The best private members' clubs in Mayfair

Luxury London

21 June 2022

Forget stuffy gentlemen's clubs. Today's private members' establishments are the place to see and be seen – and Mayfair is home to some of the capital's best

21 June 2022 Luxury London

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rivate members’ clubs have come a long way since the gentlemen’s gaffs of old, evolving into eclectic playgrounds that court creatives, entrepreneurs and London's high society. From Annabel's to the AllBright, Mayfair has long been home to some of the capital's most illustrious members' clubs, each of which offers far more than your average hotel, bar or restaurant - whether you're looking for glamour, philanthropy, truffles at 3am or a daily dog walker. It's up to you, however, to find a proposer and seconder to get you in...

Upstairs at Langan's

Drawing back the heavy velvet curtain at the top of Langan’s sweeping listed staircase is like stepping through a time portal into the heyday of Studio 54. Inspired by Langan’s golden age, and reimagined for a new age of decadence, the invite-only members club Upstairs is an intimate bar and lounge space, resplendent in rich ruby red and honey yellow velvet panelling with plush, retro fittings. Open six days a week from 6pm, this new late-night hotspot pays homage to the brasserie’s history with cocktails inspired by its illustrious clientele including Everything is Turning to Gold (a blend of Glenfiddich 15-year-old, Manzanilla sherry, banana and a spritz of gold), a nod to Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones, and the Cocoa & Tomato Terry (Bulleit Bourbon, 5 berry wine, rabarbaro and tomato) honouring esteemed British footwear designer Terry de Havilland. Food, taking the lead from the brasserie’s a la carte offering, is classic and casual: think truffle croque monsieur, yellowfin tuna and filet mignon. And when you’re ready to kick off your shoes and take to the dancefloor, live music comes courtesy of Upstairs’ house band, who make way later in the evening for the city’s hottest DJs to spin hits as you dance well into the wee hours.

Founders: Graziano Arricale (of Chelsea member’s club KX) and James Hitchen (of Manchester restaurant group East Coast Concepts)

Why: For after-work dinner, drinks and dancing with a side of good old-fashioned hedonism

Price: Invite-only, no membership fee

Best for: Seeing and being seen

Alumni: The team declined to divulge

Dress: Smart - no ripped jeans, trainers or sportswear. Whilst men are normally required to wear a blazer or jacket, this will be waived over the hot summer months.

Fun fact: The original Langan’s was co-founded by Michael Caine in 1976 and has hosted everyone from Princess Grace of Monaco and Joan Collins to Marlon Brando and Muhammad Ali

Stratton Street, W1J 8LB, langansbrasserie.com

 
 

The Twenty Two

Photography by Philip Sinden

Housed in an immense Edwardian manor on Grosvenor Square, West End hideaway The Twenty Two is a hotel-cum-cultural space ‘dedicated to the art of lingering’. Housing 31 lavishly-appointed bedrooms – including a mews house – inspired by 18th Century French opulence, this lovingly restored former family residence, complete with plush, maximalist interiors, makes the ideal home-away-from-home for everything from spontaneous sojourns to long-term stays. Helmed by Executive Chef Alan Christie, The Twenty Two’s round-the-clock neighbourhood restaurant dishes up seasonal modern British cuisine with a lightness of touch and flair that is classically Mediterannean. Elsewhere, the club’s four bars, two al fresco terraces and evening dining room promise to cater to all tastes and appetites.

Founders: Navid Mirtorabi

Why: To come together and feel welcome, regardless of where you come from, your profession, or what you choose to wear

Price: Membership fees available on request

Best for: ‘The curious and the creative’

Dress code: None, come as you are

Fun fact: The 42,500 square foot behemoth has been designed with a new generation of private club members in mind. Expect gender-neutral bathrooms, creative cocktails and white glove service without the white gloves.

