"Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me" – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Who? Arguably the most well known of London's high-end concierge companies, Quintessentially was founded by three partners (one of whom is a nephew of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall).
Why? Counting Madonna, Kate Moss, Richard Branson and P Diddy as clients must mean something. No request is impossible unless it's illegal or morally dubious; it does happen (hitman anyone?). Expanding into one of the world's biggest concierge agencies with more than 2500 staff in 60 offices around the world means Quintessentially has a vast array of expertise and a network to match. The CEO also happens to be a lady, capturing the zeitgeist of our times.
Extraordinary requests: arranging for Elton John to play at a party; covering an entire beach with carpets to protect the feet of clients; securing the deal of a £55 million penthouse by Green Park, London.
Prices: Top clients are rumoured to pay up to £150,000 a year.
Who? For more than 28 years, Stratfield Fairlane's discreet and dedicated lifestyle managers have been working closely with private estates and households to complement and assist with a range of personal requirements. With expertise in dining, travel services, property management, fine art and staff, the group are very much a 360-degree service.
Why? Stratfield Fairline offers a private, bespoke and professional service to all of its clients. Taking a holistic approach to a client's needs, there's simply no limit: tutors, tailors, personal shoppers – you name it, they offer it. With many clients owning properties around the world, property management is also an important part of what Stratfield Fairline does.
Extraordinary requests: Arranging for elephants to be delivered to a Royal household for a day; organising for shoes and handbags straight off the catwalk to be delivered to a client within 24 hours; abseiling from a helicopter into a private ski resort in the alps – the team loves the outrageous and a challenge.
Prices: no annual membership required – a rarity in the industry.
Who? The premise is simple. Download the app, and "power the ultimate lifestyle from your pocket." Founded by two mates from school, one of them an ex-Goldman Sachs banker, Velocity Black was the 'fastest growing company in the UK by revenue in 2018.' Their app is live in 60 cities across the globe.
Why? Seamlessly blending the world of luxury and tech, Velocity Black delivers a fast, convenient and, most importantly, a concierge service right in the palm of your hands. With Elsa Hosk, Gigi Hadid and numerous glamorous figures amongst its members, Velocity Black is a luxury concierge service redefined for the 21st century. Members have access to a 24/7 chat service with a guaranteed response time of one minute. Fancy a table at the most exclusive restaurant in Paris or want to be put on the guest list for a private yacht party in Monaco? They'll sort you out.
Extraordinary requests: Flying to the edge of space in a fighter jet; swimming with Orca whales in Norway.
Prices: £2400 per annum (inc. initiation fee of £600).
Who? Founded in 2012 by Stuart McNeil, Knightsbridge Circle is an invitation-only members club. After working for American Express and launching their Elite Tier for Centurion, Stuart's love of hospitality led to creating an elite concierge service.
Why? Members of Knightsbridge Circle are handpicked and consist of those who have a zeal for the best things in life and the multifaceted opportunities it offers. Membership is awarded on a selective basis. With membership capped at around 50, Knightsbridge Circle supposedly has the highest staff-to-member ratio in Europe – a huge asset when delivering a bespoke service.
Extraordinary requests: Playing a round of golf with a former champion at Augusta during the Masters; privatising a temple in Bangkok in a ritual conducted by monks.
Nota Bene Global
Who? Founded by Anthony Lassman and his wife Elaine, Nota Bene Global is less of a concierge service and more of a private members' club. After many years of working in the ultra-prime residential market, Anthony's clients asked for lifestyle experiences to suit their grandiose properties. One thing led to another, and Nota Bene Global can now count Michael Kors and David Lauren amongst its clients.
Why? Delectable tips, insider secrets and a focus on experiences for the discerning client make Nota Bene Global the go-to for individuals who want to experience luxury destinations and experiences before the rest of the mob.
Extraordinary requests: a meeting with the Pope for a client's mother; a chartered Gulfstream to the Bahamas the very evening the client called, as the weather was 'too cold' in Canada.
Who? Innerplace offers one of the most bespoke, personalised services with peerless personal treatment across all levels of membership. At some of the larger concierges, customer service often slips, with clients handled between various members of staff. At Innerplace, members are assigned a devoted lifestyle manager, with the opportunity to meet face-to-face at their exclusive monthly events.
Why? Innerplace offers exclusive access, particularly to members' clubs, top restaurants and VIPs events. Innerplace has a reputation for being one of London’s most ethical, consumer-focused services with reasonable, honest prices. They never oversell or overpromise on what they can deliver. Innerplace’s primary focus is London for Londoners but has excellent access to international travel and events through its extensive black book of contacts, gleaned over 15 years of working in one of the world’s most competitive markets.
Extraordinary Requests: Most recently, they organised a privately catered dinner in Kensington Palace for a distinguished family visiting London; meet and greets with everyone from Rihanna to Mikhail Baryshnikov; the most bizarre request they've fielded however came from a US client who absolutely had to have a much-loved salt beef sandwich delivered from the ‘Carve Up’ concession at the O2 to his hotel in Las Vegas. They were all prepped with restaurant, flight, personal delivery girl but alas, US customs informed them it would be seized on arrival. A gift-wrapped salt beef bagel from the slightly more convenient Carnegie Deli was delivered instead.
Prices: Lifestyle tier £75 monthly + £75 joining fee (increasing to £100 per month for new members in June); Red tier £6000 + £600 joining fee (rumoured to be a higher tier membership for their VIPs coming soon)