London is known for having some of the world’s best restaurants – with new venues opening up every day, it can be difficult to keep track of where to go to try the latest food trend or find a killer cocktail. Sometimes however, it’s not just great food you’re after, but the perfect setting, location and most importantly good service. This criteria led me to look for something slightly off the beaten track and I think I may just have found it at The Sloane Club.
Discretely located on 52 Lower Sloane Street, the building forms part of a late Victorian development on an old 18th Century site. It was originally a Service Women’s Club, and Gentlemen were not admitted until the following decade. In 1976, The Sloane Club was fully established as an exclusive Private Members Club providing five star quality dining and service with over 130 stylish bedrooms.
The walls are currently filled with illustrations by Annie Tempest, an artist most famous for her cartoon series The Yuppies, of quintessentially British characters. Elsewhere, large, original oil paintings hang above antique mahogany bureaus. It’s evident that the decor has been kept in line with both the character and history of the building which makes for a richer experience when visiting.
To show the calibre of quality that the Sloane Club provides, it’s worth commenting on the Executive Chef Bernhard Mayer – previously Executive Chef at The Savoy and The Four Seasons who chose to join the Sloane Club’s comparatively small operation. As well as being a great supporter of traditional European food, he also spent several years in Hong Kong and Jakarta mastering the art of Asian cuisine which has definitely influenced his menu.
The club membership offers not just fine dining but luxurious accommodation, an in-house spa, a hairdressers, over 170 Affiliate Clubs worldwide and many benefits from club partners in the surrounding area. Being a stone’s throw from the Kings Road you’re far enough away from the commotion but close enough to step back into the streets filled with designer shops and of course, visit the Saatchi Gallery.
Providing a home from home for their members, all are greeted by the staff by name and the Managing Director Tony Murkett makes time to stop and speak to each member that he sees – creating a welcoming and personal atmosphere that few other establishments can achieve. As well as a second home, members use the club as a base for the season: staying the nights before and after social events such as Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, the Henley Regatta, Royal Ascot, and of course, their neighbour, The Chelsea Flower Show.
By Joseph Briars
The Sloane Club , Lower Sloane Street, Chelsea, London SW1W 8BS