22 Grosvenor Square, W1K 6LF, the22.london

 
 

Maison Estelle

Residing in an imposing Grade I-listed Georgian townhouse on Grafton Street (which was designed in 1772 by Sir Robert Taylor), Maison Estelle is the first private members club from the team behind Scotland’s Gleneagles and the Hoxton hotels. While the club offers several bars, a nightclub and restaurant, as well as a schedule of social and networking events for members, further details remain few and far between, though we are told it’s beautifully fitted throughout and certainly not one to be slept on.

Founders: Sharan Pasricha

Why: Unfettered privacy and a rip-roaring good time

Price: Membership fees available on request

Best for: The one per cent

Alumni: This is kept strictly secret, though those spotted leaving include Tana and Gordon Ramsay, Pixie Lott and Idris Elba

Fun fact: Those allowed through Maison Estelle’s front door must place a sticker over their phone’s camera lens to prevent any sneaky snaps of the club or its members being taken

6 Grafton St, W1S 4EQ, maisonestelle.com

 
 

Nikita

Designed by boutique studio Victoria Vogel to mimic a Haussmann-style Parisian pied-à-terre, cocktail, champagne and caviar club Nikita opened in December 2021. Set on Mayfair’s Davies Street, mere moments from Annabel’s and Claridge’s, it features French-influenced Russian fare from nearby Comptoir Robuchon and invites members to enjoy an exclusive, luxurious experience, imbued with Parisian cool. With private alcoves for hosting guest and, moody, velvet-lined, lamp-lit booths for intimate dining, as well as its own spirited events programme, all soundtracked by playlists highlighting independent artists, this opulent space is already being tipped as a fixture of Mayfair’s vibrant nightlife scene. Next door, New York-style dining room Mister Nice – inspired by LA celebrity hot spot The Nice Guy – is set to open imminently and will serve up a fusion of French-Italian food to members and the public alike.

Founders: JP Kley (previously of Oxford Street’s Beat)

Why: A taste of Parisian insouciance

Price: £1,000/year (£150 registration fee); £1,500/year (£200 registration fee) for joint membership

Best for: Those with a penchant for partying

Fun fact: A secret tunnel connects Nikita with adjoining restaurant Mr Nice so that members may come and go as they please, without having to set foot outside the club

22 Davies Street, W1K 3DE, nikita-london.com

 
 

The AllBright Mayfair

Photography by Taran Wilkhu

‘Sisterhood works’, declares neon signage at reception, setting the tone in this women-only members' club. Spanning 12,500 sq. ft. across five floors, it houses everything you could possibly want from your central London home-from-home: dine in the restaurant and bar, host an event in the private dining rooms, network on the roof terrace and stay looking your professional best with the help of the second floor hair salon. Members also have access to a business-focused digital platform aimed at connecting female entrepreneurs and helping women progress their careers, as well as the AllBright Academy, a series of digital professional development programmes covering leadership, diversity and inclusion, financing and more. With interiors by designer Suzy Hoodless, this Mayfair outpost of AllBright is chic and welcoming (and men are very welcome as guests).

Founders: Debbie Wosskow OBE (Founder of LoveHomeSwap) and Anna Jones (former CEO of Hearst).

Why: For being part of a trailblazing women-only club, with like-minded, dynamic women

Price: Club membership £1,650/year (£300 registration fee); free digital membership. Members must be over 21.

Best for: Working women who spend their time wisely 

Alumni: Naomie Harris, Ruth Wilson, Martha Lane Fox, Sarah Brown, Jameela Jamil, Olivia Wilde

Dress code: None specified – you're as welcome in your gym gear as workwear

Fun fact: The club is named after the former USA Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, who famously said, “there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women”.

