The Ned, a 252-room hotel, spa, gym and private members club with 10 restaurants, officially began a staged re-opening of the historic space in Bank on July 4. Staff at the Ned, which is set in the enormous former Midland Bank in the heart of the City, spent weeks planning a detailed re-opening of its rooftop restaurant and Vault Bar – both private members’ spaces – plus three of its main floor public restaurants – Cecconi’s, Millie’s Lounge and Kaia.
The rooftop has had perspex screens installed between its sunbeds, with screens also placed around some of the booth seating in Millie’s to ensure visitors are protected. All bar and restaurant spaces are table service only and must be booked in advance, with some furniture removed to ensure enough distance is maintained between guests. Diners at any of the restaurants can read menus on their phones or tablet devices via QR code and no cash is accepted.
Much of the ground floor, which is fully open to the public, is now operating with a one-way system, with guests asked to enter via the main doors on Poultry and exit through doors on Princes Street. Staff have to wear PPE, and guests will be asked to hand sanitise on arrival and throughout their stay. The main floor is also cleaned every night with electrostatic sanitizing guns.
All 252 rooms were opened on July 4. Inside, mini bars are sanitised and sealed to prove no one else has had access to the facility, with bottles of Cowshed hand sanitizer provided in the rooms. The television can be operated via phone or tablet. Guests can text housekeeping or other hotel to request items are brought to the room, make bookings or for any other requests so they don’t need to leave the room or use the telephone.
The Ned Club Spa opens today (July 20) for the first time in four months, with all spa services other than facial treatments on offer. The gym and pool is re-opening this Saturday in line with government guidance. Sunday will mark the re-opening of the Ned’s Sunday Feast – an all you can eat buffet with lobster, oysters, and roast lunches – plus a cheese and dessert bar. Screens will be installed around the food displays so diners can view what they want and the put in an order with a server. The feast costs £60 for as much food as you can eat and a glass of prosecco, or £130 for unlimited Champagne.
Gareth Banner, Managing Director of The Ned, said staff had been working since March 20, when the space closed, to be ready to welcome guests again.
He said a lot of effort had been put in to ensuring there had been “subtle but effective measures installed throughout.”
He said: “We were doing a lot of the sanitising and cleaning measures before but we have amped them up and made them more obvious. It is all about making guests feel safe.”
About the Sunday Feasts, he added: “I was a bit sceptical about when the Sunday Feasts would be able to open. They are a real signature offering for us and its proof that you can do things when you put your mind to it.”
Meanwhile, seven Soho Houses in London opened on July 4, with Shoreditch House opening last week after a refurb. All members must book to visit a house in advance via the Soho House app and can only bring one guest – down from three usually – and their details must be registered before arrival.
Tables have been moved throughout all of the houses to maintain social distancing, and all spaces are table service only. Staff will wear PPE, cleaning measures have been increased throughout the day and hand sanitiser stations put in place throughout the clubs.
Members have been given credit for the cost of their membership while the clubs weren’t open to use in the houses or to shop at Soho Home.
The group’s two London new openings – Soho Works and 180 House – are still going ahead. Soho Works, a workspace in Redchurch Street, opened earlier this month. 180 House, a new two-floor members club, is set to open by the end of the month.