Sunday 31 July 2022

Restaurant review - Lutyens Grill, The Ned, London

Since having our daughter the only time my husband and I seem to go out for a meal by ourselves is a birthday or anniversary, and we haven’t even managed that most of the time for the past few years, thanks to covid and limitations on free babysitting.

We managed to celebrate our first anniversary after the birth of our daughter (pre-pandemic) in style, going into London to dine at the Ned, a swanky private members club (with restaurants and bars that are open to the public) near Bank.

It’s also a hotel, but the rooms are a little out of our price range (!) at over £300 for the smallest ‘crash pad’ room going up to over £2,000 a night for their most luxurious suite. They also have a pool, spa, various restaurants, a jazz and cabaret club and more.

After opening in 2017 in the historic 1920/ building designed by Sir Edwin - ‘Ned’ - Lutyens that was the headquarters of Midland Bank, the Ned quickly became known as a celebrity haunt. It probably helped that the Ned was set up by one of the founders of Soho House - and it’s not often you get the chance to visit somewhere like that unless you are a member but the restaurants in the Ned are open to the public too. There is an Italian called Cecconi’s, the Nickel bar, which has American staples and cocktails, an American diner called Electric, Malibu Kitchen which has healthy Californian food and smoothies, Asia Pacific-inspired restaurant Kaia, Lutyens Grill which serves steaks and fish and the Parlour which is a jazz and cabaret bar.

I was tempted by most of them and knew my husband would prefer either steak or the American diner, but the latter didn’t seem posh enough for an anniversary meal so I booked Lutyens, and it didn’t disappoint.

The building itself is impressive and we walked through the bar to get to Lutyens - It looked really lively and vibrant. Lutyens itself was a lot quieter and much more traditional in feel with banquette sofas and wood-panelled walls. It used to be the bank manager’s office when this was the Midland Bank. The trolley service where meat is brought alongside your table to be carved adds to the old school - and dare I say it slightly stuffy - feel.

The food was top notch - I had a steak with a side of Mac and cheese and ‘happy anniversary’ was written on the plate with our dessert. It was definitely a restaurant to try but the prices were steep - more expensive than Hawksmoor, which is also a premium steak restaurant in central London, and one which overall we prefer. But I’d still be keen to go back and try some of the other restaurants in the Ned - and if I won the lottery stay in the hotel as well!

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