24-26 Maddox Street, W1S, allbrightcollective.com

 
 

The Arts Club

With 8 bedrooms that come with 24-hour butler service, including a gargantuan penthouse suite, you really could live at The Arts Club. Set in a five storey, 18th-century townhouse on Dover Street, the club was originally founded in 1863 by creatives including Charles Dickens, and past members have included the sculptor Rodin and the painter Whistler. Today, it boasts a stylish Japanese restaurant, oyster bar, brasserie, nightclub, garden and terraces, as well as an exceptional programme of panel discussions, exhibitions and live music (Mark Ronson was previously music director of the club). There's also a members gym with adjoining Lanserhof medical facility offering a range of cosmetic and healthcare treatments while the club is, naturally, also home to an unrivalled and exceptional collection of rotating art and installations.

Owners: Jai Waney and Arjun Waney, who co-owns Roka and Zuma restaurants

Why: Anybody who wishes to be a member must show an appreciation of the arts, including film, music, fashion, theatre and photography

Price: £2,000 joining fee, £2,500 per annum, with young person and joint memberships also available. Membership to the Lanserhof centre costs from an additional £334/month.

Best for: Creative types

Alumni: Auguste Rodin, Gwyneth Paltrow and Grayson Perry

Dress: Smart

Fun fact: The Arts Club is international: in 2020 it opened a Dubai outpost with a West Hollywood venue set to follow

40 Dover Street, W1S, theartsclub.co.uk

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Annabel's 

Annabel's, founded in 1963, has built a global reputation as the most elegant and exclusive club in the world. Over the club's 50-year history, it has welcomed Hollywood royalty, ranging from Leonardo DiCaprio to Elizabeth Taylor, as well as actual royalty – it is reportedly the only nightclub that the Queen has ever visited. In 2016, the infamous club moved two doors down, from 44 to 46 Berkeley Square, and reopened as a maximalist adult playground, under the leadership of society restaurateur Richard Caring, who bought the club from the late Mark Birley in 2007, also inheriting George, Harry's Bar and Mark's Club (more on them below).

Set in an 18th-century Grade I-listed Georgian townhouse on Berkeley Square, the multistorey members-only mecca was designed by Martin Brudnizki Design Studios, who was inspired by quintessential British eccentricities. Opulent highlights include exuberant silk wallpaper, sculptural lamps and pink onyx sink basins in the women's bathroom, cited by many as the prettiest and most lavish in London.

Owner: The Birley Clubs

Why: It's the place to see and be seen, with glamour on tap

Price: £3,250/year plus £1,250 joining fee, under-35 and joint memberships also available

Alumni: The Prince of Wales, Frank Sinatra, Richard Nixon

Dress Code: The extensive dress code can be found online but, in general, "fabulous party dressing” is encouraged

Fun Fact: Annabel's is the only nightclub ever visited by Queen Elizabeth II

46 Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London W1J 5AT, annabels.co.uk

 
 

The Fitzdares Club

More than 2,500 metres of cable has been hidden in the walls of The Fitzdares Club, the new members’ club from upmarket bookmakers Fitzdares, meaning that you can watch all manner of sport live, via the latest in audiovisual technology, while enjoying a menu of bar classics with a twist (highlights include Cotswolds Gold chicken and truffle dippers, Clarence Court Scotch egg and treacle cured salmon crumpets).

The sports-themed club is the brainchild of Balthazar Fabricius, who founded Fitzdares bookmakers in 2006 with backing from Zac and Ben Goldsmith. Located on Davies Street, the Fitzdares Club screens live sport seven days a week and hosts regular talks by sports stars and television pundits. Design maven Rosanna Bossom, the creative mind behind 5 Hertford Street (more on that below), provides the interiors, while Dom Jacobs, former bar director at Sketch, curates the wine list.

Owner: Balthazar Fabricius (whose father served as Lord March’s racecourse manager)

Why: Possibly the only place in London where you can enjoy a home-made Beef Wellington with a vintage claret while watching England play rugby

Price: £600 per annum

Dress Code: Smart casual dress, unless stated otherwise for a private event. Slippers and gowns are encouraged.

