VicPD Chief Constable Del Manak Visits the Club

VicPD Chief Constable Del Manak and A/Inspector Jason Laidman recently paid a visit to the Union Club to meet with David Hammonds, GM.

The purpose of the visit was to thank Mr. Hammonds and the Union Club for the generous hospitality that was afforded to VicPD during both Canada Day festivities (July 1) and Symphony Splash festivities (August 6).

The Union Club – “Home to Generations of Leaders”

Chief Constable Del Manak

Born and raised in Victoria, Chief Constable Del Manak started his policing career with four years of service with the Vancouver Police Department. He came to VicPD in 1993, where he has served in a variety of sections and roles.

Chief Manak has an extensive traffic safety background. He spent five years in the VicPD Traffic section, where he was a collision analyst and part of the escort and drill team. Selected to set up a provincial government pilot project, Chief Manak helped create the Integrated Road Safety Unit (IRSU) in the Capital Regional District. The success of this pilot program led to the expansion of other IRSU units throughout the province.

Promoted to the rank of Inspector in 2006, Chief Manak served as the Officer In Charge of Human Resources for over 3 years.  He has personally hired more than 60 officers, or nearly one quarter of VicPD’s current members.  He then oversaw the Patrol Division until he was promoted to Deputy Chief Constable in 2010. He was promoted to Chief Constable on July 1st, 2017.

Chief Manak is a graduate of the Dalhousie University Police Leadership Program, the FBI’s National Academy Program, and is in the process of completing a master’s degree at Simon Fraser University in Terrorism, Risk and Security Studies. 

Remaining active in the community remains important to Chief Manak.  He is involved in coaching baseball, hockey and soccer and has proudly coached over 30 teams through the years.

Catherine Holt Attends the Business Women’s Luncheon

At the monthly Business Women’s Luncheon, held on Friday, October 27, UC members were joined by their fellow member and CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, Catherine Holt.

Please be reminded of this monthly luncheon, taking place on the last Friday of every month at 1:00pm.  Reservations can be made through the Front Desk.


Top 5 Reasons Why Autumn Golf Is The Best


With summer somewhat of a distant memory and autumn upon us, there is still lots of great golf to enjoy – especially in Victoria!  So don’t put away the sticks quite yet. It is true that start times might be a little later but crisp cool weather, clear skies and beautiful course conditions all make fall a great time to enjoy an extra round of golf or two.

Here are some great reasons to extend your golf season this fall…

1.  Beat the crowds:  Summer is over and the crowds have by and large gone home.  So you probably won’t be rushed along by the anxious foursome behind you.  You can take a bit more time, relax and really enjoy the round – hone your golf skills that much more.

2.  Your game is in top form:  You have had an entire golf season under your belt.  You’ve been playing all season long and you are feeling comfortable with your swing, your putting is in top form and your equipment is feeling like an extension of your arms.  Chances are that your golf game has never been better (hopefully, or the theory goes).

3.  Great time for a golf lesson:  Your local golf pro is probably less busy than he has been throughout the busy spring and summer golf season.  He or she can spend a little extra time giving you the personalized instruction you need to take your game to the next level.

4.  The courses are in fantastic shape:  The golf courses have enjoyed a full season of primping and coddling by obsessive grounds keepers – every blade of grass has been nurtured to its natural best, greens have been babied to near perfection and tee boxes in are pristine shape.  Greens tends to be smoother, fairways thick and lush, and landscaping at its best.

5.  Scenery is at its best:  There is nothing like golfing though a forest of fall colors.  Yellow poplars, red maples, golden tamarack often grace the fairways – adding an extra element of beauty to the golf experience.  Blue skies and majestic mountains seem closer and even more dramatic in the crisp fall light.

