International concierge expert, Timothy Coles-Liddle, CEO of private concierge club NINE, shares his intelligence of London’s hottest new VIP venues and swish soon-to-open members’ clubs.
Executives, visitors and well-to-do locals looking to explore the most exclusive recreation the capital has to offer are spoilt for choice when it comes to London. The UK capital leads the world in providing a range of members-only retreats for the discerning – and here, Wings teams up with concierge experts NINE to reveal the hottest new finds in the city, from the traditional and stylish to the exotic and hip.
THE DEVONSHIRE CLUB
Embodying the new ‘work-meets-play’ trend, meetings are increasingly moving out of the office and into members’ clubs. In response, a new wave of uber-sleek ‘social-business’ clubs are launching across London and raising the bar for the members’ club landscape. A prominent example is the Devonshire Club; in EC2, it lays in the heart of the City Of London, but has all the trappings of Mayfair: marble and Murano glass decorate the monochrome interiors of the two seven-floor Grade II-listed buildings that it occupies. Launched this summer by Brian Clivaz, one of the most influential figures on London’s club scene, the focus is on unashamedly elegant, timeless luxury. Features include three bars (a cocktail, library and champagne bar), two lounges, a light-filled brasserie, an internal winter garden with cigar room, a wellness centre (featuring a gym and pilates studio, a beauty salon and spa with four private treatment rooms), four private function rooms and 68 hotel bedrooms.
THE PITCH… West End exclusivity and glamour comes to the East End, embodying a mid-century feel layered with a fashion-inspired story – a luxury space for business or pleasure
Hot on the heels of the closure of South Kensington stalwart Boujis, and with a committee that reads like a who’s who of the nightclub world, Albert’s launched in a bright and elegant basement on London’s Old Brompton Road last month. Taking its name from Prince Albert’s dominance in the area, the new club aims to bring together individuals from the worlds of fashion, music and film.
The private club is ideal for cocktails, dinner and late-night dancing – thanks to a rare ‘early hours’ licence. A large, eclectic dining room will offer European classics alongside modern interpretations and diners will be wowed by live performances from globally acclaimed artists and hot DJs.
THE PITCH… A ‘club as home’ atmosphere promising a civilised evening of whiskeys and martinis, fine dining and dancing into the early hours, featuring elegant décor with eccentric twists – including a display of Prince Albert’s love letters to Queen Victoria
Last month, NINE was fortunate to be given an exclusive preview of an exciting new venture in London’s City. The Soho House Group has teamed up with US hotel developer the Sydell Group for an extraordinary new project named The Ned, set to open in April 2017. The name is inspired by the nickname of Sir Edwin Lutyens – ‘Ned’ – the architect of Midland Bank, an iconic Grade I-listed building that will house this impressive project. With Soho House set to be the operator, the grand plans include a luxury hotel with 252 bedrooms fitted with state-of-the-art amenities, including rainforest showers; nine restaurants serving, among others, Italian, Japanese, American, French and British cuisines; rooftop terraces, bars, swimming pools (both indoor and out), leisure and grooming facilities (including a gym and the ever-popular Cowshed spa) and multiple event spaces. With many original features still intact and plans for a 1920s/30s-themed interior with mahogany panelling, the club will encourage members from all industries.
THE PITCH… Inspired by 1930s cruise liners and the Orient Express, The Ned would make an ideal Martini stop-off for a Secret Agent – the building’s vault door was the original inspiration for the Fort Knox scenes in Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger, and many of the bank’s original features, including safety deposit boxes, tiling and banking counters, are preserved under its Grade I status.
Michael Achenbaum, president of the Gansevoort Hotel Group (New York, Turks & Caicos Islands, Dominican Republic), is set to open The Curtain early next year. This will be his first venture in the UK, and will consist of a 120-room luxury hotel, rooftop swimming pool and lounge, garden room, private screening room, luxury spa, 24-hour gym (designed by Jon Squirrel of The Vault), and over 6,000 square feet of meeting/event space, including a ballroom, nightclub and live performance area.
The interior will feature artwork by famed art curator – and Banksy’s former agent – Steve Lazarides and rock ’n’ roll photography by the legendary Mick Rock, adding an edgy, urban vibe to the club, perfectly befitting its achingly cool Shoreditch location. Moreover, Curtain members will have access to additional restaurants and bars, the most significant of which is the Red Rooster – a famed Harlem restaurant led by culinary impresario Marcus Samuelsson, that has now crossed the pond to serve up southern American cuisine to its UK counterparts. This is one club that certainly sets itself apart from all others; offering a contemporary and eclectic injection of Manhattan, in London.
THE PITCH… A multi-disciplinary collaborative space with a contemporary artistic edge, nodding to The Curtain Theatre, CBGBs, Manhattan, the local Shoreditch area and more