The City club where it pays to be a member

LONDON is the world’s leader when it comes to private members’ clubs. Maybe it’s because we’ve all been scarred by sticky floors and suffocating crowds at some point in our lives, or maybe it’s because we hate being kicked out at 11pm. Whatever it is, private is how we roll, and nowhere does this stand to benefit you more than the City, where networking is oxygen and the pubs are often too noisy for productive chat .

Eight Bank (pictured) has taken a back seat since the launch of its flashier, above-ground sister Eight Moorgate, but – buried under an alley a stone’s throw from Bank – it’s the truer banker’s den.

Having tried to compete with the flashier likes of Shoreditch House, Eight Bank – which supplies pool tables, a cinema and art exhibitions where Moorgate has dining rooms, a liibrary, a tailor and fine views – is returning to its roots and adding an invigorated City focus.

Networking has been given a facelift with a panel of experts who are being cultivated to post articles on the website and organise talks. Among them are Michael Hayman, Chairman of Coutts Entrepreneurs, Christina Ioannidis, author of Your Loss: How to Win Back Your Female Talent and City A.M’s very own Going Out columnist Tim Badham, founder of Innerplace, the nightlife concierge company with a big client base. Membership of Eight is £800 per year; by recommendation (www.eightclub.co.uk).

Another hidden gem – albeit just outside the City – is Crazy Bear in Covent Garden (www.crazybeargroup.co.uk). I paid a visit this weekend, not having known of its existence, and was startled by the gilded opulence of the interior. It’s just the kind of place to go to impress your clients in privacy before a night out. And finally, Battery in?Canary Wharf will be worth some attention, too, when it opens in May.