Five minutes with… Harry Mead

The owner of London's newest private members’ club, The Court, on his biggest influences, being nice and his love of cars

Food and Drink 21 Jun 2019

Harry Mead

Brummell: What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given in your career and why?

Harry Mead: ‘When in doubt, be nice’. It’s the mantra my father lived by when starting his business and ultimately led to the creation of a culture and company that is almost unbeatable. That, and the idea that ambition is the enemy of contentment. I think there is real truth in that.

Who is your role model and how have they influenced you in your work?

My father influenced a lot of my mindset and is the person I most hope to emulate. Him aside however, there are some true leaders in hospitality, such as Chris Corbin and Jeremy King, who inspire me. The vision of Ian Schrager is also something I look to at times.

What ingredient could you not live without and why?

Eggs, nothing can replace a perfect French omelette for breakfast.

What item, apart from your passport, can you not travel without?

My phone. Simply because I love my music and find it can make even the worst journey bearable.

Where is your favourite place to eat in London?

The original Ivy. Run by the inimitable Fernando, it is still the place to go if you want the best classic dishes in town and feel like royalty each and every visit. They have such a beautiful room, excellent service and an incredible history, yet are perfectly comfortable serving the best shepherd’s pie in London. It’s a hard combination to beat.

What do you like to do on a day off?

I’m a big fan of the cinema. There’s just something in the ritual of going to see a great film on the big screen that I adore. That and the gym are my two stalwarts when I’m not hosting at the club.

Apart from food, what are your biggest passions?

Cars are a big one for me. I love nothing more than a vaguely planned road trip. Pick point A and point B and work it out as you go from there. It’s the ideal way to escape for the weekend.

If you could choose anyone from today or history, who would be your ideal dinner party guest and why?

It’s a hard thing because the best dinner party has a host of characters round a table. If I had to pick one person it would have to be my father though. He remains to this day the best company a person could ask for and has never once failed to make the whole room laugh (Prince Philip would be a close second though. I imagine he would have some sensational stories to tell).