We Say ‘Goodbye’ to Cdr Randy Gynn

It is with profound sadness that the Club reports the passing of Cdr Randy Gynn.  Cdr Gynn joined the Union Club in 1997, and has volunteered his time on the General Committee since 2015.  Rest in peace Randy… you will be missed.
Please see below the obituary posted in today’s Times Colonist newspaper:
GYNN, Randolph (Randy) Jack Austin
September 14, 1943 – October 19, 2017 Our hearts are broken today. We have lost a wonderful and loving husband, father, grandfather and friend. Randy passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. From the time he was diagnosed, his motto was “illegitimi non carborundum”, and he lived by those words until Thursday, October 19th at 3:35 a.m. He leaves to mourn his wife of nearly 50 years, Lyn, son Jeffrey (Rose), daughter Samantha (Peter), grandchildren Ryan and Madeline, the Riddell clan, and many friends. Randy’s military career began at Royal Roads in 1962 and was followed by graduation from RMC, Kingston in 1966. He was selected for MLTP in 1973 and received his law degree from Queens University in 1977. The law was his passion and he realized his dream when he was appointed a judge in 1991. He retired from the Navy in 1998 after 36 years of loyal service. Not to sit idle, Randy became involved with the ex-Cadet Club of Vancouver Island, the Commissionaires, and various committees at The Union Club. Randy also enjoyed travel, golf, and following the Blue Jays over a dark rum and Diet Coke. You left us beautiful memories Your love is still our guide And though we cannot see you You’re always at our side Thank you for the compassionate and tender care we received at Victoria Hospice. The doctors and nurses are amazing. A celebration of life will be held at First Memorial Funeral Chapel, 4725 Falaise Drive, on Saturday, October 28, at 10a.m. A reception in his honor will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Union Club at 805 Gordon Street. In lieu of flowers, donations could be made to Victoria Hospice in Randy’s memory.

Boots and Bourbon 4 Elliot

THE RED FUNDRemembering Elliott Dagg

Elliott Lyall Dagg was born 27th July 1995. He grew into a strong and charming young man that enriched our lives beyond measure – he had an incredible sense of integrity and an inner strength that was beyond his years. Elliott had a gift for athletics, a quirky sense of humour and could cheer up a room with a simple wise crack, or his charismatic grin.  He had a laidback approach to life and always was the first to pull up his sleeves and help out – he had a way of making everything and everybody around him, just a little bit better. After putting up a heroic 309-day battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, never complaining or allowing his glowing personality to dim, he tragically passed on 6th January 2015.

To honour Elliott’s true spirit of giving, a fund has been set-up in his name – to create a legacy that will allow Elliott to live on in our hearts.  Funds will be raised from a variety of initiatives, that will be set up in perpetuity to enrich the lives of young people through sport and education.  Funds collected will be through fundraising efforts and private donations.  The funds will go to benefit youth involved in sports and/or education by way of bursaries and scholarships.

Union Club members Dan and Wendy Dagg invite you to get your boots polished and your buckles shined and join them at The Duke Saloon in Victoria as they present Boots and Bourbon 4 Elliott.

A Fundraiser for the RED Fund | Remembering Elliott Dagg.

All proceeds will support the BC Cancer Foundation and other youth sport and education charities through the Victoria Foundation.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Time: 6:00pm – 11:00pm

The Duke Saloon – 502 Discovery Street, Victoria, BC

$30 per ticket – includes a welcome shooter, line dancing lessons, and Live Music by THE COUNTY LINE.

Silent Auction  *  Raffle  *  50/50  *  Toonie Toss  *  Cowboy Hat Sale  *  Food Trucks

Come in your best country garb (Door Prizes for the Best Boot and Buckle!)

Purchase tickets online at


The Oriental Club Welcomes Members of The Union Club of British Columbia

The Oriental Club is delighted to welcome Members of The Union Club of British Columbia when they visit London.

