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Designed by Sir Edwin (‘Ned’) Lutyens in the 1920s, the former Midland Bank’s HQ is now London’s most hyped hotel, and The Nickel Bar occupies part of its dimly lit lobby in the resplendent pillared banking hall. Jazz standards are belted out by musicians from a focal bandstand that has thus far also attracted Tinie Tempah, Gary Barlow and Paloma Faith. Mercifully, the acoustics permit easy conversation at the bar, while seated on leather high stools. Bourbons and rye whiskies lead a short list of ‘strong drinks’ at not too sobering prices. Midnight Old Fashioned (Bulleit bourbon, coffee reduction and Brazilian banana eau de vie) hits the spot. So too, a Hendricks gin and Fernet root beer Mule in a tin mug. Off-menu classics are confidently dispatched and nutritious cold-pressed juice combos abound. Snacks are limited to pretzels – though The Ned harbours half a dozen restaurants nearby.
020 3828 2000
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