In AD43, the outlying island of Britain was invaded by the Romans – whose foreign merchants and sailors introduced many new elements across this land.

Just four years later, they laid out a prosperous new outpost for the mighty Empire – a crossroads for culture, commerce, society and entertainment. At the very heart of it all was a sacred temple where all-male cultists held dramatic ceremonies of feasting, chanting and worship to a virile, bull-slaying young deity called Mithras.

Today, 20 feet below the City of London’s newest building – the £1 billion state-of-the-art HQ of media giant Bloomberg – lie the faithfully reconstructed remains of the Mithraeum. Eighteen hundred years since that heyday, Londonium remains as a centre of global influence – a flourishing, cosmopolitan metropolis. And, just the other side of the original Roman road of Watling Street, a 21st century place of worship takes on the mantle of celebrating extravagance, luxury and the good life.

With 252 bedrooms, nine restaurants and a private members’ club, The Ned is truly very special indeed...and, even as it approaches its first birthday it’s still very much the talk of London Town. Soho House’s vast hybrid flagship is the blockbuster sequel to their on-going series of exclusive clubs around the world. The five-star heritage hotel’s style honours the building’s original Champagne-soaked 1920/30s glamour married with Manhattan chic. Infinite devotion has been lavished upon every detail of this marble-clad contemporary temple of taste.

As I’m swept into this imposing building my jaw hits the shining floor and I catch my aghast expression in the multi-mirrored walls of the central Banking Hall. It’s a grey mid-afternoon outside on Poultry, but inside its a decadent technicolour whirlwind of flair mixology, the finest foods and full-on festivities that Jay Gatsby would thoroughly approve of. And, I’m told, this is no one-off – every day here feels like an occasion, mainly because it is and the staff make you feel like a million dollars – even if you already are.

It’s an urbane and gentlemanly sanctuary for creative types, perfect for a weekend in The (deserted) City. From the rooftop, you can marvel at London’s ever-changing skyline while enjoying a crisp cold one in the heated lap pool. Surrounded by its imposing neighbours– the Gherkin, Cheesegrater and Shard – Sir Edwin ‘Ned’ Lutyens’s Grade-1 listed 1924 piece (the former Midland Bank HQ) stands its ground in today’s suit-and-tie territory.

In the belly of this reborn beast of a building lurks Ned’s Club – a cosy basement bar in the bank’s original vault enclosed by a 20 tonne door – perfect for a serious lock-in! There are no windows or clocks, so time simply drifts away. But, after the best square meal in the square mile at British brasserie Millie’s Lounge, the ultimate nightcap destination has to be the Nickle Bar for a signature Nedgroni – a cheeky riff on the classic cocktail.

Retiring to my room, I’m delighted to find a bed as big as a boat with a hi-tech flat screen to match and a high-end mini bar capable of sinking an Armada.

Needless to say, every room is tastefully appointed with richly-patterned furnishings and vintage furniture.

The full complement of Cowshed’s natural product range is available to use in the walk-in rainforest shower or rock & roll, roll-top bath. I would advise to not forget your toothbrush, but even that minor detail is amply catered for - just like everything else.

After a perfect night’s sleep, I sit at the (you guessed it) marble counter in Jewish-style New York eatery Zobler’s Deli & Diner and indulge in one of life’s little pleasures – people watching with the morning papers.

Among the hustle and bustle of another unfolding week, I sit and soak up the atmosphere whilst enjoying a Wall Street-style caffeine and carbs combo readying me for the new week ahead.

One night at The Ned is nowhere near enough.

So, for a stress-free treat why not book a stay to get you back on track.

The facts:

WHERE: The Ned, 27 Poultry, London EC2R 8AJ

STAY: The 250 bedrooms range from intimate ‘crash pads’ to large-scale suites with a nod to 1920s glamour.

EAT: Eight restaurants sit amidst The Ned’s historic 3,000 square metre former banking hall, serving food from around the world, from traditional British to Venetian and Pan-Asian

BOOK: Go to or call 020 3828 2000.