Joining an exclusive private members’ club is a touch of luxury living at its best – but which club is the right one for you? Synonymous with corporate socialising and class – perhaps even as a venue for Christmas socials for the more employee focused companies alongside a corporate team building helicopter ride – the members club can get you next to some of the movers and shakers of the London business scene.
Read on for a guide to London’s most exclusive members’ clubs.
London members’ clubs for the artistic
The Groucho Club
Located at 45 Dean Street in the heart of Soho and boasting ‘an initiation ceremony that would make a Ninja faint’, The Groucho Club has been a watering hole for artists and mavericks since 1985. The venue is renowned for its stylish contemporary bars and restaurants as well as its extensive contemporary art collection.
The Groucho Club was originally the brainchild of a group of publishers, writers and agents and remains true to its roots, admitting only those who have distinguished themselves in the creative industries including arts, publishing, film, music and advertising.
Membership to The Groucho Club costs an annual £1,900 for residents of London. Applications need to be proposed by a current member and seconded by another current member or senior officer of the club.
London members’ clubs for those who love a luxury lifestyle
Located at 19, 20 and 21 Portman Square in Marylebone, Home House was commissioned as a ‘Pavillion’ for enjoyment and entertainment by the Countess of Home in 1773. Its aesthetic and atmosphere are designed to reflect the exquisite style of the 18th century while maintaining a vibrant modernity.
Membership to Home House costs £1,275 annually for those under the age of 35 and £1,940 for anyone older than 35. The club offers its chosen few full use of its many facilities in addition to discounted access to some of London’s most prestigious spas, salons, sports clubs and fitness destinations.
Applicants require two current members to represent them, after which they are invited to the club. Here the Membership Committee will take them on a tour and enquire about their social interests, lifestyle and general hobbies.
London members’ clubs for the adventurous
South Kensington Club
Located at 38-42 Harrington Road in South Kensington, this elegant club was designed as a health and fitness refuge for those passionate about the spirit of adventure and exploration.
Members participate in expeditions, the training for which is provided by specialist instructors at the club and the specifics of which are a closely guarded secret. They can also attend lectures by one of the pivotal figures of the club – arctic explorer Christina Franco.
The South Kensington Club also houses beautiful spa, bathhouse and gym facilities for members as well as restaurants and sitting rooms for those who need a rest and some refreshments after their adventures.
With an annual membership fee of £3,500, or £2,736 for applicants under the age of 30,
The South Kensington Club values who its members are, rather than who they know. As such, an applicant requires no sponsors and need only arrange a visit to the club to meet the committee.
London members’ clubs for globetrotters
The oeuvre of exclusive clubs that make up Soho House are scattered across the globe, with locations in Hollywood, New York, Chicago, Berlin, Istanbul and of course Soho, the original ‘House’.
Members require an artistic soul and are mostly drawn from the creative industries.
Aspiring members of Soho House London should apply to their closest club but those who love to travel and live in cities that lack Houses can apply for a Cities without Houses membership, which gives them access to all Soho House clubs and venues around the globe.
An annual membership to the your local Soho House costs £1,000, or £500 for those under the age of 27. The Cities without Houses membership costs £1,650 annually. Applicants must be nominated by two current Soho House members.
London members’ clubs for true VIPs
5 Hertford Street
Located in Shepherd Market, Mayfair, 5 Hertford Street is prized by the few allowed through its unmarked entrance.
5 Hertford Street boasts intimate private dining rooms where members can enjoy a gin fizz and one of the club’s famous selection of cigars and where – in true British style – dogs are permitted.
Members can sit and marvel at the interior design – an English bohemian meets Moulin Rouge aesthetic – which is the creation of award-winning Turkish designer Rifat Özbek. Or they can descend to Loulou’s, one of the most exclusive nightclubs in London and a favourite of Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Eugenie.
Membership is by invitation only and members receive the annual fee only upon acceptance; 5 Hertford Street have declined to make the information public.