Top 5 London members clubs
Members-only clubs have been a staple of the London social scene for decades. They’ve evolved from sexist, men-only institutions to hubs of creativity where you’ll spy anyone from popstars to the editor of your favourite magazines. Read our run down of the cream of the crop and get applying for those memberships to secure yourself as one of London’s social elite.
A real London institution, the Groucho club started in the 1980s. Having dipped in popularity in the noughties, Groucho has seen a resurgence in members in recent years. Started as a response to the stuffy gentleman’s clubs of the time, Groucho focuses on the creative industries. It asks of its potential members ‘what has this person achieved?’, and ‘would you like to have a drink with them?’
Part of the hugely successful Soho House Group, Shoreditch House is the edgier and much more fun little sister to the flagship Soho House on Dean Street. It has the usual amenities one would expect from a members club; a spa, swanky bedrooms and a strict policy; but what makes Shoreditch House so special is the secret rooftop swimming pool. Open all day every day, it makes for an amazing place to catch the rays in the summer, and a sickly sweet venue for poolside drinks in the evenings.
The Arts Club
The long history of The Arts Club enables it to situate itself as one of the more traditional members clubs. Less edgy than the Soho House Group, expect formal dining and far less debauchery. The club does of course live up to its name; this is the place to go to see incredible pieces of art that you won’t spy in any gallery.
The Club at the Ivy
Opened in 2008, this is a baby in the world of London’s members clubs. Housed above the famous restaurant, the club is pretty much an extension of the original. An art deco aesthetic flows throughout, with good food, good drinks, and better members. This is a club for those seeking private, quiet dinners, not for those after Harry Styles’ phone number.
The Blacks Club is another club boasting hundreds of years of history. Opened in 1764 as a rebuttal to the super serious White’s Club, it had a reputation for taking the ‘black sheep’ of society resulting in a bohemian and relaxed vibe. Now it’s a little smarter, housed in a Georgian townhouse in Soho there is nothing bohemian about the atmosphere anymore. Though it’s the only dog friendly club on this list, so bring your pooch along in case the company fails!