I am happy to fulfill a reader’s request today.
People living in “megacitys” like to stay within “their” own circles aka private member clubs. Which means: no entry for anybody else. To ensure that they share their chair with the right person, most of the city people are willing to pay at least 700 pounds a year membership fee and apply to the right club.
How does it work? For most houses you need 2 members referring you and you need to fill out an application. Even with a cheque and patience, the door will still remain closed if you are not “cool” enough for them. Which means you are a banker. As they consider your job profile in the application.
Personally I have some experiece with the Shoreditch house from my days in London and I can tell you it can be headache. They prefer media, PR and film people over any “boring” cityboy. But in the end , it is always them paying the bills, so the house welcomes most paying member who are patient enough in the end.
So which ones are THE houses? The Soho house chain is the biggest one out there. They have clubs in London/New York/Berlin/LA. and god knows where. Then there are a couple of other clubs like Annabel’s (super exclusive) and Home House, Royal Automobile Club, Milk&Honey and so on…
Membership clubs are generally places where “common” people have no entry. If you book a night with one of them (some have a hotel, like the Soho chain or RAC) , you also get entry to their clubs most of the time. As a “not member”.
The Shoredtisch House
It is an artsy member club in London with members who are “too cool for school”. A lot of creative people like to bee seen there on display. It has a nice pool on the roof which you can barley use as it is too cold most of the days even in summer. But usually somebody hosts a nice event up there. Another nice feature is the Ping Pong table. In case your fabulous creative company bores the smurf out of you, there is always the chance to seek the challenge at the Ping Pong table. Usually you go there for lunch/dinner/drinks or for a nice facial with Coshewd. A Brand which spread recently over the whole UK.
As a member you are allowed to take guests with you. So most people try to get a membership and guaranteed a circle of “friends” as they will be called very often to take somebody along.
Is it worth the money? Well, I think so. It is about 70 Pounds a month, but it can give you the opportunity to mingle with the “right” people, if you find the right club. I have been told. I personally never did.
Some other clubs:
Sohos House chain: a lot of wannabes, hipsters, bankers, fashionistas
Annabel’s: rich people ( still VERY exclusive)
Royal automobile club: old people, great pool
Home House: conservative everybody, nice though
Milk&Honey: (belongs to Soho House chain) a bar for bankers (good dating pool)
Since there are so many SOHO houses, you can pay the higher fee for the international network and get access to all of the clubs. Which is great for people traveling a lot for pleasure, aka Jet Set.