SquareMeal Review of The Nickel Bar at the Ned
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.
About The Nickel Bar at the Ned
The Nickel Bar is one of a handful of drinking dens at The Ned but is the only one that is open to the general public and non-guests. The Nickel Bar is a compact space which is often rammed with the suited and booted folk of the City, and the bar also benefits from being placed right beside The Nickel Stage.
This stage offers daily live entertainment in the form of musicians, singers and bands, ranging from jazz trios which speak to The Ned’s 1930s heritage to ‘New Music Mondays’, which showcases emerging artists. As for the bar itself, you can expect a menu of much-loved staple American cocktails alongside all the rest of the classics, which are served from morning through to the early hours.
There is a short menu of food available at The Nickel Bar too, which can be enjoyed on a stool at the bar or in one of the cosy two-person booths which flank the borders of the space. At breakfast, you will find eggs any style and a full English, as well as more contemporary options including smashed avocado on toast. There is also coffee from Origin Coffee Roasters, while guests looking to start the day with virtuous intent can pick from a selection of cold-pressed juices.
Later in the day, the breakfast menu is swapped out for a selection of light bites and lunchtime meals – think a bowl of mac ‘n’ cheese or a chicken Caesar salad, while those with bigger appetites can tuck into a cheeseburger or classic fish and chips.
On Saturdays, The Nickel Bar offers brunch from 12-5pm, which features the US-leaning likes of fried chicken and waffles, plus stacks of pancakes drizzled with maple butter and bacon. You can make things boozy too, by adding the likes of a Miami Mule.