In recent times, London has witnessed a renaissance of the private members’ club, updated dramatically from traditional gentlemans’ clubs, yet retaining much of their DNA.
This Spring, Robin Birley (of Annabel’s stock) opened 5 Hertford Street in Shepherd’s Market, a beautiful bordeaux-coloured 23,000 square foot building featuring elegant dining rooms, oyster bar, terrace courtyard, cigar shop and dimly-lit dancing in the basement nightclub Loulou’s. Next door on Queen Street, the arts and media oriented Soho House Group have taken their first foray into London’s priciest neighbourhood with Little House Mayfair. This bijou offering evokes the relaxed intimacy of its elder and larger siblings with atmosphere of a welcoming private country house.
Berkeley Square mainstay Morton’s is completely refurbishing its Night Lounge with erstwhile Boujis-ites Carlo Carello and Jake Parkinson-Smith working their South Ken magic in Mayfair. The rebranded club, named 2&8, will open on the 27 September, with a grand launch party to be held across the road in Berkeley Square. On Old Park Lane, the Cottontail Lounge is closing to become Baroque at The Playboy Casino, which will be overseen by Gerry Calabrese from the Hoxton Pony, son of famed mixologist Salvatore, whose cocktail lounge is right next door. Old-world touches including Champagne towers and Louis XIV chairs will set the scene for a live in-house band and resident DJ Adam Ficek of Babyshambles. In Soho, The Century Club was recently refurbed by the new owners The Rushmore Group (of Milk & Honey and The Player fame) and remains one of Shaftesbury Avenue’s best kept secrets, catering to the media set with four floors and featuring a tap room, cocktail bar, events spaces and dining room.
Tim Badham is the founder of Innerplace, London’s leading entertainment concierge service. www.innerplace.co.uk.