Question for you: In today’s world of co-working, remote offices and flexible work space, why would you consider joining a members’ club? The concept seems outmoded, right? Wrong.
Of course, there are some private clubs in the capital that are thoroughly crusty, but there are also plenty of intelligently conceived, purposeful clubs catering to the needs of modern, smart-living Londoners. They offer refined spaces that bring together likeminded individuals – both for work and play – and a level of service only matched by the very best hotels.
Flexible office spaces are all well and good, but they lack the comfort, privacy, and often the thinking space that a decent members’ club provides. Most of them don’t come with top- notch cocktail bars, either.
If you’re looking for a home from home, these perfect half-dozen clubs will suit a variety of tastes. But don’t just take our word for it. Far better to arrange a visit for yourself.
For creatives: Blacks Club
Think of Blacks as a discreet alternative to Soho House. It’s just a few doors down on Dean Street, and it plays host to a bar, lounge, snug, restaurant and events space. It prides itself on its Hogarthian looks, relaxed atmosphere and excellent drinks list. A haven for art lovers, with regular exhibitions, too.
For lounge lizards: Annabel’s
The bastion of 46 Berkeley Square has just had a £55m makeover. Due to reopen any day, it promises signature Birley Club sophistication on an epic scale. Expect four new restaurants, seven bars and a cigar salon, spread across four oors. You’ll never want to leave.
For wine lovers: 67 Pall Mall
Tucked away in old-school clubland, 67 Pall Mall differs from its neighbours in its dedication to wine appreciation. If you’re a wine buff looking to mingle with other aficionados, or just to quaff the rarities held in the club’s extensive cellar, you’ve found your second home.
For health nuts: South Kensington Club
London’s most sophisticated club is made for the health conscious. Founded by Luca Del Bono in 2014, it offers some of the most elevated wellness services in London. It’s best-known for it’s Slim Aarons-esque interiors, gym, fitness programme and juice bar. The bathhouse is exquisite, too, with an excellent banya, watsu pool and the hottest hammam in town.
For City slickers: The Devonshire Club
A stone’s throw from Liverpool Street, The Devonshire aims to ‘blur the lines between business and pleasure’. With 68 bedrooms, a brasserie, garden room, bar and gym, it does just that.
For smart thinkers: The House of St Barnabas
Appease your conscience with membership of this Grade I listed Georgian townhouse with space to work, relax, drink and eat. Its membership fees are used to fund an Employment Academy that enables homeless Londoners to find long-term, lasting employment.