The Club, situated in a quiet cul-de-sac close to Bond Street has forty bedrooms, offering a range of accommodation from single rooms to luxury suites. The Dining Room offers a wide range of menu options from the traditional Roast of the Day and Club Classics to more contemporary, seasonal dishes and, of course, the famous and ever popular Oriental Club curries. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served from Monday to Friday in the Dining Room. The Calcutta Light Horse Bar and Terrace provide an alternative to the Members’ Bar and serve food throughout the day, including Oysters, Burgers and Salads. The Calcutta Light Horse Bar is also open on Saturdays offering a hot and cold food menu and a sandwich menu is available on Sundays.

All Club rooms and the Courtyard are open to ladies, gentlemen and children over eleven years old. Accommodation may also be reserved, subject to availability and a range of private dining rooms are available.

All Members of The Union Club of British Columbia will be offered a glass of Champagne to welcome them to the Club. I look forward to seeing Union Club Members and their guests when they are in London.

Best wishes,

Matthew Rivett,

Club Secretary


Victoria is the Best City in Canada to Be a Woman

A new study suggests Victoria is the best city in Canada to be a woman, despite the wage gap between men and women there worsening slightly in recent years.

The study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives looks at differences between men’s and women’s access to economic and personal security, education, health and positions of leadership in Canada’s 25 biggest cities.

The CCPA says Victoria is the only city on the list where more women than men are employed, and they account for nearly half of all senior managers and elected officials.

But it says the wage gap in the city is on par with the rest of the country, with women earning 73 per cent of what men do — slightly worse than five years ago.

In Windsor, Ont., which ranked worst in the study, the wage gap is actually smaller than average, with women making about 75 per cent of what men earn.

But the study says only 23 per cent of elected officials and 34 per cent of senior managers in the region are women, and women are more likely to be living below the poverty line than men.

The CCPA also says that sexual assault is the only violent crime that’s not on the decline in Canada, and every city still struggles with high rates of sexual and domestic violence.

“Statistics will never be a substitute for the full experience of lives lived. But as signposts they mark the spot where more attention is needed from our political leaders and policy-makers,” says study author Kate McInturff, a senior researcher at CCPA. “We hope they follow through.”


Here is the CCPA’s ranking of the cities it studied:

1. Victoria

2. Gatineau

3. Hamilton

4. Kingston

5. Vancouver

6. Quebec City

7. St. John’s

8. Sherbrooke

9. Halifax

10. Toronto

11. Ottawa

12. London

13. Kelowna

14. Abbotsford-Mission

15. Montreal

16. St. Catharines-Niagara

17. Winnipeg

18. Edmonton

19. Saskatoon

20. Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo

21. Regina

22. Calgary

23. Barrie

24. Oshawa

25. Windsor

Douglas Magazine Talks to Steve Wallace

Douglas Magazine talks to Steve Wallace, the ex-politician/driving instructor/sports fanatic/entrepreneurial whirlwind who says what he thinks, damn the torpedoes, and, as the owner of Wallace Driving School, says he’s in the business of saving lives.

(Union Club member) Steve Wallace sports a wide-brimmed hat, a blue windbreaker and a grin as we set out in a car bearing the logo of Wallace Driving School.

We stop in Esquimalt where his student, a Syrian refugee, lives. The young man, Jawdat Belal, is one of more than two dozen Syrians getting lessons from Wallace. The instructions are free for heads of privately sponsored refugee families.

“Signal right and show me how good you are, and don’t scare the heck out of Jeff, right?” he tells his 17-year-old student as we head out.

Wallace’s trademark hat, to say nothing of his constant wisecracks, gives him a bit of a cowboy air, perhaps befitting someone who rode in from the Cariboo a decade ago to relaunch his business in B.C.’s capital city. He’s been a driving instructor for more than 40 years, starting in Quesnel’s school system (he’s a certified teacher) and then setting up his own business, which now serves Victoria and Vancouver Island. He’s also well known in political circles, having served as mayor of Quesnel from 1990 to 2002, as president of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) and even once running provincially for the B.C. Liberals.

Today both Wallace and his vehicles with their bright-green logos are familiar sites around Victoria.

“He’s the best,” Belal says of his instructor. “I feel good, yeah. It’s very nice since I start driving with Steve. I’ve started to get better and better.”