Fun Fact: Balthazar Fabricius is named after the protagonist in J.P. Donleavy’s novel The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B

50 Davies Street, W1K 5JE, fitzdares.com/club

 
 

University Women's Club

Members clubs Mayfair

Founded in 1883 by Gertrude Jackson of Girton College, Cambridge, this club provides a quiet corner for scholarly women. The atmosphere is much like that of an old school, with worn-out sofas, chipped paintings and mismatched cushions. Thursday evenings offer up club suppers and the libraries, grand rooms, 22 bedrooms, garden and even a secret door make this an exciting place to explore. Poetry, music and embroidery, as well as career advice, a book club and film nights, add to a diverse calendar of events. 

Owner: The members

Why: To partake in intellectual conversation

Number of members: 834

Price: Yearly membership is £481 for out-of-town and overseas members and £772 for those living within 50 miles of Hyde Park Corner, plus £300 joining fee. Junior, student and senior membership is also available.

Best for: Graduates, professionals and businesswomen of all ages

Alumni: Dorothy L Sayers and Xanthe Clay

Dress code: Smart casual

Fun fact: Rooms at the club were used for filming Downton Abbey

2 Audley Square, W1K, universitywomensclub.com

 
 

The Savile Club

The Savile Club

Harking back to the era of the traditional club, at the Savile Club you’ll find leather banquette seating, a snooker room and a dark wood-panelled bar. Founded in 1868, the men-only club moved home in 1927 to an old Victorian house, which retains many of its original features thanks to a hefty renovation bill footed by the club. There are private ballrooms as well as bedrooms and food is provided by Michelin-starred chef, Michael James. Friendly conversation is encouraged (mobile phones are banned as is business talk in the communal spaces), so if you’re dining on your tod you’ll have to sit at the members’ table. In honour of its forbears, who were innovators in the fields of art and science, the club also runs a post-graduate scholarship programme for students at RADA, King's College London and the University of East Anglia.

Owner: The members

Why: To surround yourself with rich Victorian history

Number of members: 1,000

Price: £350 joining fee, from £1,559 per annum with overseas, country and under-35 membership available

Best for: Writers, poets and literary enthusiasts

Alumni: Rudyard Kipling, Thomas Hardy and Henry James

Dress: Jacket and tie

Fun fact: It’s £2.50 a pint 

69 Brook Street, W1K, savileclub.co.uk

 
 

Oriental Club

Founded in 1824 by the Duke of Wellington, the Oriental Club was originally created as a base for those who lived, worked or travelled in the East. Housed in a Grade I-listed Georgian building on Stratford Place, near Bond Street, it continues to honour its east-meets-west heritage through an extensive collection of art and artefacts, peppered throughout the opulent property. The Dining Room is accompanied by two bars, an al fresco courtyard and terrace and the renowned wine cellar, which holds no fewer than 120,000 bottles, while the club also offers a series of rooms and suites exclusively to members. Joining The Oriental Club offers access to reciprocal clubs across the world, reflecting its international audience. 

Founders: Major General Sir John Malcolm and the Duke of Wellington

Why: For the perfect blend of east-meets-west 

Price: Monthly subscriptions range from £28 to £168 depending on age and location

Best for: International professionals

Alumni: William Thackerey, Lytton Strachey 

Dress code: Smart casual in most areas. A more formal dress code is required in the Dining Room, Members’ Bar and Small Drawing Room.

Fun fact: In 1861 the Club's chef, Richard Terry, published the first Western cookery nook for Eastern Cuisine, entitled Indian Cookery. The club still references these flavours across its menus today. 

Stratford House, 11 Stratford Place, London W1C 1ES, orientalclub.org.uk

 
 

Mark's Club

This neat townhouse opened in 1973 as an alternative to St James’s gentlemen’s clubs. A mixture of old and new, there is William Morris wallpaper alongside a circus-themed meeting room. It feels more like a home-away-from-home than any other of the capital's members' clubs. British and French dining, cocktails around an open fire or an afternoon on the covered terrace – the classic setting is perfect for both business and pleasure, with the idea being that your drink, dice for backgammon and cigar should be no further than a pivot of your elbow. On that note, the club also boasts its very own cigar sommelier. 

