The Groucho Club
Established in 1985 by a group of pioneering publishers, The Groucho Club in Soho was founded in reaction to the existing private members’ clubs, which did not allow women to drink there without being accompanied
by a man. “It was the bohemian alternative to the traditional members’ club,” says general manager Jeff Connon. “The most important criteria were whether you were creative and whether people wanted to have a drink with you.” He describes the club as a melting pot of maverick spirits; there are no targeted demographics, only like-minded individuals. “People like to belong to something, to find a convivial pocket of community in the busy world we live in,” muses Connon. The Groucho hosts numerous events for those in the arts and media industries, including the London Short Film Festival. Again, The Groucho boasts links with clubs littered across numerous cities around the world, including New York, Madrid, Tokyo, Sydney and cities beyond. “Having reciprocal arrangements allows our members all the benefits of a club with moorings in every harbour,” he adds.
Maslow’s Mortimer House
Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory comprises a pyramid model featuring self-actualisation, esteem, love and belonging, safety and psychological needs. “The theory was directly translated into the design as well as the layout of Mortimer House,” says founder and CEO Guy Ivesha. “It channels Maslow’s idea that basic human needs are simple yet crucial and celebrates them through hospitable thinking.” While there are no reciprocal clubs (yet – Ivesha plans on rolling Maslow’s out across Europe and the US), globetrotters can enjoy the Traveller membership, which means regular visitors to London can have a base in Fitzrovia that provides a gym, classes, workspaces, lounge areas and dining amenities. Mortimer House offers a curated space to help people redefine their work/life balance.
South Kensington Club
The motto of the South Kensington Club is 'mens sana in corpore sano' meaning 'a healthy mind in a healthy body'. The traditional bathhouse might be considered to be the focus of this bolthole, with it's chic gym, hammams, Watsu pool and wood-panelled banyas, but it has another draw. "The Voyager Programme was created to inspire our members to find adventure and then provide all the support they need to achieve this," says Chris Kennedy, head of marketing and events. The SKC is a hub for renowned young explorers, who work in the Voyager Room, which is littered with relics from historical expeditions. With reciprocal clubs in Buenos Aires, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Paris, Brussels, Athens and beyond, this is the perfect option for an adventurer.
Photos courtesy of:
Bernie's restaurant at The Groucho Club - Richard Lewisohn
The Hospital Club - The H Club
Maslow's Mortimer House - Ed Reeve