Belal hopes to get his driving licence to help him attend classes at Camosun College. Looking serious, he says little as he surveys the road and traffic conditions, hanging on every word from Wallace.

“No one-hand stuff,” Wallace chides him. “Don’t give me that Syrian [driving] stuff. Give me the old Canadian stuff. Look back. Now bring it back … more, more, more … and stop. Pretty good.”

And so it goes. In a one-and-a-half-hour lesson, Wallace covers the fundamentals of driving, while also touching on politics, baseball, hockey, philosophy, business, cars, tires and family.

Halfway through the lesson Wallace asks Belal, “How’s your dad doing? Good? Did his health problems get straightened out? On your gas … See the light?”

Certainly it’s a less intimidating environment than the Syrian teenager would have encountered in his hometown of Aleppo, the war-torn city where he lived before his family came to Canada a year and a half ago. Wallace is sensitive to the unique driving challenges they face.

“The people that come out of Aleppo who I teach, the mature people like Jawdat’s dad, they’re looking for the tops of buildings for snipers. They’re looking for IEDs (improvised explosive devices),” he says. “If the road is disturbed they don’t want to go over that section of the road because they figure it might blow up.”

His student, who he notes should be able to pass his driving test after a few more lessons, says driving in Canada is all about following the rules: “In Syria there are no rules.”

A Passionate Approach to Teaching

So why is this veteran driving instructor offering his services free of charge to refugees? Wallace credits his upbringing in Montreal: “My mother was the eldest of 11 kids, right? And she said, ‘Don’t ever refuse somebody who really needs your help.’”

But someone who has known Wallace for 30 years also sees this as the work of a savvy businessman. “I am not going to impugn his motives, but that is a very wise business promotion tactic,” says former Fort St. John mayor Steve Thorlakson, who, along with Wallace, used to hold court for the media at UBCM conventions in the days when they were both involved in municipal politics.

“Everybody down [on the Island] is to the left of Joe Stalin,” Thorlakson says of his perception of B.C.’s capital city. “I genuinely commend him, but I also recognize the cleverness of the business benefits he derives as the result of his not entirely altruistic heart.”

He describes Wallace as bright, articulate, creative and adaptable, “so it doesn’t surprise me that he is doing that with his business in Victoria.”

And there’s no doubt Wallace’s approach is working in what one of Wallace’s mentors, Josie Briton, describes as a fiercely competitive business. Briton is the owner of the North Shore Driving School in North Vancouver and Burnaby. She says Wallace is someone who is “always thinking of progress and touching all parts of the industry. He’s a very, very devoted, very passionate fellow towards driving schools.”

As for Wallace, he notes that his business has taught more than 25,000 people to drive, including the grandchildren of some of his first driving students.

At Wallace Driving School, Business Meets Sport

He’s also big on community. His business sponsorships include the Royals and the Grizzlies hockey teams, and the HarbourCats baseball club. A sports fanatic, he’s out almost every night, turning up at baseball, hockey, soccer and lacrosse games. There’s even a small baseball bat tucked down by the seat of his car. It’s just there, Wallace tells me, in case the car is ever immersed in the water and he has to break a window to escape.

At a recent HarbourCats game, I sit next to Rick Town, one of the instructors who works for Wallace and one of his old friends from their days at theUniversity of Manitoba in the early 1970s. Town notes Wallace’s “larger-than-life” personality and his support for the community and sports.

“Every time he walks by any group of people at all, people gravitate towards him and give him high-fives. That type of flamboyance translates into a really caring, giving aspect of his life.”

A flamboyant driving instructor? It hardly fits the stodgy stereotype — that of a middle-aged fellow with a conservative jacket and tie, sitting ramrod straight in the passenger seat, clipboard in hand, unsmiling.

At the HarbourCats game, I notice Wallace is constantly on the go. He starts the evening at the game greeting folks at the gate, then sits behind home plate, moves a few rows back with us for a while and also finds time to work the crowd, burger in hand.