Owner: The Birley Clubs

Why: For modern tradition, such as champagne with caviar served casually on jacket potatoes

Price: Membership fees available on request 

Best for: The modern gent and lady

Alumni: Boris Johnson and Edward Enninful

Dress: Smart, trainers are forbidden

Fun fact: When David Cameron rescinded a place at the men-only White’s Club, Mark’s offered him an honorary membership

46 Charles Street, W1J, marksclub.co.uk

 
 

Little House

Little House

Part of the Soho House portfolio, Little House launched in 2012 and courts a typically creative, relaxed crowd. A more modest offshoot of the nearby Soho House, the salon bar, drawing room and restaurant are all on one floor, while upstairs there are a collection of luxurious private apartments. The familiar Soho House signatures are all present, including velvet armchairs, mosaic-tiled floors, roaring fires and a modern European menu of upmarket comfort food, served until late. 

Owner: Soho House 

Why: For laidback, modern luxury

 Number of members: Undisclosed 

Price: From £700/year with £550 joining fee

Best for: Cool creatives 

Alumni: Keira Knightley and James Corden

Dress: Subversively casual

Fun fact: Pay £2,500 and you can be a member of all Soho House clubs

2 Queen Street, W1J, littlehousemayfair.com

 
 

Harry's Bar

Founded in 1979 by Mark Birley and James Sherwood, who used to own the Hotel Cipriani, this venue was based on the famous bar of the same name at the Venetian hotel. While the chairs and tables might be similar, the plethora of framed cartoons on the wall are a decidedly British touch. Richard Caring acquired the Birley Clubs portfolio in 2007 and has retained this venue's love of all things Italian – Murano glass, Fortuny fabrics, and a wholesome menu of pastas, pizzas and risottos. With just one restaurant and one private room, the focus is on food. Make sure you come for truffle season: the club has unrivalled connections in Piedmont which all it to acquire the biggest and best.

Owner: The Birley Clubs

Why: For world-class Italian cuisine. Members have been known to get food delivered to their house in times of need.

Price: Membership fees available on request 

Best for: Italophiles

Alumni: Beyoncé, David Walliams and Amanda Wakeley

Dress: Smart, jackets must be worn

Fun fact: All forks are laid prongs-down on tables, as Mark Birley wanted to avoid guests getting stabbed in the hand during heated discussions

26 South Audley Street, W1K, harrysbar.co.uk

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George Club

Also part of the Birley Clubs' Mayfair portfolio – yep, that’s Annabel’s, Harry’s and Mark’s all within a stone’s throw of Berkeley Square – think of George Club as the more laidback family member. Sure, men still have to wear a collared shirt in order to be let in, and women must be elegantly dressed, but things at George are a little more relaxed – one of the reasons the Mount Street abode has become the go-to hangout for high-flying hedge-fund execs.

A particularly popular spot for power breakfasts and long lunches, it was at the George that News International chairman James Murdoch reportedly told then-opposition leader David Cameron that his family’s loyalty had swung from Labour to Conservative. Laidback, maybe; insignificant, certainly not.   

Owner: The Birley Clubs

Why: To eat among original artworks by David Hockney 

Price: Membership fees available on request 

Best for: Elegant power breakfasts

Dress: Smart  

Fun fact: A Charitable Dogs Committee makes it the most dog-friendly club in London

87-88 Mount Street, W1K 2SR, georgeclub.com

 
 

The Cavalry and Guards Club

The Cavalry and Guards Club

Walk into this hideaway for Cavalry and Guards officers and you’ll be greeted by paintings of honorary members, the Duke of Kent and the Duchess of Cornwall. Decorated with grand pillars and oil paintings of the Battle of Waterloo and Antarctic explorer Captain Lawrence Oates, this impressive building is made up of a snug bar with a terrace, bright and airy dining rooms, function and meeting rooms, a resident barber, as well as a few simple suites for overnight stays – everything a young officer could ask for. And it’s not just for uniforms: civilians can be nominated if they’ve known two members for three years or more.

