London confidential : historical gentlemen's clubs
Gentlemen’s clubs are anything but a thing of the past. In London, they are becoming fashionable once again—but are just as confidential as ever.
A product of 18th century British culture, gentlemen’s clubs have long been a refuge for London’s high society. Historically, aristocrats, intellectual elites, brotherhoods, and trades communities gathered together in this private setting to do business and expand their cultural and political networks in London’s opulent but discreet town homes.
The gentlemen's club : London’s secret history
However, these places don’t let just anyone pass through their doors. To become a member of these exclusive meeting places, which are otherwise closed to the public, you have to be inducted, meet strict admission criteria, and pay yearly dues. Lobbying your case is the price to pay ! After a golden age that lasted three centuries, these ultra-private clubs are now becoming popular again by targeting a clientele that’s eager to take up the tradition.
New meeting places for the young and wealthy
Nowadays, the young elite tend to frequent clubs that align with their affiliations and areas of interest. While government officials gather at Boodle’s Books and athletes go to Queens, the Savage is dedicated to the arts and sciences, the Livery to businessmen, the Special Forces to spies, the Sketch to showbusiness, and the Travellers is for the royal family. The clubs all have one rule in common, however—you have to leave your mobile phone in the cloakroom.