He’s anything but one-dimensional. Case in point: While you’d think a driving instructor might not be a big cycling supporter, John Luton, a long-time cycling advocate and transportation consultant in Victoria, says Wallace is a keen supporter of Bike to Work Week and recreational cycling. In fact, Wallace and Luton have waged annual cyclist-versus-motorist commuting challenges that Wallace writes about in his Times-Colonist column.

“Others have blinders on about cyclists being uniformly scofflaws and parasites on the transportation system, and Steve is much more balanced, so he is refreshing in that respect,” Luton says.

Wallace happily accepts all the compliments. He says he’s doing a lot of things that set his business apart from the pack.

“The key thing with us is the instructors have to be the best in the business,” he tells me in an interview in his downtown Victoria office. “We choose them for success in parallel pursuits.”

Wallace Driving School employs about 15 instructors. One is a former captain in the navy, another is a former deputy police chief, one has a day job as a senior bureaucrat, one was a semi-pro baseball player, another a soccer coach and yet another, like Wallace, is a former municipal politician and UBCM president.

“We want people who have had stellar performances in a related field,” Wallace says.

“They can tailor their instruction to individual students, readily spotting those with special needs. They’re also people who have skin in the game. The majority of our instructors own their own vehicles and they own their own business and they exclusively contract with us.”

An Eye On the Future

Step into the office of Wallace Driving School and you enter a world with some of the latest in driver-training technology. In fact, it’s more a classroom or computer lab than an office.

Wallace’s wife, Joan, a shareholder and adviser, says, “Steve is the strategist. He’s always planning ahead.”

She holds a senior position with the Driving Schools Association of the Americas (something Wallace himself has done in the past), and they attend conventions throughout North America, keeping abreast of the latest innovations.

“Joan is the tactician,” Wallace responds. “She will say, ‘That’s a great idea.’ And I will turn to her and say, ‘How do we do this?’”

Today, Joan demonstrates the “Intoxiclock,” which tells drivers how long it would take to burn off a couple of drinks. There are also simulators that judge drivers’ reaction to hazards on the road. Then there’s the Promethean Board, which projects street scenes from London, Paris, Rome, or, for that matter, downtown Victoria, on a screen so students can plot their moves.

And, of course, there are tests, including Distract-A-Match, a distraction test that requires students to match brightly coloured foam pieces to shapes on a board, without using the same colour twice, and simultaneously counting backwards from 100.

The first time I try it, I fail with flying colours, hesitating 15 times, losing points, finishing with zero. The second time, I try it while wearing “drunk goggles,” which distort the images. This time I actually pick up the pace: “86-85-84-83…” I feel bewildered as I count. “Green twice!” Wallace snaps. “Look at him go. That’s fantastic. You drive better drunk, man!” I still end up with zero.

At the end of my visit, I’m left wondering if I could pass any of these tests or even get a driver’s licence today.

The courses here can cost up to $1,200 for the “full-meal deal,” which is the ICBC Graduated Licensing course that Wallace says is the best in North America. If students fail their driving tests the first time, Wallace takes them in hand and offers more instruction free of charge until they pass.

He says there are still driving schools that have rote instruction. “They don’t teach driving; they teach testing, [they] charge lower rates and don’t offer the Graduated Licensing course.”

The Proof is in the Driving

Ultimately, though, Wallace’s success rests on the success of his students. A few weeks after our interview, he calls me to let me know young Jawdat Belal passed his driving test. He is obviously pleased, having taken the young man under his wing last year.

“He’s very happy,” Wallace says of Belal. “He made only two minor errors. It’s like getting an A-minus on the test.”

How good a driver is Belal? “He’ll be good,” says Wallace. “He’s probably driven illegally in a war zone … So he had all these traits of someone who had been driving illegally because of the nature of where they were.”

Whoever he is teaching, ultimately Wallace says he’s in the business of keeping people alive on the road.

“If you have the most life-threatening activity known to mankind,” he says about driving, “and you have someone who is less than the best to do it, are you out of your mind? Why don’t you just get your dad to do the appendectomy on the kitchen table, or get the knife out and do a root canal for you — because they have about as much expertise doing that as they do teaching driving.”

And with that, he’s off to teach another lesson, a true believer in his mission to make the roads safer for everyone.


17 of London’s Most Exclusive Private Members’ Clubs, Ranked by Price

London’s private members’ circuit has come a long way since the days of the stuffy gentleman’s club.

The capital now boasts one of the most diverse selections of clubs in the world.

While areas such as Mayfair and Pall Mall are still synonymous with the members club scene, an explosion of more accessible, affordable, and arguably trendier clubs have shaken things up.

Whether you are looking for a well-being sanctuary, to indulge in the world of fine wine, fine art, live performances, and intrepid exploring, or just somewhere with cool rooms where cool-looking people hang out, each club has its very own niche, making it ever trickier to pick the right one.

We’ve rounded up a selection of London’s most exclusive private members’ clubs, which cost between £150 to over £5,000 — or the cost of a new car — for an annual membership.

Scroll down for a sneak peek inside some of London’s best clubs, ranked in ascending order by the price of a standard annual membership and joining fee.



Disrepute, a “hidden gem” nestled within an opulent Soho basement, offers an expertly curated cocktail menu and an atmospheric space perfect for secret late night sessions. It is one of the most reasonably priced members’ bars in London.

Membership privileges include priority reservations, the ability to book in parties of up to 12 people, and free access to special events, talks, and masterclasses.

A members’ bar not in the conventional sense, according to the club, applications are welcome from people of all backgrounds and persuasions. Non-members are also welcome to book a table, subject to availability.



Set in a Georgian townhouse in the heart of Soho above London’s oldest French restaurant L’escargot, the chic Upstairs Club is accessed via a psychedelic carpeted spiral staircase.

It’s a secretive hideout away from the hustle and bustle of the capital. There is an air of eccentricity to the club which offers its members access to a series of private rooms, including the salon noir, salon bleu, and salon rouge, which regularly host performances and general debauchery.

Under 28s can obtain a reduced membership of £250. If you don’t have a proposer, you may be asked to visit the club and meet with one of the membership team for a drink and a brief introduction.



Quo Vadis, easily recognisable by its iconic neon street sign, is another of Soho’s members’ haunts. The club consists of a first floor bar and lounge, and a dedicated members’ restaurant, which serves quintessentially British cuisine. The second floor is home to the “Blue Room,” an intimate, atmospheric lounge with open plan bar and first rate sound system.

It is popular among Soho’s creatives, foodies, and more generally seekers of relaxed business and serious pleasures. Members can enjoy £5 Martini Hours on Thursday and Fridays and half price Pie and Oyster Mondays.

Under 30s benefit from a discounted yearly rate of £300. The club doesn’t have a blanket policy for membership and says it instead looks at case by case applications, accepting people without airs and graces who are interesting and happy to be themselves.



The Chelsea Arts Club has a rustic and bohemian charm. The club centres around the Billiard Room, the Dining Room, and the secluded garden. There are also 12 bedrooms which members may book.

The club counts painters, sculptors, architects, poets, photographers, filmmakers, writers, actors, and musicians among its members, whose work is exhibited at the club year-round. Its parties are said to be “legendary.” There is no dress code.

In addition to offering a discounted rate of £210 for under 30s, the club distinguishes between “town” and “country” memberships, with the latter benefitting from a reduced rate of £403.

The Chelsea Arts Club says it has a waiting list for new applicants, who have to be sponsored by two existing members whom they have known for at least two years.



A newcomer to London’s private members’ scene, Albert’s Club opened its doors to the “Royal Borough” of Kensington and Chelsea in 2016. Albert’s says it provides local residents with an alternative to its Mayfair rivals.

Inside, the décor is “quintessentially classic peppered with eccentric British twists,” the walls are lined with Colefax & Fowler wallpaper, and there are two mahogany wood-panelled bars, a lively nightclub, and a restaurant run by ex-Cecconis chef Alessio Piras.

Lifetime membership can be obtained for a one-off payment of £2,500, or annual membership is £650 with a £250 joining fee. All members are required to be proposed by a current member, or to come in for a quick tour with their membership director.



Launched in 2001, The Century Club sits behind a discreet front door on Shaftesbury Avenue. It boasts four floors of members’ club fun, including Soho’s largest roof terrace.

Given its proximity to the theatres of London’s West End, it is frequented by people in the arts, media, and entertainment industries.

The club also offers an out-of-town reduced annual membership at £550, and an overseas membership of £400, plus a joining fee of £250. Under 30s membership costs £400, and the joining fee is waived.

To apply for membership, prospective members need to complete an application and attend an informal meeting with the head of membership.



The Hospital Club is a unique private members’ club targeted at the world of creatives located in the heart of Covent Garden.

The seven-story building has an award-winning TV and music studio, a gallery, restaurant and bars, a screening room, 15 hotel rooms (open to non-members) and a live performance space, The Oak Room.

The club has a reputation for showcasing emerging and established creative talent via its gallery and member spaces.

Under 30s and under 27s benefit from discounted annual subscriptions of £515 and £450 respectively, and the joining fee is waived.



Soho House at 76 Dean Street is a Grade II-listed mid-Georgian townhouse spread over four floors. It’s popular with the neighbourhood’s media crowd.

The club’s courtyard provides one of the few al fresco dining spots in Soho. The club also boasts the Screening Room, a fully air-conditioned 43-seat cinema offering a varied programme of advance screenings and new releases.

The membership application process is the same for both Soho House and Shoreditch House – you apply online with a couple of paragraphs about yourself and two current members as proposers.

Yearly membership costs £1,100 for a local house member (access only to the house you apply to), or £1,650 for an every house member (access to 18 Soho Houses around the world).



Shoreditch House is situated on the top three floors of the old Dickensian Tea Building in East London. It draws London’s “it” crowd.

The club is one of the few London private members’ clubs to offer a rooftop pool, which gives members stunning views of the city. It offers a number of other areas for members and freelancers to chill out, including the Sitting Room, the Square Bar, the Snug, Cowshed Spa, and the House Kitchen, which boasts a wood-fire oven.

The fourth floor features a glass walled gym looking out onto a backdrop of yet more awesome views, complete with spinning room, free weights, sauna, steam room, and comfortable changing rooms.

As with Soho, yearly membership costs £1,100 for a local house member, or £1,650 for an every house member. Hopefuls can apply online here.



67 Pall Mall is London’s first private members’ club for wine lovers. Born from “a passion for fine wine and a frustration at the egregious mark-ups on the capital’s wine lists,” the club’s mission is to make the world’s finest wines accessible to its members at sensible prices.

It offers over 500 wines by the glass using Coravin’s revolutionary wine access system, as well as an extensive list by the bottle from all corners of the world. The club’s wine list is expertly curated by 67 Pall Mall’s Master Sommelier, Ronan Sayburn MS.

The club also offers a Members’ Reserve facility, which allows members to store up to two cases of their personal wine collection in the club’s cellars to enjoy by the bottle in the members lounge as and when they please.

Candidates require a proposer and seconder from within the club’s existing membership.



Morton’s private members’ club has been at the forefront of Mayfair’s elite social scene for the past 40 years. The Grade II-listed building overlooks the length of London’s exclusive Berkeley Square.

The first-floor restaurant, with its lofty ceilings and panoramic balcony for summer al fresco dining, is the focal point of the house. Morton’s head chef, Dario Avenca, has devised a Mediterranean-inspired menu and the club claims to boast the largest wine list above any of its competitors.

Potential new members must be referred by two existing members. Applications are to be made to membership secretary Stephen Howard.