Owner: The members 

Why: A celebration of tradition and Britishness

Price: From £190 to £775, with a joining fee of between £125 and £1,550 depending on age

Best for: Officers and gentlemen

Alumni: King Abdullah of Jordan, the Sultan of Brunei and HRH Prince William

Dress code: Jacket and tie 

Fun fact: The first female serving officer joined in 2017

127 Piccadilly, W1J, cavgdsclub.co.uk

 
 

67 Pall Mall

67 Pall Mall

Former hedge fund manager Grant Ashton launched this haven for wine lovers in St James’s in December 2015 (yes, we've still included it in Mayfair's selection of private members' clubs – it's that good). After 30 years in the City, he and his friends had amassed a hefty collection of vintages that were waiting to be drunk. So he started a place where they could be enjoyed with minimal mark-up and the concept was so successful that sister sites have now opened in Singapore, Verbier and Beaune. Choose from an instantly updated wine list on an iPad, take tips from 15 in-house sommeliers, store wine on the premises and make the most of super connections – one lucky member even experienced a money-can’t-buy private tour with winemaker Laura Catena around her Argentinian vineyard.

Owner: Grant Ashton 

Why: Choose from 2,500 bottles, of which 500 come by the glass (from £7.50) thanks to a Coravin that siphons wine through the cork

Price: £1,500 joining fee, £2,000 per annum. Professional and under-35s memberships also available.

Best for: Oenophiles 

Alumni: Hugh Johnson, Sam Neill and Olivier Krug

Dress code: Men: jacket and shirt; ladies: stylish 

Fun fact: The most expensive glass costs a whopping £667

67 Pall Mall, St. James’s, SW1Y, 67pallmall.com

 
 

5 Hertford Street

5 Hertford Street

Robin Birley, son of the late Mark Birley – chieftain of running, owning and selling private members’ clubs – learnt a thing of two from his dad. This nearly decade-old establishment is a rabbit warren of rooms in four adjoining townhouses with themed décor in the restaurants (try Venetian Ottoman or Russian), as well as food (everything from sushi to tapas). There’s a cigar room, three bars, a library, drawing room, alcoves for bookworms – in fact, there’s not much you won't find here, including Lou Lou’s, the famous late-night watering hole for celebrities. 

Owner: Robin Birley 

Why: For an all-day retreat. If you’re only going to join one, this should be it

Price: A rumoured £1,200 joining fee and £1,500 per annum 

Best for: Socialites and socialisers

Alumni: George and Amal Clooney, Sir Mick Jagger and Leonardo DiCaprio 

Dress code: Smart: shirt and jacket for men

Fun fact: When boy band One Direction turned up to Lou Lou’s dressed in the wrong attire, doorman Claude Achaume rejected them with the cutting line: “You’re only going in one direction, and that’s away from here”

2-5 Hertford Street, W1J, 5hertfordstreet.com

 
 

Oswald's

Not so much a members’ club as a wine cellar with members, Robin Birley's Oswald’s opened on Albemarle Street in 2018, promising to serve, without ripping off, London’s most committed oenophiles. To that end, the club, named after Birley’s royal portraitist grandfather, offers big-name wines at, or even below, prices you’ll pay in the supermarket. Oswald’s applies no corkage fees to wines its members bring in themselves and members are free to cellar up to 12 of their own wines at the club. Commissioned glassware comes from John Jenkins; the house champagne is Krug. When it opened, Oswald’s went out of its way to encourage female members, as well as couples.  

Owner: Robin Birley  

Why: To enjoy big-name wine at bargain prices

Price: Membership prices are available on application

Best for: Serious oenophiles

Dress: Smart  

Fun fact: The ground floor of Oswald’s was inspired by the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles

25 Albemarle St, W1S 4HU, oswaldsclub.com

Read more: The best members' clubs in Kensington and Chelsea