Five minutes with: William Woodhams

The CEO of The Fitzdares Club, Mayfair’s luxury sports bar members’ club on horse racing, butter and Globe-Trotter travel cases

Food and Drink 11 Nov 2020

William Woodhams is CEO of The Fitzdares Club, Mayfair

What is your vision for The Fitzdares Club and what can members expect?
I really want to see a world where the experience of watching sport is as fun as the sport itself. Our sole job is to make sport more enjoyable and I think that is through a more premium experience. Drinking good wine and enjoying excellent food makes sport better.

Your family has a 200-year history in horse racing, has this had any influence on the club?
I go a bit misty-eyed when I think about racing. There is so much magic and history. Sometimes we all forget how incredible a sport it is and how lucky we are to be the global centre of it.

What have you learned from the pandemic and working in lockdown?
It’s been a massive wake-up call and we grabbed the opportunity with both hands. We fundamentally lost our product (sport) for three months and instead of cost cutting and endless meetings, we got on and planned the rest of the year and how we would get past this. Since the first lockdown lifted and sport returned, we have had record month-on-month growth and have been nominated for three industry awards.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given in your career and why?
I would say, follow your gut. No amount of data and advice can be as good as what you innately know to be correct.

Who is your role model and how have they influenced you in your work?
Henry Cecil. We are making a film about him at the moment and it’s been an awe-inspiring experience. He battled every adversity to be the best.

What ingredient can you not live without and why?
Butter. My nutritionist has told me to kill it – but it really is life giving. One day I will own a restaurant in honour of it.

What item, apart from your passport, can you not travel without?
My Globe-Trotter case. It is the single most brilliant item I have ever had the fortune to own. I also have a new indestructible watch by William Wood with five different straps to suit my mood.

Where is your favourite place to eat in London and why?
My heart still lies at J Sheekey’s, especially the oyster bar. A truly magical place. I’m so sad I don’t work close enough to go three times a week like I used to. My other favourite is Trullo, it is up there with Harry’s Bar and the River Café as London’s best Italian.

What do you like to do on a day off?
I had a day off yesterday. I had a facial with my wife at home which was hilarious but actually quite good (from the wonderful Ruuby app), I then met a colleague for a 2hr lunch in Notting Hill, walked in Holland Park and then I returned home and watched the new Witches movie – literally heaven of a day.

What are your biggest passions?
Food, my wife and art, in that order.

If you could choose anyone from today or history, who would be your ideal dinner party guest and why?
Eric Morecambe – I simply cannot understand why anyone would have anyone else.

The Fitzdares Club has just launched its at home delivery service. Packages cost £100, excluding delivery. Choose from the Game Day Feast or the Beef Welly Feast. The club reopens on 2 December; 50 Davies Street, Mayfair W1K 5JH. To apply for membership, go to: