London Club guide

Discussion in 'Officers' started by xinflurker, Jan 16, 2006.

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  1. Can anyone recommend a London club? The tea and biscuits type of club as opposed to the nudey girl ones. Obviously, I'm aware of the In & Out but I really want to find somewhere less formal. Any ideas?
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  2. Mate, go for the nudey girlie ones every time!
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  3. The Royal Over-Seas League - it has quite a bit of reciprocal membership both in the UK and abroad. It's often adverstised in the Spectator (I mention this as it can be difficult to get onto the sometimes quite lengthy waiting lists of the other well-known London clubs, and even then one will require referral; and from a purely financial aspect is quite reasonable). Beyond this Boodle's, Brooks', White's, Pratts', the Athaneum, the Travellers', the Savile, the Groucho, the Sloane...a good place to look (after the internet) is in The Gentlemen's Clubs of London. First published in 1979 by Macdonald and Jane's Publishers, London (Second edition published in 1984, Dorset Press, ISBN: 0-088029-023-4) - it's largely an historical and photgraphic record, but worth a look nonetheless.
  4. Depending upon how often you intend to use a London club, consider the Royal Scots Club. Membership is only £70 if you are serving or ex-service, and there are reciprocal arrangements with lots of London clubs, including the In and Out, the Rag, the Naval Club, RAF Club, St James Club and so on.
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    • Informative Informative x 1
  5. Since moving to its new home in St James' Square, the In & Out has become far less formal: some might say it has gone too far. Still a good club, though, with excellent facilities.

    Don't knock the formal side of clubs: they are also very good places to meet the right sort of people if you are ever looking for a job.
  6. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    It depends what you want it for. If you regularly need cheap-ish accomodation in London, I would say that the In & Out gives good value for money and is a very easy environment for someone from a military background to adapt to. Places like White's, Pratt's, Brooks', the Beefsteak and so on are not exactly stuffy, but each has its own unique atmosphere and they can be somewhat intimidating; they are also extraordinarily difficult to get memberships of; if you don't have a close family member or a number of good friends who are members, then forget it.

    At the hipper end of the scale, there are places like the Groucho (a repellent sh1te-hole) and Soho House, both of which are slightly ludicrous in their attempts to be cool and Soho House is very sniffy about who gets to be a member.

    At the end of the day, membership of the better clubs costs a lot of money. I gave up mine because I found that I rarely used it for anything other than the occasional quick evening drink and it didn't seem worth paying £350 a year, or thereabouts, to be able to do it, especially as the prices weren't that much lower than a London pub.
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  7. Thanks Chaps,
    I'll get onto the intenet and take a look. Reason I mentioned somewhere less formal is I meet a lot 'trendy' people and they would feel a bit out of place in the typical gentlemans club. Mind you, anything is better than Starbucks!
  8. I've been a member of the In & Out for 11 years and have seen it change. The old "92" days were stuffy and formal as the Sec was a pompous old duffer who has gone into hibernation accross the square at the Rag (and that is a place really full of old duffers). The first couple of years after the move to No 4 it went very "New Labour" with the recruitment drives and it was a ghastly place; service awful, food worse, politicking and in-fighting amongst some of the management and membership. That all seems to have settled and the food has been outsourced and improved greatly, as has the service. The bedrooms still need some investment, but the function rooms are excellent and the bars are good. The mix of membership also means that you don't have to get stuck with someone talking war stories at the bar, but it also means that it doesn't quite have the stalwart mil feel the Rag does. In terms of membership it can be reasonable VFM if you use it regularly, especially the gym. If you are a subbie then £25 a year is less than a night out.
  9. One Club that hasn't been mentioned so far is The Lansdowne, just off Berkeley Square. Very reasonable prices, reasonable gym facilities, good pool etc along with a fantastic dining room and all the usual pleasures of a London club. One of the best things about it from my point of view is the large numbers of young members and almost even split in the sexes. Discounts to serving forces.

    I decided very early on, when looking for a club, that I didn't want to join a military one as I spent every other minute of every day with you lot and wanted to be able to get away from that side of life on occasion!!
  10. Understand your point there Carpe Diem,
    I think it is important to look forwards and not backwards when leaving.
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  12. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

  13. Just seen their website, looks like exactly the kind of limp wristed, Gaurdian reading, wet liberal left wing establishment that I'm after! It's all velvet trousers and michelob ultra from here!
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  14. I resemble that remark...I would horsewhip you on the steps of your club but if you are happy to be identified as a member of that bloody awful pub then shame is not an issue for you...
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  15. The Overseas is fine and has nice views from the downstairs dining room but is a tad scruffy. If you don't mind city boys then anyone can join the London Capital Club. It's quaite naice in a mamonocractic sort of way and I made it my club in 1999 / 2000. The fees then were around £900 a year so it ain't cheap but the staff and facilities are excellent and after 8pm it's cosy and quiet. They also have truly fantastic reciprocity with clubs abroad so if you travel to Africa or the Near / Far East it's a very useful membership card. Only caveat is that it's not in the least military - lots of chalk-stripe suits and wannabee sloanes talking telephone number bonuses which if you're still in might not make for happy listening!