Home Estate Planning Square Mile and Me: Gareth Banner

Square Mile and Me: Gareth Banner

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Each week we ask a City figure to take a trip down memory lane. Today, Gareth Banner, managing director at The Ned, talks history and hospitality in the Square Mile.

What was your first job?

My first job was a paper round. I delivered the (incredibly heavy) weekend papers around the Wentworth Estate in Surrey. I don’t know what was harder, getting up at 6am or having to drag myself up the vast driveways but it was nice to know I was bringing the news to the doors of people like Nick Faldo and Bruce Forsythe.  

What was your first role in hospitality?

Like many in hospitality, I started working in the kitchen of a pub when I was 17. It was cramped, busy and extremely hot but the food was excellent and I was earning a handsome £7 an hour! It really ignited my passion for the industry. 

When did you know you wanted to build a career in your sector?

After working in the pub, I decided to make a last minute change in my course at university to hospitality and business management. This gave me the opportunity to spend a year working for Marriott International in America. It was an internship that involved cross training in various departments which was great exposure and really opened my eyes to the business of hospitality. The lessons I learnt during that time have always served me well throughout my career. 

What’s one thing you love about the City? 

I think the City of London is so handsome. There is so much great architecture and history throughout and much of it remains underappreciated. Even though there are more people visiting now than ever before, there are still many undiscovered landmarks and historical facts that give the City its identity. 

I especially love that the origins of The Ned London are from a bygone era but we’ve been able to re-purpose the building in a way that many people today don’t realise that it wasn’t always designed to be a hotel. 

And one thing you would change?

I’d allow black cabs to pass through Bank junction without the current restrictions that have been imposed. We have to make the City as accessible as possible which sadly is not currently the case. 

And any City faux pas? 

Amazingly, none that I’m aware of at this moment. However, I will say there are many City customs and traditions that take a bit of getting used to. I’ve enjoyed taking time to understand what the livery companies do as well as the role of the Lord Mayor.

What’s been your proudest moment?

Being a ‘dad’ to my two daughters is the proudest job title I could have. 

And who do you look up to?

I’m fascinated by creators and adventurers who set out to be the first to achieve something that many doubted was possible or had even thought of. 

Are you optimistic for the year ahead?

Overall I am and in many ways, I have a duty to be positive given my leadership responsibilities. 

We’re going for dinner, and you’re picking – where are we going?

We’re going to Lutyens Grill at The Ned London for a ‘four hands dinner’. We’re really excited about The Rare Tour which is a residency/takeover happening from 19-22 February with El Capricho from Leon in Spain. Family run, the restaurant has been ranked the fifth best steakhouse in the world and the food their farmhouse produce is in a different league to anything I’ve tasted before. 

And if we’re grabbing a drink after work? 

I’ll take you to 🔶🟥🔵 (A bar with shapes for a name) on the border of Hoxton and Haggerston. 

And where might we find you at the weekend?

Most weekends I can be found playing taxi driver and ferrying my girls around. I do make an effort to try to get out on my bike with friends for a hard ride around London’s parks. 

You’ve got a well-deserved two weeks off. Where are you going?

Anywhere by the water. Nothing is more relaxing to me than staring out to sea or across the lakes. 


Favourite book?

I Know You Got Soul by Jeremy Clarkson. 

Favourite film/series?

Band of Brothers – few series are worth watching more than once but this certainly is. 

Favourite artist?

The Connor Brothers. I think their work is so witty. 

Favourite place in London?

Royal Albert Hall

Cocktail order?

Picante de la casa.

Coffee order?

Surprisingly for someone who works in hospitality, I don’t drink coffee.

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