Private members’ clubs today are a far cry from the male-dominated boozy lunch dens and cigar smoke-laced lounges of yesteryear. These days, if a club wants to stay ahead of its competitors it needs to offer rejuvenating spaces, nutritious menus and health-and-fitness facilities that make it more akin to a luxury spa than a place to conduct business deals over less than virtuous vices. Work hard, play clean is the new mantra for those at the top of their game and these clubs cater to the demand for an exclusive environment in which to do just that.
City retreat: Devonshire Club
The convenience of the Devonshire Club – tucked away down a quiet side street, a stone’s throw from Liverpool Street – makes it an indispensible sanctuary for City workers in the know. The club has partnered with Truth Gym to offer members a bespoke body and lifestyle coaching service, which focuses on developing sustainable routines to support the demands of a busy work and social life.
Fitness facilities include a gym, weights room and studio classes, but the hidden gem here is the tranquil garden room and terrace, where you can enjoy a quiet moment (and a view of The Gherkin) over a light lunch of delicious fresh sushi, or seasonal British cuisine, from the Number Five restaurant. At weekends, the doors open for friends, family and non-members to enjoy a weekend brunch or Sunday roast in this secret city space (advance reservations necessary).
Female friendly: Grace Belgravia
Hidden behind a discreet doorway on West Halkin street, Grace Belgravia is a haven of serenity that caters exclusively to women. Its expansive interior encompasses an art gallery, restaurant, spa, gym, fitness studio, reformer pilates studio and a private medical clinic.
There are more than 100 fitness classes a week to choose from, the menus are designed by nutritionists to offer balanced, alkalising meals, and there’s a dynamic events calendar featuring exhibitions, pop-ups, inspirational talks and supper clubs. It’s a one-stop-shop for all the personal needs of busy women. Male guests are welcome in the restaurant from 6.30pm, so you can even invite your date here.
Pamper parlour: The Lanesborough Club and Spa
After an 18-month renovation, The Lanesborough Club and Spa launched to instant acclaim last year. Its mission? To offer its members a holistic approach to wellbeing, to be a club in which modern Londoners could ‘reinvigorate, re-energise and relax’. Members benefit from access to bespoke beauty, fitness and nutritional programs designed by world-renowned experts to bring balance to a busy, high-pressured lifestyle. Scientifically advanced skincare treatments are provided by La Prairie, complemented by a bespoke range of ‘life therapies’ from Ila – a British clean beauty brand that incorporates ayurvedic philosophies and sound vibration therapy into its treatments.
All of The Lanesborough’s spa therapists have been personally trained by the pioneering facialist Anastasia Achilleos, whose innovative method addresses emotional imbalances as well as the skin’s appearance. Add to this an expansive gymnasium, fitness classes run by Bodyism Performance Specialists and an all-day healthy dining menu designed by Michelin-starred chef Éric Fréchon, with nutritional guidance from Bodyism’s founder James Duigan, and you have a powerful antidote to the stresses and strains of life in the capital.
Business and pleasure: Ten Trinity Square
Ten Trinity Square announced a new wellbeing-focused membership option this year, which includes access to the state-of-the-art spa and fitness facilities of its neighbour, the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel. Housed within the historic former Port of London Authority headquarters – situated between the Tower of London and Fenchurch Street station – the lower ground spa complex embodies the minimalist, sculptural design style of Joseph Caspari, with calming curved lines, warm bronze tones and golden mosaic details.
In addition to a 14-metre lap pool, vitality pool, hammam, 24-hour fitness suite, yoga studio and eight treatment rooms, members also benefit from access to the award-winning Gielly Green salon, which offers hair, nail and beauty services for women and men.
Around the clock: Annabel’s
When Annabel’s relocated two doors down to take over over an entire Berkeley Square townhouse last year, one thing was never in doubt: the iconic basement nightclub would be moving with them. Replicated almost like for like – but with an extra-opulent decor and a supercharged new sound system – the emphasis on good old-fashioned fun, until 3am on any given night of the week, remains firmly intact.
However, three additional floors and a magnificent garden space to play with now allow Annabel’s to offer wholesome daytime activities as well. From a breakfast of ‘energy porridge’ and a cold-pressed juice in The Rose Room, to a light dinner of smoked aubergine tacos and tuna tostadas in The Mexican restaurant on the top floor, Annabel’s has reinvented itself as a modern-day members’ club with dedicated spaces for meeting, drinking, dining and partying around the clock.
The best-kept secret about the new Annabel’s, however, might just be its forthcoming and highly anticipated health and wellbeing spa. Housed in a refurbished mews house accessed through the garden, or by its own separate entrance on Hays Mews, there are whispers that it may be open to non-members too (shhhh…).
Next level: The Ned
Housed within the majestic former Midland Bank building opposite the Bank of England, The Ned – from the Soho House & Co Group – is vast enough to welcome non-members to enjoy its eight ground-floor bars and restaurants. But what lies beyond for members? The impressive rooftop pool is the pièce de résistance, boasting spectacular views of St Paul’s Cathedral, while its bar and terrace benefit from a retractable ceiling that enables the space to be enjoyed throughout the year.
Inside there’s another pool, a sauna, steamroom, hammam, treatment rooms and a juice bar in Ned’s Club Spa. While Ned’s Club Gym boasts three studios offering a wide variety of fitness classes, first-class strength and cardiovascular equipment, plus personal training, physiotherapy, wellness and nutritional support. Members can also enjoy exclusive access to the old Midland Bank Vaults where they can book a private meeting space, relax in the lounge bar, indulge in a late-night Italian feast or dance the night away to live music.