How to blend in, in a Gentlemen's club
Gentlemen's clubs may conjure up images of old boys reading newspapers, smoking pipes and gathering around roaring fires. They are hugely private places, so who really knows what they are like inside?
Whites of London, where Prince William and Harry frequent has a nine year waiting list, no women allowed and no website, you either know about it, or you don’t.
White's Gentlemen's Club - London SW1
Gentlemen's clubs were originally started in the 18th century for and by the upper class. They gained in popularity, taking on the role of coffee houses and providing a myriad of services to their members. Most were based in and around Pall Mall, earning the nickname, London's Clubland, just minus the disco lights. They were safe havens (and still are) where men could escape the stresses and worries of their time.
There are currently twenty five exclusive clubs in London and gaining entry to these historical establishments can be tricky. However if you're ever invited or find yourself at the top of that waiting list, here are some tips on etiquette to get you past the front door.
Benedict Cumberbatch - Member of The Garrick Club WC2E
You need to look the part. Jeans and trainers are a no no and smoking jackets are not de rigeur anymore. We're talking bespoke suits, tailored shirts and more than likely a tie to get past the porters in these buildings. Once in, some clubs allow you to remove your tie and jacket in certain rooms, however some require them on at all times so if in doubt, don't remove anything at all.
A lot of clubs dislike the use of mobile phones, these are old fashioned establishments remember so instagramming or tweeting photos of the famous person sat opposite you probably won't go down too well. Add to this some clubs dislike talking in certain rooms so best keep shtum unless spoken to.
Now is the time to bring your politics knowledge up to speed, as many of these clubs are steeped in Tory history. Double check you know the name of the current Prime Minister before you go and maybe wear that dark blue tie just in case.
Depending on the season, brush up on your game knowledge (not the playstation kind) as many members of these clubs will likely shoot and fish, so the topic of conversation (providing you're in an area where you are allowed to talk) might come up. If in doubt, wear your Barbour jacket (if allowed) and twiddle your Land Rover keys. And last but not least on the same topic of seasons, know what's in and out on the menu.
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