Oh, The Ned. It’s the ultimate pin-up girl where post-work drinks are concerned and, despite opening in 2017, still oozes enough glamour and allure to fill boots of any size. Famed for being the “go-to” for any occasion, its gargantuan status roars across London and a step through its intimidatingly cool doors establishes whether those that have moved to the City are true “Londoners” or not.
The Grade-1 Listed building, located at 27 Poultry, houses a tapestry of restaurants, bars, and members-only areas, including a rooftop pool submerged in city views, – the stuff of dreams for any influencer. It’s a Soho House property that screams exclusivity despite its populated bars, and Gatsby vibes are a’plenty due to the skiffle bands, martini glasses and suits that greet you as you enter the former banking hall which overflows with character.
My visit circulated around the happenings of The Ned’s illusive underground, where lies the suave, sultry private members’ club. Night cap vibes bounce from the walls, as you stroll past plush seating areas and elegant interiors. The members’ club, which sits snug in the belly of the building, was once the Midland Bank strong room and, Gringotts like, it shows off a vast vault door and more than 3,000 original safe deposit boxes. The mind immediately casts to secret liaisons and, perhaps, dodgy dealings from the venues rich, historic, money-laden past.
In the depths of the members’ club treasure trove, those who secure membership can reap the rewards of The Vault bar, The Long Bar, The Parlour, The Kennels and The Snug. I, however, was belly-patting my way to The Dining Room; a decadent dream flourished with old-school Hollywood glamour including sage banquettes, mustard table lamps and white table cloths. Paintings adorn the walls, and decorative Renaissance-style wall art traverses the circumference of the space, in the form of hand-painted golden de Gournay wallpaper.
The Dining Room has just adapted its menu to reflect seasonal shifts, with a refresh that humours anyone fond of a British menu. Partnering with producers that include Kent-based Forager, and Paxton & Whitfield in Mayfair, the radius of the menu doesn’t venture away from Britain’s booming produce, with fish caught every morning from day boats in the North and Celtic seas.
It’s this attention to detail that makes The Dining Room’s menu sensational. Choose from a menu that frolics in freshness, with Isle of Wight tomatoes, Highland Wagyu and the likes on offer.
During my visit, the Cornish turbot with Chapel Down beurre blanc and Oscietra caviar made its debut on my palette. The divine catch slices off with ease and melts in the mouth as the caviar plays tastefully along. The beurre blanc is poured upon placing down and envelops the fish, allowing it stand like a structure surrounded by sea. Starter wasn’t necessary after tucking into some of the best bread I’ve had during my culinary ventures, which, might I add, was bathed in apple juice.
Following this, a summery dessert cleansed the tastebuds as Ardleigh beetroot ice cream with sheep’s yoghurt, raspberries and elderflower positioned itself in front of me. Nothing nods to summer more, in my eyes, than the mention of elderflower on a menu. It was refreshing and, whilst light, the flavours boomed prominence, leaving little else to do but sit back, full.
No stranger to beverage excellence, the larger than life waiting staff were quick to question cocktails. “For you Madame?” I was asked with no hesitation, opting for the Eastern Standard, a Soho House classic which is a real must, followed by a Picante which harks back to hangovers with its tequila-base!
For those keen to wine and dine, the excellent master sommelier Vincent Gasnier selects from a lively, locally-sourced new menu that includes a punchy organic Loire white from Saumur, amongst other varietals.
The Ned can be found at 27 Poultry, EC2R 8AJ, www.thened.com
You can find our members’ guide here