You can tell Soho House is the most exclusive members club in the world by the sheer amount of people in the pool on any given Saturday. A veritable “who’s who” of “who the hell is thats”, the pool area at Soho House White City is a petri dish of minor influencers, major players and obsolete waterborne illnesses. Here’s how to get the most out of your allotted three cubic feet of space.
1. Smoke in sunglasses
Smoking is cool, and sunglasses are cool, and both of them imply you’re hungover, which is really cool. Extra points if the cigarettes still have branding on them (which implies you’ve just been on holiday outside the EU), and if the sunglasses look like they belong to either a retired PSHCE teacher or a Canadian serial killer.
2. Sit on a towel
Sure, chairs are nice and sofas are comfortable. But have you ever tried sitting on a thin, damp towel on some hard concrete in the blazing sun? Nothing quite like it, my friend. Sit cross-legged like a six year old until your knees lock up, or crouch in a military-grade stress position while a graphic designer flicks ash on your hair, or lean back awkwardly on one elbow like you’re trying to seduce a waiter — the choice is yours.
3. Stand in the water
Everyone knows that the pool at Soho House isn’t a swimming pool, it’s a standing pool. Standing is better than swimming because it means you can wear sunglasses instead of goggles, and anyway, no-one can see your spectacular abs when you’re doing breast stroke.
(Just remember to laugh uproariously every few minutes at the conversation happening on the pool’s edge so people know you’re with a bigger group — otherwise you’re just a guy standing quietly on his own in three feet of tepid water.)
4. Pretend to work
Work’s not work unless it’s incredibly inconvenient, and there’s nothing better to get you in a state of flow than 200 decibels of Balearic house music and a nearby photo shoot involving an improbably high-waisted bikini.
That one email isn’t going to send itself, and your mother would be so upset if she knew you were only using your MacBook Air to put things in your basket at Mr Porter without buying them.
5. Dress like an extra from Call Me By Your Name
Nothing says long weekend like a pair of short shorts, and a shirt’s not a shirt unless it’s big enough for two. Give your fellow pool guests the old three button salute in an oversized camp collar number this Sunday, and remember — you should never be shy of a little inner thigh. Suggested accessories: Sony Walkman, GCSE in Italian, six negronis, inappropriate toy boy.
6. Read up on legionnaires’ disease
Always good to be on nodding terms with the enemy, should things get vomit-y on some quiet bank holiday Monday. Legionnaires disease was originally named after the illnesses caught in the squalid, overcrowded conditions of the American Foreign Legion, whose bathing quarters, incidentally, were an early case study for the interior designers over at Shoreditch House (nothing like a warm chicken salad with a side of soggy PR manager).
Causes include: stagnant water, poor ventilation, and over familiar hugging, while the chief means of transmission are heavy petting, theatrical cheek kissing, rolled up twenty pound notes and suspiciously damp Vilebrequins. Stay safe out there.