Navigating London’s private clubs


Private clubs are all the rage in London. We’re not talking about Sherlock Holmes-style clubs characterised by leather wing chairs and men in three-piece suits, either. These clubs attract London’s young elite looking for a place to chat with like-minded folk, imbibe the cocktail du jour and party ‘til the early hours.

From Soho to Shoreditch, here’s a handy guide to London’s top clubs and a few tips on how you can get in.

The Groucho Club

One of London’s oldest private clubs, The Groucho sits in the heart of the bohemian Soho district and attracts members from the arts and music fields. There’s some great star-spotting to be done here: guests have included One Direction’s Harry Styles, actress Sienna Miller and supermodel Kate Moss.

You can book a table in the dining room or the brasserie, or simply sip a classic whisky sour or a champagne cocktail in the main bar. Want to get in? Befriend a member or book a private event.

The Hospital Club

When one of the founding members of a private club is music impresario Dave Stewart (formerly of Eurythmics), you know that its mission will be to support and facilitate creativity.

The Hospital Club is located in Covent Garden and houses a gallery, TV studio and screening room. If that’s not enough, there’s also a restaurant, two cocktail bars and 18 guestrooms.

Hoping to spend an evening inside? Book the screening room for your next movie night.


The only private club in London that Queen Elizabeth II has ever patronised, Annabel’s has a long history of attracting international politicians, aristocrats and celebrities. Distinguished guests have included Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra and Diana Ross.

Today, this club and restaurant in Mayfair is still regarded as London’s most elegant. How to get an invite? Tricky – you’ll have to make friends with a member or marry a royal.

Shoreditch House

Part of the growing Soho House community, Shoreditch House is probably London’s most covetable private club. Why? Perhaps it’s the heated rooftop pool, backyard barbecue, state-of-the-art fitness facility and workstations that double as ping-pong tables.

You’ll find a real Shoreditch crowd here: fashionable hipsters, pretty young things and geek-chic media types who enjoy the exceedingly cool ambience.

Keen to see inside? Come with a member, book a private event or casually follow a group as they enter – it’s been known to work.

For more information on things to do and places to stay in London, visit our destination guide.

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