Darius Namdar: London's King of Clubs

Darius Namdar, Club Director of Mark’s Club, is credited with making the Mayfair private members’ establishment cool. The award-winning cigar connoisseur and member of Mr Porter’s style council talks tea, tailoring and the downsides of technology

After working for Jeremy King at The Wolseley, Namdar spearheaded London’s hottest opening of recent years when he launched Chiltern Firehouse in 2013. Next, he opened the Colony Grill Room at The Beaumont hotel, before taking the club director position at Mark’s Club in 2015. A cigar aficionado, this year Namdar won first place in Havana’s International Habanosommelier contest, an annual event held in Havana by the Cuban government (he’d already won the UK title in 2017).

What is true luxury? Time. Any service that provides you with more time.

Where is your favourite place in the world? Nihiwatu Beach [on Sumba Island in Indonesia] is the most extraordinary place I have visited in the last few years.

Which three luxury brands do you most covet? The passion that goes into all [homeware and fragrance brand] Santa Maria Novella’s products is easy to see; Lorenzo and Massimo Cifonelli, of Cifonelli, are master tailors from Paris, and I am lucky enough to have a few of their pieces; I also love George Cleverley shoes – George and George Jnr are expert craftsmen and recently made me a pair of Mark’s Club slippers with the ‘suspiciously square’ toe hallmark.

Mark's Club, London

Describe your personal style: Much of my style reference comes from Simon Crompton’s blog Permanent Style. Though today, my style of suit has changed; I prefer a softer shoulder, less exacting, and structured shirts and ties. I am venturing into the world of Italian suit-making, taking tips from Hugo Jacomet’s book The Italian Gentleman.

What would you never leave the house without? My Graf von Faber-Castell pen. My father had one and I bought myself the same when accepting the position at Chiltern Firehouse.

Favourite watch: A Rolex Daytona on a leather strap.

The most stylish Londoner you know: Nick Foulkes.

How would you show someone a good time in London? Take them down the Thames on one of the two stunning Chelsea Yacht Club boats.

Your favourite London hidden treasure: Drake’s maker and haberdasher on Clifford Street is one of my favourite stores to drop into. The ties and pocket squares are marvellous; so is the collection of boots
and coats.

Address book essentials: Most trusted man in the world of cigars: Edward Sahakian. Tea supplier: Jameel Lalani of Lalani & Co. Favourite restaurant: The River Café.

The Londoner you find most inspiring: Jeremy King, the greatest restaurateur.

What you’re reading: I just finished Haruki Murakami’s NorwegianWood, and am starting Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari.

What does technology add to your life? Technology gives us access to everything, which creates the sense of needing more… often I find a digital detox necessary, and feel the need to hide from technology sometimes.

Mark’s Club, 46 Charles St, W1, marksclub.co.uk