The ace of clubs

Written on 26 May 2015 by Alistair Boscawen in London

London is known for its nightlife, but there are some experiences money simply cannot buy. Most of London’s top private members’ clubs require recommendations if you wish to attend regularly.  

Here are five of London’s top clubs where it pays to know a member…



Arguably the most well-known club in London, Annabel’s relocated from its original home under the Clermont Club Casino in Berkley Square to a larger seven-floor premises just a few doors away earlier this year.

But it still provides entertainment for royalty, rockstars and A-listers from the world of sport and screen. And that’s because the atmosphere and facilities remain top drawer. From the bar, restaurant and nightclub to the private dining room with butler and over-the-top décor, it’s no wonder Annabel’s has a global reputation that dates back more than five decades.

But exclusivity has a price. Would-be members must be proposed and seconded by two existing members and then stump up £1000 for senior membership. The cost of junior membership for 18 to 30-year-olds is a snip at £250.

Soho House

This is London’s premier media club and is owned by television presenter Kirsty Young’s husband, businessman Nick Jones. It’s in the heart of bustling Soho and is a three-level sanctuary spread across four floors. You’ll find a restaurant, bar, event spaces and even a cinema here. The atmosphere is relaxed and there’s even a rooftop terrace is you want to get some fresh air in summer. Meanwhile, sister club Shoreditch House has a swimming pool on the roof.

To gain access to every venue in the group, would-be members must be nominated by two existing members before paying an annual fee of £1,400 plus a £200 registration fee. The good news is there are discounts available to anybody aged under 27.

The Groucho

Another venue to find media and creative types, The Groucho in Dean Street, Soho, counts A-list celebrities Noel Gallagher, Melvyn Bragg, Rachel Weisz, Lily Allen and Stephen Fry among its members. And it’s easy to understand why. Facilities on offer include three bars, two restaurants, 20 bedrooms, a snooker room and four event rooms available for hire.

To gain membership, the club says you should preferably work in the arts and media or fit its ‘maverick’ ethos. Applicants also need to be proposed and seconded by current members in addition to paying £850 plus a £250 registration fee. Like most private members’ clubs, discounts are available for anybody aged under 30.

One Alfred Place

This is located in Bloomsbury and is all about working and playing hard. The club advertises itself as the place where business can be done in style. Unlike other clubs, it is a hive of activity during working hours thanks to its 10,000 square feet of space that is flooded with natural daylight plus business facilities.

After-hours facilities include fine dining, luxury bars with bespoke furnishing and contemporary artwork plus lockers and showers.

Membership, however, is strictly limited and the club does not advertise its costs. However, do not expect to pay less than £1,500 per year.

No. 5 Cavendish Square

Set on a leafy Victorian square in a townhouse that was once the Spanish embassy, No. 5 Cavendish Square is home to a lively a club, restaurant and bar plus members can also access a library and a terrace overlooking London.

But the good news is you don’t have to be a member. Stay in one of the opulent boudoir-style suites and this ultimate party venue is yours for the night.

Alistair Boscawen

Alistair has 32 years’ experience as an estate agent, starting in the country house department of one of London’s main international agencies before moving to the Knightsbridge house department of the same agency and learning the difference in values between freehold, long lease and short lease houses in Knightsbridge, Belgravia, Chelsea and Mayfair.

All articles by Alistair Boscawen


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