11 of the Best Members Clubs in Mayfair

Whether you’re passionate about Sauvignon, tempted for truffles or like to party until 3am, there’s a private members’ establishment for you. We step behind the most discreet doors in London

Private members’ clubs have enjoyed a makeover since the gentlemen’s gaffs of old, but they’re still just as popular. From cigar rooms and Italian truffles to women-only study areas, there’s something for everyone and each venue aims to do more than your average hotel, bar or restaurant – going above and beyond the call of duty. Scroll down to see the best private members' clubs in Mayfair that you must go to and why, but it’s up to you to find a proposer and seconder to get you in.

University Women's Club

Members clubs Mayfair

Founded in 1883 by Miss Gertrude Jackson of Girton College, Cambridge, this club provides a quiet corner for scholarly women. Much like the atmosphere of an old school, there are worn-out sofas, chipped paintings and mismatched cushions. Thursday evenings offer up club suppers and the libraries, grand rooms, 22 bedrooms and even a secret door make this an exciting place to investigate. Poetry, music and embroidery add to a diverse calendar of events. 

Owner: The members

Why: To partake in intellectual conversation

Number of members: 834

Price: £300 joining fee, up to £670 per annum

Best for: Graduates, professionals and businesswomen of all ages

Alumni: Dorothy L Sayers and Xanthe Clay

Dress code: Smart casual

Fun fact: Rooms 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, here you’ll find leather banquette seating, a snooker room and a dark wooden-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), so if you’re dining on your tod you’ll have to sit at the members’ table. Also home to The Flyfishers’ Club. 

Owner: The members

Why: To surround yourself with rich Victorian history

Number of members: 1,000

Price: £350 joining fee, £1151 per annum

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

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 stars ranging from Leonardo DiCaprio to Elizabeth Taylor; musical icons including The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, and even the Royal Family. The club reopened earlier this year in its new home, two doors down from the original. 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 in London.

Owner:

Why: Has a reputation for being the most elegant and private club in the world
Number of Members: 
Price:
Alumni: The Prince of Wales, Frank Sinatra, Richard Nixon
Dress Code: Fabulous but respectful party dressing 
Fun Fact: It is now an all day and all nightclub
 
46 Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London W1J 5AT

Morton's Club

Morton's Club

Morton’s has been at the centre of Mayfair’s social life for the past 40 years. The Grade II-listed building was erected in 1823 and has seen a rich history of inhabitants. Once the private residence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, it was also home to the fast-driving Bentley boys in the 1920s. Art hangs on every wall and the USP of this place is the open view and balcony overlooking Berkeley Square. 

Owner: Marlon Abela (MARC Ltd)

Why: For the best view of Mayfair 

Number of members: 2,500

Price: £1,000 joining fee, £1,500 per annum

Best for: Professionals, ambassadors and oligarchs

Alumni: Sir Paul McCartney, Jeremy Hackett and Rafael Nadal

Dress code: Elegant attire encouraged

Fun fact: Marc Bolan from T.Rex once jumped from the balcony into a moving vehicle below

28 Berkeley Square, W1J, mortonsclub.com

Mark's Club

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 most like a home-away-from-home than any other. 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, the idea being that your drink, dice for backgammon and cigar should be no further than a pivot of your elbow.

Owner: The Birley Clubs

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

Number of members: Undisclosed

Price: £1,000 joining fee, £2,000 per annum 

Best for: The modern gent and lady

Alumni: Boris Johnson and Edward Enninful

Dress: Smart

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

Little House came into being in 2012 as part of the creative and cool conglomerate Soho House, which was originally launched for film, media and creative industries and now includes clubs, restaurants, cinemas, spas and hotels globally from Somerset to Chicago. The salon bar, drawing room and modern European restaurant all on one floor cater for a relaxed clientele.

Owner: Soho House 

Why: For laid-back luxury

Number of members: Undisclosed 

Price: From £400 joining fee, £625 per annum

Best for: Young start-ups 

Alumni: Keira Knightley and James Corden

Dress: Subversively casual

Fun fact: Pay £1,650 and you can be a member of all Soho House clubs

2 Queen Street, W1J, littlehousemayfair.com

Harry's Bar

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. Here, it’s a 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 to acquire the biggest and best.

Owner: The Birley Clubs

Why: Because even when you’re not at the club, members have been known to get food delivered to their house in times of need

Number of members: Undisclosed

Price: £500 joining fee, £1,500 per annum

Best for: Foodies

Alumni: Beyoncé, David Walliams and Amanda Wakeley

Dress: Smart

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

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

Number of members: 2,900 (1,000 serve in The Forces)

Price: Up to £775

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 is to join this year 

127 Piccadilly, W1J, cavgdsclub.co.uk

The Arts club

The Art club

With 16 bedrooms that come with 24-hour butler service, including a gigantic penthouse suite, you really could live at The Arts Club. Plus you get unrivalled access to five floors of luxury including a sushi restaurant, oyster bar, brasserie and bright terrace, and in the evenings you can chill out to live soul and jazz in the basement. Perfect for relaxed meetings and, of course, a peek at exhibitions on display around the club. 

Owners: Property developer Gary Landesberg and Arjun Waney, who co-owns Roka and Zuma restaurants

Why: For your very own private pied-à-terre

Number of members: Undisclosed

Price: £2,000 joining fee, £2,000 per annum

Best for: Creative types

Alumni: Auguste Rodin, Gwyneth Paltrow and Grayson Perry

Dress: Stylish – jeans and trainers allowed at the discretion of management

Fun fact: Originally founded in 1863 by a group including Charles Dickens

40 Dover Street, W1S, theartsclub.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. 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 member recently 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 contraption that siphons wine through the cork

Number of members: 2,300

Price: £1,250 joining fee, £1,250 per annum

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.co.uk

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. The five-year-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 wouldn’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

Number of members: Around 3,000

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.co.uk

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