The Bar at 67 Pall Mall

These are the 10 best members’ clubs in London

The exclusive hotspots where the capital's elite eat, drink, and talk business

Where do London’s affluent and in-the-know love to talk business, eat the finest poached eggs on sourdough, and enjoy the odd Old Fashioned, on a Tuesday, at lunch? Sure there’s the usual haunts; a pilgrimage to Sketch perhaps? Or rubbing shoulders with A-listers at Cirque Le Soir?

But, when the capital’s elite want to escape the masses, entertain their biggest of clients, or do one of those Friday 3pm meetings that somehow extend into Saturday, they turn to a members club. Exclusive and damn hard to get into, a golden ticket to a private institution is a sign of status and good taste.

To help you cut the wheat from the chaff, we’ve rounded up the five finest clubs the capital has to offer, from Soho’s most famous creative hub to The City’s latest hangout…

The best for the literary set: The Groucho Club

These are the 10 best members’ clubs in London
The Backroom at The Groucho

Established in the mid-Eighties, The Groucho Club was opened in order to provide a refreshing alternative to the more pretentious gentlemen’s clubs of the time. As a result, it’s made a name as the original private hub for the arts and media circles, and today it still continues to usher in the upper echelon of the UK’s creative industry.

  • Best bottle: 2017 Sancerre, Bridgitte et Daniel Chotard
  • Best plate: Baked scallops, hazelnut, chilli & garlic butter

The damage:
£950/year (+£250 joining fee)

These are the 10 best members’ clubs in London

The Groucho Club

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The best for international travellers: Soho House, Greek Street

These are the 10 best members’ clubs in London

Recently renovated, this world-renowned institution occupies five historic Georgian townhouses, with an outdoor courtyard, roof deck, bar, restaurant and club rooms. And, for that added touch of stylish heritage, it’s the first Soho House — a real piece of clubland history.

  • Best bottle: Chateau Moulin de la Rose, Saint Julien, Cru Bourgeois
  • Best plate: Urfa salmon green aioli, gochujang, mustard

The damage:
£1100 (+ £400 joining fee)

These are the 10 best members’ clubs in London

Soho House, Greek Street

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The club where creatives and financiers come together: The Art’s Club

These are the 10 best members’ clubs in London
The Bar at Arts Club

Known as a refuge for those in the world of art, architecture, fashion, film, literal, music and theatre, The Art’s Club — with its perfectly-curated body of permanent, historic and temporary collections – certainly lives up to its moniker. Look out for live music, from Sam Smith and Mark Ronson to Idris Elba.

  • Best bottle: 1997 Bandol “Cabassaou” Domaine Tempier
  • Best plate: Kyubites (small crisp potato chips)

The damage:
Over 30s: £2000/year (+ £2000 joining fee)
Under 30s: £1000/year (+ £1000 joining fee)

These are the 10 best members’ clubs in London

The Art's Club

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The best for those who value their privacy: 5 Hertford St

These are the 10 best members’ clubs in London
5 Hertford Street

What do George and Amal Clooney, Mick Jagger and Leonardo DiCaprio all have in common? 5 Hertford Street as a stomping ground, that’s what. Perched on the corner of Shepherd’s Market in Mayfair, this is one of the most secretive clubs in London, frequented by royals, billionaires, and A-listers alike.

  • Best bottle: Chateau Lafite 1961 
  • Best plate: Dover Sole
These are the 10 best members’ clubs in London

5 Hertford Street

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The best for those who appreciate heritage: 67 Pall Mall

These are the 10 best members’ clubs in London
The Lounge at 67 Pall Mall

This striking club used to be Hambros Bank, and the building still has the original bank vaults in their cellars — including the Chatworth invincible safe. That’s just part of the quirky money decor — which also includes notes from other banks pinned on that the wall.

  • Best bottle: 1995 tant pis!
  • Best plate: Lobster & truffled potato salad

The damage:
£1,500, plus £1,500 joining fee

These are the 10 best members’ clubs in London

67 Pall Mall

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The best if you don’t want a club in St James’s: Mark’s Club

These are the 10 best members’ clubs in London
The Terrace at Mark's Club

Mark’s Club is an elegant and traditional private members’ club, situated in a beautiful townhouse in Mayfair. Club Director Darius Namdar, Habanos Sommelier World Championship in Havana, will help you out with your cigar recommendations, after a meal of the famous Limousin Veal Chop — or the below…

  • Best bottle: 1967 Graves Chateau Haut Brion
  • Best plate: The Cheese Soufflé

The damage:
£2,000 a year, plus £1,000 joining fee

These are the 10 best members’ clubs in London

Mark's Club

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The best for wine connoisseurs: Oswald's

These are the 10 best members’ clubs in London

Named after Robin Birley’s grandfather, Oswald’s is a club for both men and women — with a huge focus on wine. Arguably one step up in luxury from Robin Birley’s 5 Hertford Street, members can either cellar their own wine here, or buy in house and then enjoy them in either the ground floor restaurant or on the small rear terrace.

  • Best bottle: Le Montrachet 2010 Domaine de la Romanee Conti
  • Best plate: Risotto Milanese
These are the 10 best members’ clubs in London

Oswald's

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The best for simple artistic fun: Chelsea Arts Club

These are the 10 best members’ clubs in London
The exterior of Chelsea Arts Club is repainted often by members

On Old Church Street, Chelsea Arts Club has a membership of almost 4,000 — each and every one more artistic than the last. It’s an inspiring atmosphere (go for the garden alone) but the best secret is surely the twice yearly Chelsea Art fancy dress balls — a cultural phenomenon since 1908.

  • Best bottle: According to the club, pints of Guinness are popular
  • Best plate: A simple steak and chips

The damage:
£598, plus £295 joining fee

These are the 10 best members’ clubs in London

Chelsea Arts Club

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The best for gastronomers: George

These are the 10 best members’ clubs in London
The outside of George

Founded in 2001, George is a contemporary private Members’ Club with restaurant and bar, canopied decking outside, overlooking Mount Street. A perfect vantage point for people watching, the menu features classic brasserie dishes with both British and international influences and the Club’s walls are hung with works by David Hockney.

  • Best bottle: 2008 Hermitage Tardieu-Laurent
  • Best plate: Roast Norfolk Black Chicken and Pommes Purée

The damage:
£300 per year

These are the 10 best members’ clubs in London

George

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The best for fitness fanatics: South Kensington Club

These are the 10 best members’ clubs in London
The Cocktail Bar at South Kensington Club

Originally built as the Queen’s Gate Music Hall in the late 1800s, the main building of SKC went on to house the Pineapple Dance Studios and later Rolling Stone member Ronnie Wood’s club. The bathhouse on Queensberry Mews was also Francis Bacon’s first London home and studio. It’s perfect for the West London set and, if you’re fond of a workout, it’s got one of the best gyms of any private members club.

  • Best bottle: Sassicaia, Tenuta San Guido 2011
  • Best plate: Miso-Baked Aubergine, Pomegranate, Mint, Dukkah

The damage:
£3,500, plus £1,000 joining fee

These are the 10 best members’ clubs in London

South Kensington Club

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