayed in, it ticked all of the boxes for me.
The room felt cosy, warm and intimate, which is exactly a reflection of The Ned hotel. The bed and fluffy pillows gave me and bump a fabulous nights sleep, the furnishings were very old school and vintage which I adored, and the bathroom with its underground heating and enormous range of Cowshed products were heavenly!
RESTAURANTS AT THE NED.
The restaurant options are absolutely endless at The Ned, and whilst I won’t delve into describing each one I want to tell you where we chose to dine over our weekend away to show just how dynamic and different each meal can be for you over a twenty four hour period!
Breakfast at Millies Lounge- This is honestly one of my favourite times of the day and I absolutely LIVE for hotel breakfasts. Well, I can confirm the Ned did not disappoint. You could choose to dine at many of their restaurants but I choose to book birthday breakfast at Millies Lounge where we feasted on delicious omelettes, light and fluffy pastries and fresh orange juice. Millies Lounge is so cosy and warm and one of the most deliciously furnished restaurants at The Ned. I could think of no better way to kick off a day then tucking into their menu whilst snuggled into their vintage and comfy armchairs.
Lunch at Zoblers Deli– After a morning of being pampered our appetite was building up, and we spent the afternoon feasting at Zoblers Deli. Oh I just adore Zoblers. The food resembles a New York deli which serves up delicious jewish food such as chicken soup latkes and salt beef sandwiches. Heaven on a plate! Ive been to Zoblers many a time with family and friends and can confirm that you will not eat more delicious chips in your whole entire life.
Dinner at Cecconis- The birthday meal of dreams! Cecconis is my favourite restaurant in The Ned. The food alone is divine and is pure Italian at its best. The setting is romantic, intimate and so dreamy, and the atmosphere is electric. We dined whilst a jazz band performed the most stunning music next to the restaurant, and there was one magical moment where the whole of The Ned was singling Etta James ‘At Last’ out loud and I was overcome with happiness and emotion.
SUMMARY OF THE NED HOTEL
So there we have it, our whirlwind of a weekend at the magical Ned, and what could potentially be the last time away just the two of us for quite some time.
Did it live up to expectations? More than you could ever know.
Would I stay again? In a heartbeat.
Will I spend the next year banging on about how amazing the secret vault is? Don’t ask such ridiculous questions. I mean duhhhhh.
Oh guys, I hope this blog has showed just how fun and fantastic staying in a hotel in London can be, especially for those of us who usually take the city for granted.
Ive now caught the London bug and would love to do one special staycation in the city each year as a new thing to add to my bucket list!
Tell me, have you ever done a staycation? And if not what is your dream London hotel to stay at? One things for sure… if you stay at The Ned, you will have the best weekend of your life!
Thanks so much as always for reading, you guys are the absolute best!
Oh before I forget, here are some ‘Ned insider tips’ especially from me to you….
- This hotel isn’t cheap. I booked our room two months advance and got a wonderful deal via their website experience page!!!
- For any pregnant mummies to be… you can ask the reception if you can swap the Cowshed range in your bathroom to their maternity products which is totally worth doing because they are divineeee.
- Even if you are a hotel guest don’t assume you will get a table at any of their restaurants so always book in advance! It gets seriously busy over the weekend.. even at breakfast!
- If your dining at Cecconis… get the tagliatelle bolognese. Obvs.
If you enjoyed this post you can read my other hotel reviews here: