Hugo Campbell-Davys tours London’s latest private members’ clubs
12 Hay Hill, W1
Offering luxury serviced offices and members’ business facilities, 12 Hay Hill is capitalising on London’s elite position in international business and commerce. The club’s founders’ vision is to attract a new community of international business people who are looking to establish both a physical presence in Mayfair and to build an exceptional network of business contacts. The club also acts as a hub for like-minded entrepreneurs and small businesses seeking high-end serviced offices and a private social environment.
In addition to impressive offices and private meeting rooms, the club features a number of dining facilities run by the acclaimed Michelin-starred chef Shaun Rankin. Be it in the downstairs bar and bistro, in the ground floor dining room or on the fabulous roof-terrace overlooking Berkeley Square, 12 Hay Hill guarantees culinary excellence on every level.
For those not wishing to take a permanent office at 12 Hay Hill, individual memberships are available and provide members with full access to the club’s stylish business lounges and dining areas.
Mark’s Club, W1
Originally opened in 1972 by the doyen and tastemaker Mark Birley, Mark’s Club was later purchased by Richard Caring (along with Annabel’s, George and Harry’s Bar). Now, after seven years of ownership, the club is set for a shake up, as Caring has teamed up with the well-known entrepreneur Peter Dubens (founder of London-based Oakley Capital) and financier Charles Price (son of a former US ambassador). They have big plans to reinvent the place, which has just opened following a refurbishment by the world-renowned Paris-based designer Tino Zervudachi (who counts Mick Jagger and Sir Evelyn de Rothschild as clients), this forthcoming reiteration of this iconic destination is set to become one of the most exclusive – and talked about – serious networking clubs in London.
Both businessmen have been behind several high-end businesses including KX, the exclusive gym in South Kensington, and – more recently – the stylish Dover Street restaurant Chucs Bar & Grill (with the PR maven Charles Finch). They also formerly backed Tom Aikens.
NeueHouse London, WC2
Styled as a “private work collective”, the New York members’ club NeueHouse has announced that it will open in spring 2016 in London’s historic Art Deco Adelphi Building in Covent Garden. This follows the launch of a Los Angeles outpost at the landmark 1938 CBS Radio Building.
NeueHouse debuted in 2013 in New York’s Madison Square district and like the original, the London venture – their first location outside the US – will be designed in collaboration between NeueHouse Design Studio and internationally recognised architect David Rockwell.
The club, which provides a “workspace for creative people and entrepreneurs as well as events”, requires the membership to be split evenly between men and women and does not advertise. It, instead, attracts members from “film, fashion, design, publishing and the arts” by word of mouth.
Facilities in the two-storey building will include private studios, a screening room, broadcast facilities, event spaces and private dining rooms. Interestingly the Adelphi Building is now also home to another US import – the first overseas restaurant of the iconic American steakhouse Smith & Wollensky.
Devonshire Square Club, EC2M
“Bon viveur” Brian Clivaz is becoming quite a patron of the new wave of private members’ clubs. He was behind Home House and the Dover Street Arts Club and was also the co-founder of a club at L’Escargot and the ‘Upstairs Club’. Now, he has his eyes on an exciting new venture: A members’ club in the Square Mile.
Devonshire Square Club is set to comprise a club lounge, bars, a 120-cover brasserie, private dining rooms, a library with screening room and a hotel with 68 bedrooms. An adjacent 18th century townhouse will be home to the club’s spa and gym. The Grade II listed Regency six-storey site, is located in the heart of the City of London, an area traditionally considered the financial hub of the country but one which has seen dramatic transformation over the last 5 years. The new outpost of Soho House – in the former Midland Bank building – is also opening nearby.
Devonshire Square is a modern business estate with a unique historical past that is made-up of a group of 18th-century buildings that were once the warehouses of the East India Company. The reconfigured buildings stand around a central courtyard with plenty of destination restaurants and alfresco dining options. An outpost of the chicken and steak Hixter restaurant from Mark Hix and the award-winning Indian restaurant Cinnamon Kitchen are amongst the offerings.
With works underway, completion is due summer 2016 and of the club Clivaz commented: “The Devonshire Square Club will be the focal point where those with Mayfair style and glamour meet East End chic. The club will undoubtedly attract financiers and city professionals but will also be a natural haven for creative executives from Shoreditch and Hoxton. The club will offer a sophisticated atmosphere in which to conduct business, relax and entertain”.
Ten Trinity Square, EC3N
This iconic London landmark building and its neo-classical interiors have been meticulously restored by a team of experts commissioned by developers the Reignwood Group (who also recently purchased Wentworth Golf Club). Built in the 1920s, Ten Trinity Square is set to house a Four Seasons Hotel – with 98 guestroom and suites many with breathtaking views of the Thames – as well as 41 private residences, a private members’ club, two restaurants and a spa.
The private members’ club at Ten Trinity Square, located in the original wood-paneled executive offices of the building, will offer members exclusive meeting rooms, a business centre, a screening room, a cigar lounge and access to a rather grand sounding ‘Château Latour room’.
For a different type of clubby experience head to the South Kensington Club, an exclusive fitness and lifestyle club. The clubs’ bathhouse extends into Queensberry Mews, the first London home and studio of the artist Francis Bacon.
SKC sets out to provide unparalleled fitness and well-being facilities, including Russian banyas and Turkish hammams, London’s only saltwater watsu pool (a uniquely therapeutic experience combining warm water and Shiatsu massage), well-being retreats, a state-of-the-art gym, private training studios (including hot yoga and pilates) and treatment rooms. There is an on-site restaurant and a café bar, Iddu, that both focus on providing healthy Mediterranean dishes.
Membership includes special access to the Royal Parks and the provision of activities such as rowing, tennis and swimming. The club also has a cultural events programme for members that includes educational workshops, lectures and art events drawing upon local influences and residents.
Hugo Campbell-Davys is the founder of Urbanologie, a luxury lifestyle global destination guide designed to keep members in the know with up-to-the-minute insider news and exclusive content on all of the latest restaurants, bars, pop-ups, clubs and hotel openings. To join, click here.
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