Home House is an exclusive private members’ club in London’s Marylebone, which “fuses 18th century splendour with 21st century style.”

The club’s facilities include a boutique health spa, a garden for al fresco dining and drinking, two restaurants, numerous bars, The Vaults decadent party rooms, elegant bedrooms and suites, as well as a full calendar of social events including legendary members’ parties throughout the year.

According to the club, “the best bit is that there are no stuffy rules, in fact there really aren’t any rules at all. Well, just one: ‘Nudity is discouraged.’ Naughtiness, on the other hand, is de rigueur.”

The club offers a number of different membership packages, including an under 35 annual rate of £1,275.



As its name would suggest, The Arts Club attracts people connected to or passionate about art, architecture, fashion, film, literature, music, performance, photography, science, theatre, and TV/media.

The 18th Century townhouse at 40 Dover Street in Mayfair counts Charles Dickens among its former members. It prides itself on being a hub for creatives and entrepreneurs to meet and exchange ideas.

The club’s art collection, curated by Amelie von Wedel, remains at its very core, highlighting international trends, as well as maintaining a focus on British-based artists.

Under 30s benefit from a reduced annual subscription of £1,000, plus a joining fee of £1,000. New members are accepted on January 1 each year.



Another relative newcomer, the “unashamedly luxurious and glamorous” Devonshire Club, located in the heart of The City, opened its doors in 2016.

Housed on over 60,000 sq ft in a Regency warehouse, it boast 68 bedrooms, a 110-seat brasserie, three bars, four private event rooms, a members’ gym, glazed garden room, outdoor terrace, and a private courtyard garden.

The club offers members an opulent space to both relax and conduct business and attracts the likes of financiers and city professionals, as well as creative execs based in Shoreditch and Hoxton.

Many of its members come through referrals, and every potential applicant is put forward to the membership committee. The club also offers “Debenture Memberships” for £24,000.



London-based Soho House and New York’s Sydell Group joined forces to create The Ned: the newest private members’ club to arrive on the London scene.

Set in the former Midland Bank building, it boasts 252 bedrooms channeling 1920s and 1930s design, nine restaurants, a range of grooming services, as well as “Ned’s Club,” a social and fitness club where members have access to a rooftop pool, gym, spa, hammam, and late night lounge bar.

Ned’s Club Upstairs has a heated pool overlooking the London skyline and two converted domes with outdoor terraces for eating and drinking. The Roof Bar features a retractable roof and heaters, and offers views of the City and St Paul’s Cathedral, with an international menu prepared on the rotisserie grill and wood oven.

Behind a 20-tonne, two-metre wide vault door is The Vault bar & lounge, an all-hours cocktail bar lined with thousands of original safety deposit boxes, ideal for a nightcap.



South Kensington Club is a health and fitness sanctuary inspired by the spirit of adventure.

Its offers a unique “Voyager Programme” headed up by polar explorer Christina Franco. The programme comprises three elements: a monthly lecture series, the opportunity to join tailor-made expeditions inspired by the lectures, and preparation and training for these adventures carried out by specialist fitness instructors at the club.

Other membership priveleges include a sky-lit gym, fitness classes and training programmes, a bathhouse (with a hammam, banya, and watsu pool), spa and beauty treatments, a Mediterranean restaurant, club sitting rooms, and a concierge service.

Membership starts at £365 per month, plus a £1,000 joining fee and an under 30s rate begins at £228 per month, with a £500 joining fee. However, the club offers a rate of £3,500 plus a £1,000 joining fee to members paying upfront.



5 Hertford Street is so exclusive and private that it wouldn’t reveal its membership price. We did, however, manage to get the above glimpse of its insides.

Described by Vogue as the ” loveliest club in London,” it is frequented by Hollywood A-listers and home to the impossibly cool Loulou’s nightclub for after dinner dancing.

Membership can be obtained only through application, but the word is some billionaires have been unable to score entry, so it’s best not to get your hopes up.